Natalie: Thank you. Hi, everyone. My name
is Natalie [Goriel 00:00:03] and I’m the online media coordinator for the US Small Business
Administration. I’d like to welcome you to today’s webinar. This webinar is made possible
through our public private partnership with Microsoft and Constant Contact. Partnership
like this one allow the government and the private sector to come together and support
the small business community. It allows us to hold free webinars like this on a variety
of business topics. In just a moment, I’ll turn it over to Allison Saltzer from Microsoft.
Before I do that, I want to say a little bit about why SBA is so excited about this partnership.
We know that a small business owners and entrepreneurs, you need more of 2 things, time and money.
Our mission at the SBA is to provide the nation’s 28 million small businesses with the support
they need in a world where time and money are both short. We do this through what we
call the 3 Cs. First SBA provides capital to small businesses in the form of guaranteed
loans, to start expand, export or recover after a disaster. Second, we help small businesses
with government contracts, which is 100 billion dollar market. Finally what brings us here
today is that SBA provides counseling services often at no cost. Many of you might be familiar
with the SBA Resource Partner Network, including small business development centers, SCORE
mentors, women’s business centers, the veteran’s business centers and our SBA field offices.
I encourage you to visit sba.gov to learn more about what services and events you can
find in our resource partner network. In addition to the SBA Resource Partner Network, we work
with private companies to bring an expertise in high priority areas like social media marketing.
We often receive many questions about how and where to start when it comes to social
media. Through this partnership, we will offer you with some social media marketing tips
to help you succeed. Let’s get started. I’d like to turn it over to Allison from Microsoft.
Allison: Thank you Natalie. Hi, everybody, good morning or good afternoon, depending
on where you’re joining us. My name is Allison Saltzer and I’m a small business owner. I’m
actually in Colorado, based out of Colorado. My husband and I, my husband’s name is Larry
so that’s the L in A and L foods. We own a natural foods manufacturer and a commercial
kitchen here in Colorado and I also have the privilege of being a small business strategist
for Microsoft. My job is at the national level, again, working from my little home office,
thanks to you, the benefits of technology. We focus on working with the national organization
like the SBA, like the Small Business Development Centers and chambers of commerce across the
country. Really to help small businesses understand
how technology can help them transform their business, grow their business and honestly
live the life of their dreams. I firmly believe, there is no way, I could have the life that
I have being a business owner, mom to 2 young boys, 2 Labradors, 2 hamsters now plus full
time at Microsoft if I didn’t have technology to be able to work from anywhere. My Twitter
handle is right there and Ron is going to be nice enough to pull the slides for me.
What I wanted to do is just give a quick 5-minute overview, to put this into context and to
talk a little bit about how technology can really help grow your business.
The Boston Consulting Group actually did a study that was published in October of 2013,
to help understand, okay, what is the link between technology and adopting modern technology
in business growth? Is it worth it? Is it worth it to join webinars like this, to learn
about new things? What’s the actual results that happen? To give you an idea of sort of
the results of the study, on the left basically is a continuum of technology adoption. At
very, very top end, are they using a computer? Is there internet connectivity? Are they using
some kind of office software? Then, moving down the continuum, are there smart phones?
Are they using the internet to enable their communications with their customers? Then
at the bottom, scale and flexibility, how do they use technology to scale, to reach
more customers? Do they have a social media page?
Is there an online portal for customers to engage? Then, at the very bottom, Cloud based
services. Are they outsourcing some of their technology needs to the Cloud so they can
scale and serve more customers? They really found … so they surveyed about 4,000 small
businesses, it was international in scope at about 5 different countries. The small
businesses they found really were in 3 different categories. At the left is the laggards and
you’ll see by the way they define that is just adoption of that first year. The followers
that moved down that continuum and are using some more sophisticated technology and then
the leaders, which really are taking advantage of the most current technology and specially,
the Cloud. If you look at the leader category, 100% of
them are using the Cloud. A good example of sort of why this is relevant is Element Nutrition
Bars. That was one of the folks that [is working out 00:05:16] in it. Chicago based company,
nutrition meal bars and unannounced to them and certainly not in their marketing plan,
they were featured in a reality show. One of the contestants was eating their bar, talking
about their bar and all of a sudden, kind of out of nowhere for them, they completely
spiked in customer orders. There is no way they would have been able to service that
customer base, have they map it on the Cloud, because they were able to scale up really
quick from any commerce perspective? What was more interesting even from that is that
they were able to extend that visibility via their social network.
They were able to tweet after the show even aired. They were able to talk and engage with
their customers and utilize that as a reference point and almost an advocacy point to again,
extend that sort of fortuitous business opportunity. A good example of how technology leaders,
ultimately that can contribute to increase revenue, they would have missed out on all
of that sales. At the bottom of the slide, you’ll see a link to the actual study itself,
if you’re interested. It’s about a 26 page study and it talks again at an international
level. Ron will you bring that aside for me. What they found interestingly is that tech
leaders outperform other small businesses. They grew revenue 15 percentage point faster,
year over year than those that weren’t using technology and they created twice as many
jobs which was really, I think often consulting groups is very surprised at that correlation.
One of the things I think that’s so critical about Cloud services is that it allows not
only you to work from anywhere. For example, my husband Larry, we have 3 employees, as
I mentioned. We got 2 boys. He was volunteering in my son’s classroom and he had an urgent
call from our largest customer which is Kroger. They needed print-ready graphics for the solid
bars in which our 26 products are … that’s where we sell them. They needed new photos
that night and for those of you that ever engage in print or photography, those files
are huge and this could have completely disrupted his day, at the best case scenario and at
the worst case scenario, he wouldn’t been able to get our … what our largest customer
needed and we would have missed out on sales. Instead over the smart phone, he was able
to stepped out of the classroom, he was able to give the printer, access to the file online,
with these big files that were all in a single folder for use, clearly labeled and in 5 minutes
was able to resolve a business critical problem that again, could have cost us significant
revenue. The other thing about being a leader in adopting technology is the ability to reach
more customers, expand your market and tech savvy small businesses are 6 times more likely
to have international customers. Natalie had mentioned export a little bit at the beginning
of this call and what’s really interesting about this is 98% of the small businesses
in America that could export of the 98%, only 3% do, so 98% of the small businesses that
could export, they’re in the business that could be sold to another market, outside the
US only 3% of the companies do. It’s funny because I was actually talking
to my hairdresser. Her name is Vienna Martinez, her and her mom own Classic Cutters in Aurora,
Colorado, 2-person shop in a strip mall, beginning really small. She knows what I do for a living,
she’s been doing my hair for about 3 years, I think. When this study came out, we were
talking because she was doing my hair and she said, “Well , I don’t use social media
like why would social media be relevant in the small community hair salon, our customers
have been our customers for year.” We talked about a little bit and she said, “All right.
Well, how do I even get started?” I said, “Well, let’s find your local small business
development. There is a company called Constant Contact that will teach you the basics and
in fact, you guys are going t o hear a lot of the basics and even some top tips.”
“Why don’t you just dip your toe in the water, give it a try, see what happens. The study
shows, it really grows revenue.” She said, “Okay” and she made a commitment to me that
the next time I came in to get my hair done she would report back. I came back and I said,
“so did you do any of those things?” She said, “Well, you wouldn’t believe it.” She was like,
“I started a Facebook page and I started a Twitter handle and before I was on social,
my revenue from hair care products in my salon was 150 dollars. The first month I went live
I had $1,200 of revenue and orders on hair care products, first month.” To look in the
craziest thing and she’s, “Look, I got orders from Canada.” She was like, “I got an order
from Mexico and someone from UK reached out to me, the first month.”
She was just … I was like, “Well, did you sell the orders?” She said, “Well yeah” and
I suggest, “Well, manage your exporting. You have international customers.” She was just
incredulous at how quick it happened, how easy it was and how social made her little
2-person hair salon all of a sudden go international. With that in that context, to drive us forward,
I want to turn it over to really, the leading expert in social media strategy and helping
demystify all of the fear I think that’s part of social and the fear factor of stepping
in and trying to figure out how it can work for your business. With that, I would love
to turn it over to Ron Cates from Constant Contact. Ron, take it away.
Ron: Thank you Allison. Hello, everyone. Those who are in my earlier webinar. Thanks for
coming back. New people, thanks for joining us today. My name is Ron Cates. I work for
Constant Contact. Constant Contact is a world’s leading supplier of online marketing tools
for small businesses, things like email marketing, social media tools, a tool that helps you
to get more likes on Facebook. I function as their digital marketing expert so I travel
around the world and I do seminars, I do webinars. I love doing this. I have a small business,
they got really, really big because of these tools so my enthusiasm is 100% authentic.
In fact, I have to keep it toned down or it get a little bit too excited. I do want you
to follow me on Twitter, my handle is my name, Ron Cates.
Now, let me give you a best practice, if you only do one thing after today’s webinar, I
want you to do this, go out today and if there is a social media platform you’ve heard of,
Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, if you’ve heard of it, the major ones are all free. I want
you to sign up for your name or your business name before it’s taken by someone else. Maybe
there is a platform that you are not ready to use yet. You’ve heard of it but you’re
not sure if you’re really going to use it. Go ahead today and sign up and grab it so
you got your name. How many have tried to register a dot com in the last few years,
it seems like every word and phrase is taken, I don’t want that happen to you. Now, why
social in the first place. Things have really changed and marketing has become more challenging
than ever. We communicate in a lot of different ways
today. Thirty years ago, if you had an ad in the newspaper, I read it because I read
every page in the paper everyday 30 years ago but I can’t remember the last time that
I did that. Later, if you could afford it, you could do a TV ad and if I watching the
programs, I had to watch the commercials, I was held captive. Well, today, I’ve got
a DVR and 92% of us who have one, fasts forward to the commercials and don’t see them. Today,
you’ve got some people who love Twitter. You got a bunch of people on Facebook, most people
do email. Tell me right now, what segment of your audience are you willing to ignore?
What segment can you afford to ignore? I know the answer is none.
Today’s we’re forced to communicate in a lot of different ways and that means social media.
Even if it’s something that we didn’t grow up on, we need to become a little bit more
comfortable with it, become aware of it and by the way, it’s a lot more fun and a lot
simpler than you ever imagined. Let’s talk about why. First, because everyone is there.
93% of non-profits are there, 87% of business to business, 86% of B to C. Now, I’m not recommending
that you go social just because everyone else is. I’m recommending that you go social because
it has impact. It truly influences decisions, and 74% of us, rely on the social network
to guide us when it comes to making a purchase, 55% talk about our purchases once we’ve made
them on social. If you’re a non-profit, 68% of us learned
more about charity if it’s mentioned online. Marketing has changed, we are smart consumers.
We know that traditional marketing exist just to sell something but we kind of tune it out.
Today, 14% of us trust ads, 14% of us trust traditional marketing, 78% of us trust an
online recommendation. Even if I’m a stranger. I don’t know how many of you has Yelp. Yelp
is a review site, I travel a ton. When I’m trying to figure out where to eat in the city,
I go to Yelp. I look at the reviews and the review is overwritten by regular people just
like me, 98% of Yelp users decide where to eat based on those reviews and they’re some
strangers. They’re some people I don’t know but I trust
them a bit more than I trust advertisement from that same store. Seventy eight percent
of us are influenced by this online recommendation even by a stranger, 84% of us trust and make
a decision if it’s someone in our network. Think about that for a second. On the average,
we have 244 friends on Facebook. We’re no longer marketing to individuals. We’re marketing
to individuals and their entire networks because their entire network is now accessible in
a way it never was in the past. If they talk about you on Facebook, all their friends are
seeing you and it’s with this endorsement from someone they know and trust, someone
in their network. You definitely want to get them to talk about you.
The biggest power behind social is a way to connect with something real. We buy from the
Cloud today. Digital entities arrive into our inbox. We don’t know our neighbor’s name.
We want to connect towards a real living, breathing person. Social is how we do that.
We’re not willing to get rid of our service and instead, we’re connecting via social instead
of live face to face. Huge impact on decisions, on purchases. What’s neat about this is even
without a huge marketing budget, you can have bigger impact in some of the world’s biggest
companies by being real and authentic and transparent. I want to connect with a real
person so, if your business wants a real, living breathing human being, what language
would it use, what words would it use, that’s how you communicate on social.
It’s not taking your print marketing stuff and copying and pasting it into a tweet or
a Facebook post or an email campaign. It’s about being real, authentic, transparent and
human. The reason social become so powerful. Now, everyone on this webinar, if you’re a
small business, I could have you as a guest on this webinar and you could take the next
hour and you could tell us all these tales of where you … bent over backwards to make
a customer or client happy. We’ve all done crazy things to make a customer happy. In
the past, all you have to do with that is hope that they got referrers. I mean, sometimes
it happens, sometimes it doesn’t. We can hope they come back to us. Social makes that easier
than ever because now they can go talk about us on a social network.
I mean, 10 years ago, if I went to the grocery store and you’re not my top stop, what’s going
to happen. Maybe I’m going to party and I go to Superdome parties so there is a circle
of people talking about groceries and I tell them how great the store was. I mean what
are the chances of that happening and how many people can I impact. Social is that cocktail
party circle on steroids. The variability is unlike anything in the history of the world.
Small businesses that do provide a wild experience can really benefit from this and here is the
great news, companies that have mediocre products and mediocre service, that incredible marketing,
you’re now on an even fitting with them, actually you’re more empowered than they are because
reality has more impact than ever. It’s not just a fancy marketing slogan or
colors that matter in an advertising campaign, or a logo. It’s the real life experience that’s
going to have impact. As you all do it, you provide this wow experience. You then entice
them to stay in touch. You make it easy to connect via social. That means in your store,
you might have a poster with your Facebook page on it or at the end of the receipt, it
might give us a way to join your email list, or people can scan it to our codes to join
your email list on Facebook because you want to make this a 2-way street. If they like
you on Facebook, that’s fantastic but you can put a sign up link to your email newsletter
on there so now you can make the 2-way street and have permission to get back out in front
of them. You’re enticing them to stay in touch by making
it easy to connect. You’re engaged with them on a regular basis. This is the whole engagement
marketing cycle. You engage with them by posting content on Facebook or Twitter or in an email.
You show off your expertise and your experience. You show that you know more about your products
and everyone else. You answer those questions so they feel like they have a relationship
with you. Harvard Business School says we’ll spent 69% more if we perceive we have a relationship
with the vendor. Now, when I read that, I mean I love Harvard Business School but I’m
a bit of skeptic, I thought well, that must be everyone else. I would never pay more for
the same thing just because I had a relationship. Then, I thought about it and then I do it
all the time. I’m a serious tennis player. I’m not really
good but I’m very serious and there is a store I go to all the time in town. They know me
by name, they bring my records on the spot. I could go and shop around town for strings
and rackets, or I could buy online and save a lot of money and I don’t do that because
I feel like I have a relationship. This is a really good way social and email combined
to build that type of perception of a relationship. That’s why people will buy from you instead
of going online and buying somewhere else or shopping for price. With this relationship
building process, you’re no longer competing on price. Instead, you’ve got this real relationship
with the customer. Not only do they shop with you, they become much more likely to refer
you to friends. Engagement has evolved. Hitting the Facebook
like button has huge power to it. If someone hits the Facebook like button, they becomes
your fan. They’re 91% more likely to refer you to friends, 93% more likely to buy from
you again. Huge power to it. Once you’re engaging with them, this drives social visibility because
now their entire network is seeing mentions of you in a good light and that creates new
prospects. I know we spent a lot of time, attention, resources on trying to get new
customers. The reality is, our existing customer base leads to those new customers. Most of
our business both existing, growing, or existing customer base and more business with them
and then new prospects coming from our existing customers.
When you do the Math about 96% of your business comes from existing customers. What are the
top networks? Now, top … we’ve picked a few. The reality is there are more than 1,000
social platforms already today and it’s growing like crazy. I will bet you real money that
5 years from today, there is going to be a tool, that’s more powerful than Facebook that
hasn’t even been thought of yet. If you don’t create some type of social presence, you’re
not going to give up any of these networks. I know that there are huge growth in these
sites. I didn’t know this a few years ago but I know it now. There is a social site
for nun, that’s way more important than in Facebook. There is one for stand-up comics,
called standupshare.com, that’s really valuable to them and has more than 60,000 members.
You’re not going to be an expert on all of thousand plus platforms. You’re not going
to even know about them and you’re certainly not going to try to participate in all of
them. Pick one or two and do those really, really, well. Pick one or two of the big ones,
do those well, have fun with it. Pick one that you actually enjoy networking in and
then your followers can let you know, if there is something new that you’re missing and that
can’t happen if you have no social presence. I’m picking a few, Facebook because it’s the
largest in the world. LinkedIn, Pinterest and Twitter and I’m going to be very prescriptive
today and use some ideas on how to use these really, really well. We’re also going time
within for questions. Facebook, it is the largest social network on Earth.
It has more than 1 billion users, that’s a B, more than a billion. The primary audience
is everybody. They’re looking for useful content, informative content, interesting stuff, intellectual
property. Do not be afraid to give away intellectual property on social media. They’re still going
to buy from you, they’re not going to use it and go shop somewhere else, does that ever
happen, sure it’s less than 1% at a time. It makes it way more likely they’re going
to buy from you, because they want to buy from the very best. Make sure that you don’t
be afraid about showing off your expertise and using the expert label. I know that specially
in America, we’re brought up to be very conservative and shy but I don’t want to buy from the 10th
best in the zip code. I want to buy from an expert so offer your
expertise and elevate yourself. It’s best for sharing text, photos, videos and reaching
a large audience and it’s used by almost everyone. If you’re going to pick one platform to make
a presence on, it’s this one, Facebook is still the biggest on Earth. Now, keep this
in mind, I’m not going to make Facebook my entire web presence. We don’t control Facebook
so I’m going to have a website or a website slash blog that is my home base and everything
is going to be directed there including things directed from Facebook. I’m not going to put
all my eggs into one basket. Now, when it comes to how to use it, it’s low volume but
very high value. I’m going to recommend that you post at least 3 times a week but not more
than 10 times per week. It’s about quality versus quantity. When we
look at these different social media platforms, it’s pretty much a continuum of engagement.
One, there is a spectrum, at the far end of the spectrum, there is Twitter, 140 characters
or less. It’s micro engagement so it have to be a lot more. People are going to see
it much more often. It’s a tiny little mass, you don’t buy them engagement. It’s powerful
only if it’s cumulative. The opposite end of the spectrum is my business page or my
website, my blog, where I have a big article. It takes me a longer time to come up with
that content. It’s much more engaging, people stay longer. I’m not going to do that nearly
as often. In the middle, there is Facebook, in the middle, there is email marketing, email
newsletters. An entire spectrum. The good news is, people connect with you
in all kinds of different ways but not usually in multiple ways. If I’m following you on
Facebook, I’m probably not following you on Twitter. I might not be subscribed to your
email newsletter list. You can re-purpose your content. You can have your big article
on your blog, you can take a paragraph from it and put it into your email newsletter.
A couple of sentences on Facebook, a sentence on Twitter and that can all link back to your
website, “Hey, to continue this, click here.” When it comes back to your website, that’s
where they can actually take action and buys them. My goal is always to try to get them
to come back to my site. Now, on Facebook, the number 1 reason people stop following
you on Facebook is over communication, too much stuff from you. That’s why I’m putting
a massive 10 times per week. Best practices on Facebook, 50% is I want
you to think about the 50/30/20 rule. Fifty percent at a time, I’m trying to get likes
and shares and comments. I’m going to entertain, invite conversation, I’m going show off video
and images and I’m trying to make this interactive as constant, I really want people to like.
I have 2 rules for this. One, is I’m going to post it, if should pass both of these.
Are they going to want to share it with their friends and two, is it going to incite them
to comment to comment. If I ask a question or I post something that incites them to comment,
as they’re creating their comments, they’re creating new content for me. My favorite example
of all time is a Farmers Market in New England. One of the best post on Facebook I’ve ever
seen. It’s 2 AM, do you know where your food is.
Well, within a week, they have more than 500 comments and as you read to those comments,
which only takes you seconds as the business owner, you’ll learn so much about your business,
that you couldn’t learn in any other way. I love their fresh watermelon. I wish they
had peaches in season. Parking is a real pain on Saturday. I mean, one post, it only took
a few seconds. You have pages, and pages and pages of comments. That’s new content provided
on your behalf, by your advocates. You’ve worked hard to create these fans. There has
never been a good place for them to talk about you and promote you on their behalf, to become
their advocates. Now, social creates that sort of platforms.
Thirty percent at a time, I want you just to be usually informative. This is industry
info, hints and tips, a content you’ve curated. By that, I mean, content that you have found
and shared. More than a half the content on social is not original thought leadership
content. It’s something that you found and shared. I know that for your business you
scan a lot of content. I mean, I don’t know what day to admit this because it’s so geeky.
I love digital marketing. There are 23 blogs a day that I scan. Sometimes multiple times
per day because I want to learn everything about digital marketing. Now, you’re interested
in that too but if that’s not your business, you’re probably spending a lot of time reading
about your business. When I find something out of all this stuff
that I’m reading that I think is really important to my audience, that will really resonate
with you, I hit a button, it takes me less than a second and I can post that link to
that content on Facebook or Twitter or LinkedIn. Less than a second, I’ve now become the arbitrator.
I’ve elevated my expertise because I’m the person that decides what you should be reading.
That’s the super easy way to do thought leadership. Doing something that you’re already doing
anyway. Twenty percent is about your business. It’s a call to action, it’s promotional content.
Now, that’s not necessarily a buy now or buy my stuff. If you just had the best deal ever
and you want to share it with your customers, feel free to share that.
We just negotiate the best deal, it’s buy one, get one free. As long as that’s not the
bulk of the content, and it’s real and authentic, it promotes purchase. People love to share
deals. They love to share great information and deals. If you send me in my email inbox,
in an email newsletter, a coupon for 10% off a sandwich, I’m going to delete and unsubscribe.
I’m not going to share that with anyone. If you just negotiate at the best deal ever and
it’s a buy one, get one free, I’m going to forward that to everyone that I know. I’m
going to promote it on Facebook and Twitter because I get credit for that. It’s like,
I’m saving my friend’s money. If you don’t think that’s a really big motivator,
think about way back when you first started doing email, regular email We got stuck on
one of those list of our friends when they would send us funny stuff. It is really funny
like the first 2 or 3 times but when it was 2 or 3 times a day, 3 months later, we wanted
to get off of it. Well, why does that work and why does it have so much power. If I send
you something and you laugh, it produces chemicals called endorphins. They make you feel good.
You now associate that good feeling with me. It’s like I’m a little drug dealer and the
drug in this case is endorphin. If just laughter and humor had that kind of huge power, how
about money? Money has even greater power. If you have a really great authentic promotion,
of course they’re going to talk about it and share it with their friends. If you have the
deal of the century every week, we’re not stupid so we know that it’s no longer real,
authentic and transparent, we’re not going to follow you anymore and we’re certainly
not going to share it with our friends if it’s bogus. Let’s talk about LinkedIn. This
is more of a professional organization. It’s for business or for non-profits. It’s used
very powerfully by non-profits. They’re looking for industry news, tips and solutions. Just
about thought leadership , really good ideas, stuff that’s going in the industry that not
everybody knew but it’s business to business. Mostly business to business as oppose to B
to C but again, non-profit get great results from this.
What thinking is really good for, if I sell big ticket items, this is a great way to get
to a person that I couldn’t get to otherwise because I guarantee on LinkedIn, you know
someone who knows someone, who knows someone who knows that person. This can be your introduction
to get into that thought leader or that decision maker. When it comes to what you’re going
to post and how often on LinkedIn, it’s lower volume, high value. I’m going to do it at
least twice a week but no more than 5 times a week. It is more formal and technical but
easy to overdue and easy to come off as too salesy. It’s really about showing off intellectual
property stuff that you know that not everyone knows and when you’re thinking about how do
I come up with this content, think about the questions your customers ask you every single
day over and over and over. It’s not because they’re not smart. It is
that you truly have become an expert at something. You have the knowledge space. Share some of
those answers on social like LinkedIn. Pinterest, highly visual, 85% women, that women are decision
makers so it’s certainly doesn’t mean that’s only for women’s products. Through these factors,
we’re seeing huge list and actual purchasing power from Pinterest. People are going to
Pinterest, they’re seeing a very neat visual outlay of products and how it’s being used
and it’s motivating them to buy. They’re looking for photos, videos, products and tips and
it’s great for sharing visual content in eBook or how to. It’s mostly B to C, business to
consumer. Whether your primary consumer, your prospect is a woman or not, this is a great
place to be. Don’t think that it’s a women purchase only.
It’s definitely a strong women audience but huge influencers, decision makers for the
entire household. When it comes to how often we should be there. High volume, high value
so at least 5 times a day and no more than 10 times a day. The quality of images are
important. Again, I’m not recommending for a moment but you need to be on every social
platform or even these 3 or 4 I’m talking about today. I want you to pick one or two
that you like and you do them well. You see what the results are. See how much engagement
you get, see how much interest you get. Then, you decide where to put your time, energy
and resources based on the outcome. One of the ways to measure that is with email
because we’re really comfortable with email. It’s the original form of digital social media.
It’s 95% of us do it, 5 times as many do email as to social and it’s still growing. Put the
icons into your email newsletter or your email promotions. If you’re on Facebook, LinkedIn
and Twitter, actually include those icons in your email. When people click on those
to become … to sign up into your network, if you use an email service, why Constant
Contact? We actually track those so you can see how many people click on your Twitter
link or your LinkedIn link or your Facebook link and why I could lots of attraction and
engagement on Twitter but not so much on Facebook? Maybe you start to put more time and energy
into Twitter or vice versa. Quality images are important in Pinterest.
If they’re really low res, really jaggy, clammy looking images, it kind of shows the product,
isn’t as professional as the one we like. Same woman used to say, when I was headed
to this, in the airlines, “We clean our dining trays meticulously because if we don’t, people
think that we don’t take care of our engines properly.” The bar has definitely been raised
by consumers on professional look. If it doesn’t look good, we assume that the product or service
behind it is a bit amateurish. I mean, years ago, when you could only do plain text emails,
they got a tremendous impact both in purchases, opens for it.
Today, if it’s one of this nice looking HTML emails, it doesn’t get nearly as much impact
about one eighth the impact for a plain text email versus these nice looking HTML newsletters
. One eighth the impact mainly because consumers have raised the bar and the stuff doesn’t
look good. If I haven’t branded my Facebook or my Twitter home feed. If it doesn�t look
professional, people then assume that the product or service is equally amateurish and
they’re not as interested in it. Let’s talk about Twitter. It may not be the most powerful
social that … for everyone but it is my favorite, young adults, that’s me, 55 going
on 12th. They’re looking for news, brand updates and trends. It’s great for sharing news in
both original and curated content. Stuff that you wrote, stuff that you found.
It’s 140 characters or less but maximum engagement seems to come in right around 100 characters.
Those are just little mosquito bites of engagement that allows you to stay top of mind so they
don’t forget about you. All of these social tools, including email. That’s probably their
greatest function. We will get more than 6,000 marketing impressions per person, per day
in the US and we can love you and forget about you. I mean, how many of you have a restaurant
that you really like and you forget to go there. I mean, all of us do. If I got an email
from them once a month or if I followed them on Twitter, I can’t forget about them. No
matter how long the buying cycle is, whether it’s a restaurant or buy a new car.
The fact that they stayed in front of me on an ongoing basis over the entire length of
the buying cycle, where I’m ready to buy again, the bolt goes off and I’m give them a call.
It’s that magical. This is … The Twitter is used by everyone, both B to C non-profit
and a bit B to B. It’s not all original stuff, again, more than half of this curated content,
something you’ve found and shared, micro-bytes of engagement. It is high volume. For each
post, it has a little bit less value than some of the other platforms. We have to do
it a lot more. Some of it recommend you do it at least 5 times per day and I put no ceiling
on Twitter. We’ve seen businesses get great engagement posting 30 times a day. This is
a quantity, is the major key behind it. It’s just these little buzzes. I got to stand try
them on a regular basis. They’re not going to see everything that I
post because there is so much in their Twitter feed so given that they’re not going to see
everything, I’m going to do this on a real regular basis and this doesn’t have to be
complicated. This isn’t like thought leadership. This is … I can take one day of the week
and plan out the entire week, I’m going to show you how to do that in a moment. I’m going
to talk about this and this day and this and this day. Then, as new things come into my
mind, I can post those instantly. This are little micro-bits of content and photos, it
only takes 1 second. I’m at the Farmers Market, working there and I cut a watermelon in half,
it looks amazing and beautiful and tantalizing. I take a photo of it, takes 1 second. I click
and … hold on. When the real Farmers Market in New England
did that, they got more than 500 comments within 3 days. Photos have huge impact. A
customer comes in and they’re so excited. They’re wearing the outfit that you helped
them buy last week and you take a picture of that or you put out your smart phone and
do a quick video of it. I mean, real enthusiasm is more powerful than anything else on Earth.
Happy clients in a video or a photo or a quote from them that you can post on Twitter. It’s
easy to come up with this. It’s just stuff that happens too every single day. By the
way, do I want to know what you have for lunch everyday? I don’t, nope but I do want to know
that there is a real person there. On occasion, if you have an amazing lunch or you go to
some great rock concert and you want to talk about it, I think it’s fine to post about
that. I want to know there is a real human being
at the opposite end of the string. Content ideas, 3 questions to ask. What’s new with
your business or organization? That could be product. Hey, if you’re really excited
about new product you just got in, there is nothing wrong with posting about that as long
as the enthusiasm is real. What did you do recently to help someone to your success?
That could be again, helping them buy something or if I was a home builder, “Look, I just
built this amazing house and this couple is so happy with it” or if I’m a service provider
and they’re super happy with the service. What advice that people have been asking before
lately every single day your customers ask you the same questions over and over. Answer
those on social. The 2 rules are, are they going to want to
share it with their friends, am I going to incite them to comment? If I do those 2 things,
I’ve got amazing social content. I recommend again, that you start with Facebook. It’s
the biggest platform on earth so if you’ve done nothing on social, I think Facebook is
a really good place to start. More than 1 billion users ties into some other social
networks and of course, this way your fans can let you know if there is something else
that’s new and important that you should be on. You create your business page. Now, there
is a difference between a business and a profile. The profile is, that’s your personal feed.
You want to create a business page, it’s about your business and separate the 2. Your profile
is for real close friends and family members. Your business page is for the entire public.
If you’re not sure how to make, to create that business page, you can click on the help
button on Facebook or you can go to Facebook.com/pages/create. There is also a website that walks through
how to create every major social platform. It’s called Socialquickstarter.com. It’s free,
a lot of really neat videos, how to’s, screen capture. I will repeat it, Socialquickstarter.com,
free on this entire world, walks you through all of this. Completely fill out all the information
so people have all your contact information, add your logo and a cover photo so looks professional
and it looks branded. Once you’re up and running, we got to let people know that you’re there.
If you do an email, you let people know that you’ve been on social.
You include this social icons in your emails. It could be on your store or your office.
You could have a poster on the walls that puts your Twitter handle, post your Twitter
handle. Make it easy, it could be the end of the cash register receipt. It could be
the end of a recording they get on your post. Hey, we’re open 9 to 5, Monday through Friday,
follow us on twitter, our handle is, R-O-N-C-A-T-E-S. Certainly on your website and on every page
of your website, in a prominent location. Now, the reason I say every page is today
with really good search engines like Bing, people don’t come to your home page automatically
anymore, they might come to any page where ever the most relevant content is.
They’re coming to your home page, less than half the time. This has to be on every page.
Your social icons. The sign up for our email list and anytime you do an event, talk about
it even in your business cards, you should be talking about it. Let me show you something
… This is a Constant Contact email. When you send this email out, your recipients,
the people who receive your email can actually share that email on their social networks
just by clicking on a button. We know that last year, their return on investment on email
is incredibly high. We’re seeing up to 60% of increase in reach by adding this social
share button. Now, even your email content can be shared by everyone on their social
networks, the variability has gone insane. Any where you connect people, you can connect
via social or even in your email list. I can say hey, on Twitter, in tomorrow’s email
newsletter, we have an interview with this famous person, click here to sign up. Again,
I can make the variability that’s easy by anywhere I connect, I make it easy to follow
me in social or sign up for my email list, and feel free to start posting. Actually start
posting content, don’t be afraid, you’re not going to break it. You’re not going to break
Facebook. Use that 50/20/30 rule, I told you about to use those questions or just ask your
audience. Ask them a question. Do a live a poll or online survey. Find out what content
they’re most interested in. You’ll find out immediately by the results, by the engagement
but ask them what sort of content they’re most interested in, you had expertise, ask
them what it is you would like them to talk about.
What questions do you have about my new product or what questions do you have about this service
or if I’m a travel agent, what’s your favorite destination. When they answer that, you can
start to give more complete information about that destination. I know that many of you
have unlimited time. I was a small business owner. I’m going to say spend 10 or 15 minutes,
2 or 3 days a week. Actually, take 10 minutes to plan what you’re going to post during the
week. It doesn’t happen haphazardly so here is a week, a Facebook post. Monday, you just
saw it, I’m going to post in the morning, it’s just a motivational quote that I find
to get people up and running on Monday. Tuesday is did you know or here is some tips, I’m
going to show off some thought leadership for curated content.
Wednesday could be, fill in the blank or ask a question. Thursday could be somewhat promotional,
we’re having a sale. Friday could be a fun fact. Rather than have this happen randomly,
actually have a plan. There are some really neat tools out there that are free. That allow
you to create all your post at one time and schedule, what you got during week so I’m
going to mention one of my favorites. It’s called Hootsuite. That’s H-O-O-T-S-U-I-T-E,
hootsuite.com. They have a free version and a more robust version that you pay for but
even the free version allows you to monitor all their social sites on 1 page and it allows
you to create posts that go out in the future. If I only have 10 minutes, Sunday night, I
can say, I want this post to go to Twitter on Tuesday at 10 AM.
I want this one to go to Facebook and LinkedIn on Wednesday and you can do it all at one
time. Instead of having to post that go out all at the exact same moment, you can spread
them out during the week. Resources, we got of really neat things for you, local live
events. We love everything the SBA and SCORE does. SCORE has local workshops. Most of those
were free so does the SBAC. Microsoft has amazing free seminars at the stores throughout
the country. Constant Contact, we have to do live events across the entire country.
We have a few hundred people doing live free seminar that you can go to and learn about
social media, email marketing, SEO and it cost you nothing, presented by experts and
this is how you can find those. When you get the slides later, you can just
click on these links. Now, I am ready for questions. I made sure, I had lots of time
to answer almost anything you’d want to throw at me so whoever is going to take care of
it, I think it’s Andrea. Let me know what’s some of the hottest topics are.
Andrea: All right. We have lots of questions that have come in already. If you have more
questions, you can go ahead and put those in the chat feature now. Keith say …
Ron: By the way, I know we’re not going to have time to answer every questions but I’m
pretty sure, we’re going to be doing this on an ongoing basis and we’re going to have
more webinars so stay tuned. Andrea: Great, Keith says, “In starting a
new business with no Facebook or Twitter presence, should you develop an initial presence via
personal account, the business accounr or both? What is the danger of mixing them up?”
Ron: With Facebook … Facebook requires you to create a personal profile. To be technically
after it, they do have the option to create what they call a business account but it’s
very limited, it doesn’t require personal profile but it’s missing a lot of features.
The way that they want me to do it and the way I recommend you to do it is you create
your personal profile and create a separate business page. The personal profile is for
the fun stuff of social media. I mean, you can put up a picture of your dog or a video
of your cat or connect with someone from college. It’s not really about marketing. Your personal
profile, that’s going to be how you connect with your friends, your family. Your business
page is where you can do marketing. There is a difference between social media
which is fun and a good way to connect with your friends and family. Social media marketing
was just how do I move the dollar from my business. I’m always going to try to do both
and I’m going to have a business page separate and I’m going to keep all my business stuff
there. Then, my personal stuff is going to stay personal. You got to be really careful
sometimes about what you post. I mean, I’m not going to talk about sports, politics or
religion because even though it sounds ridiculous, if people don’t like your sports team, they
might not buy from you. In my personal profile, I can talk about all these things and have
all the arguments I want. On my business page, I’m going to keep it just a touch more blend
unless those areas are my business. A couple of years ago, I got invited to speak
at one of the largest gathering of rabbis on earth and I know nothing about rabbiing
but I told them it would be okay if they post it about religion on social media network.
Andrea: Kerri says, “I’m a novice on Facebook so please be gentle. How do I direct share
contents so that it appears on my business page?”
Ron: When you find something that you want to share, some of the tools make it really
easy like Hootsuite makes it really easy to share a content but if you’re not using a
tool like that, all you have to do is copy the website address, the URL of that content.
When you’re looking in a browser like Explorer and you’re reading the content that you want
to share, up at the top, there is the website address for that content, you copy that and
you can paste that and you can post that into Facebook and share that content or you can
actually post that to Twitter. In both cases too, they have an option where it’s actually,
they can shrink that wall if the URL is really, really long.
They can shrink it, Hootsuite will do this as well. It will shrink that and make it something
smaller and easier so you don’t use up all of your characters, just with the website
address. You actually have time to add a few comments about it.
Andrea: Ron, I think you answered this earlier but Laura says, “Wondering your tips on gaining
followers on these platforms when you’re just starting out without having to say something
like buy now or like me.” Ron: There are tools out there and Constant
Contact has one. There are similar ones out there on the market as well, that make it
easier to get Facebook likes. We call ours, social campaigns and here is how it works.
It essentially creates a like gate for Facebook. When I go to your Facebook page, if you’re
using this tool, it says, if you hit the Like button, you get this. It unlocks content.
That could be a coupon but usually it’s going to be like some downloadable contents, some
insight or advice or tips. It could be a video. What I’m finding that people are more likely
to become engaged, if it’s educational content then a financial offer. People today were
engaged, more likely to engage, if it’s insight or information, it makes me feel like I’m
part of the team, as suppose to just a discount. A calligraphy store last year said, “Hey,
if you click the like button, you download 10 really great calligraphy tips.” They did
like $3,500 in business in the 1st 48 hours including that. Really powerful way to get
likes. Here is the good news, people will never hit the like button no matter what incentive
you give them, if they’re not truly a fan, because they put in their entire reputation
on the line to their entire network. Giving them incentive makes it more likely they’re
going to hit it but the results are the same as if they hit it organically or naturally.
They become more likely to recommend you through friends and more likely to buy from you again.
Facebook like button is true measurable engagement today. Engagement has evolved.
Andrea: Great. Mirriam says, “What are your thoughts on Google Plus on Business and other
platforms for small businesses?” Ron: I think Google Plus has incredible potential.
I think out of all the social platforms today, it probably has the highest potential. It
really hasn’t quite taken off yet. Now, that doesn’t mean it has no impact. It has some
but it doesn’t have as much impact as it could. I would say, where I would invest my time,
I would create a Google Plus page, I’d fill everything out. I’d had my stuff there. I
provide some content to it on occasion. It’s probably not where I would put the bulk of
my time, energy and resources but I would put some there and if it takes off that way,
I’m ready to go. I wouldn’t ignore it and I wouldn’t pretend it’s not there because
again, it has … the potential, to have incredible impact, specially on SEO and being found so
many really neat things. I’m going to create a presence. Today is probably not where I’m
going to put all my time and energy but I’m going to put some.
Andrea: Great. Brian says, “What is the experience with paid ads on Facebook? Is it worth it?”
Ron: Yeah. So far, we’re seeing pretty good return on investment on Facebook ads. There
is a big, it depends. Obviously, you don’t have a lot of characters to play with. It
needs to have a great call to action. The neat part is it gets targeted. Today, fewer
and fewer people are seeing their Facebook post, they have an algorithm, that only shows
it to the people that are most engaged with you. Whereas when you pay for an ad, more
people see it. As of today, we’re seeing pretty decent return on investment on paid Facebook
advertising. Now as it becomes more popular, it will become more expensive but that’s in
the future so today, I say experiment with it on a limited basis and see what sort of
return you’ll get. It is absolutely, definitely worth the experiment.
Andrea: Great. I’m going to combine a few questions here. Timothy says, “I’ve read that
it’s wise to post to Facebook at the same time. For instance, I do it from my trader
session between 9 and 9:30 most weekend” and the other part of that question is “Would
you post the same content on all of your Facebook sites or social sites at the same time?”
Ron: Yeah. I would post all the content just as a time saving. The reality is that each
social platform has a little bit different personality to it and if you’re being a perfectionist,
you would carry it accordingly. The reality is you have very little time as a small business
owner. You might end up posting the exact same stuff. Now, obviously, it’s going to
have to be shortened … if I have 5 paragraphs on Facebook, I can’t put 5 paragraphs on Twitter.
I’m going to have to go in and convince some of that content. I do believe that you should
re-purpose a content. I do believe it’s okay to post a multiple platforms but I would do
so cautiously and I would try to tailor some of it to fit the personality of that platform.
I’d also be careful that I’m not posting the same amount of time.
I’m going to post much more often on Twitter than I am on Facebook and if I would have
post the same, I wouldn’t be having enough engagement on Twitter or I’d be having way
too much on Facebook. Andrea: There is one more question. The question
says, “Based on your experience, do we need to register to all the most important social
sites, like Facebook, Twitter?” Ron: I think that if there is a social site,
you’ve heard of and it’s free, I know that majority of them are free, I would at least
register for them. It would take you about 5 minutes and grab your name or your business
name so that if that platform takes off and becomes important, you’re already going to
have a presence there and you’re not going to worry about securing your business name
as a handle. Andrea: Great, so I think it was that.
Ron: Yeah. I saw some questions about what time of the day, what day of the week? Social
tends to have impact 24/7. Weekends have a little bit higher engagement and you’re 5
times more likely to get reposted Thursday and Friday between 4 and 6 PM. That doesn’t
mean that’s the only time I’m going to post because that it’s so transparent what you’re
trying to do. I would post consistently throughout the week that I’d make sure I hit those times.
Now, think about that for a second, Thursday and Friday between 4 and 6 PM. Where are most
people, not small business owners but most people, they’re at work but they have shut
down for the day. Now, they’re on Facebook and Twitter goofing around. That’s the reason
you see so much traffic there, huge traffic spikes, whenever people at work is supposed
to be working but they’re goofing off. Thursday, Friday between 4 and 6, great time. Close
that Andrea. Andrea: Yeah. I will. I think we’re out of
time Ron. Ron: No, way. I’m ready to go for another
2 hours. We’re going to go for now. I love the SBA. This is has been a really … and
I love Microsoft. This has been a great partnership. I’ve had a blast and obviously, we have, way,
way, way more content. I can tell by the millions of questions that we’re getting. Look out
for more. Andrea: Emily, do you want to wrap things
up here? Emily: Absolutely. Thank you to all of our
speakers and thank you so much in the audience for joining us today.