Social Media

Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, What’s Next?

by Joe B on September 24, 2009

Okay, so you understand that blogging and social media are great tools to grow your business. You have personas all over the internet. How do you pull it all together?

The best suggestion I have seen is to have a home base for all of your “personalities” to land. A website is a great landing spot for your home base. You can have links and feeds from all of your online personas in one spot!

Picture it. You have a site that has your blog feed, your Twitter feed, your Fadebook feed all in one place, along with information about your business, about you and what you do. Your feeds back up what you are saying on your site and what you say on your site backs up what you are saying in your blog and at all those social media sites.

Now, you are not only reaching others who are participating in social media, but, those that are not as well. Believe it or not, there are still some of those people out there. There are also a lot of people who have joined social media sites, but, only go there once a month or less. Who is reaching them?

Pulling it all together with a website home base is a great solution.


Think You Have Social Media Experience?

by Christi on April 15, 2009

From Marketing Sherpa:

SUMMARY: Two-thirds of marketers who work for organizations that have not used any form of social media marketing or PR consider themselves “very knowledgeable” or “somewhat knowledgeable” about this emerging strategy. Their overconfidence in unproven ability can doom social media initiatives to failure.


The chart and the summary help us understand that the difference of having a profile on Facebook or tweeting on Twitter and having expertise in social media marketing are very different things.

Exposure to social media doesn’t mean expertise in social media marketing. “This was confirmed in Marketing Sherpa’s Social Media Marketing and PR study where we found that the “lack of knowledgeable staff” was the most significant barrier to social media adoption.”

The study found that a better approach to adopting social media was to work with people who specialize in social media strategies and who understand what works and doesn’t work in social media. Also according to Marketing Sherpa, “They can help you plan an effective strategy, train your internal resources and supplement your staff with the specialized skills needed to execute social media programs successfully. When it comes to social media marketing, an investment in expertise will insure a rapid return.”

Good advice.


Is Your Business on Facebook?

by Christi on April 8, 2009


Way back when we did the 5 things concerning social media we discussed Facebook. I encouraged you to check out Facebook, set up a Facebook account and join a few groups. Now it is time to set up a page for your business on Facebook.  Facebook has changed a little since that last article. You can now set up a page by clicking on “applications” at the bottom of the page and then choosing “ads and pages.” Follow the instructions to set up your page.

This is an opportunity for your business to reach even more people. Hopefuly, by now you have been building up your network of friends on Facebook and you can invite all of them the check out your business page and become fans.

Something else you can try is setting up a group. We recently set up a group called “The Beautiful Twin Lakes Area of Arkansas”. People can join this group and promote their events and happenings in the area. I live in a retirement and tourist area so this was a great vehicle to help promote the area (and our businesses) to a larger group.

With the fastest growing demographic on Facebook being people over 30, it is likely that your customers are there. If they are there, you should be too.


Is Static Media Dead?

by Christi on March 30, 2009


If it’s not, it is getting close. I was talking to a client yesterday who told me about the Arkansas Governor’s Conference, where they pounded static media being dead in their heads for four days. They weren’t just talking. If you look on Facebook, you are able to friend Arkansas Tourism, Arkansas State Parks and more. Good for them.

Does anyone look at ads in the newspaper anymore? I know I don’t and I know my 70 year old mother doesn’t. I’m sure someone must because people are still running ads in newspapers. When you are looking for a product, do you turn on the TV and hope that an informational ad for that product will come on? That just doesn’t make sense when you can Google the product and find lots of information from several sources.

Okay, the more I write the more I think, yes, static media, if not dead, is gasping its last.


2009 Small Business Trends

by Christi on March 26, 2009

Before the current administration took office, Emergent Research detailed it’s 10 top business trends. While it would have been difficult to foretell what would happen, they have done a pretty good job.  Opportunity looks good for businesses that are innovative and take advantage of strategies that include online marketing:

Economic Trends

1.  The Recession Drives Small Business Innovation: With the economy mired in a deep recession, small businesses will focus on cash flow, cost containment, customer retention and survival.  But economic stress will also lead to a wave of small business innovation.  Driven by the need to improve productivity and increase customer value, small businesses will re-evaluate, re-design and refine their products, processes and business models.  Despite the adverse economic climate, innovation will create new opportunities for many small businesses.

2.  Government Plays an Increasing Role in the Economy:   Economic turmoil, corporate malfeasance and regulatory failure are leading to much greater government intervention in the economy.  While we believe that the long term, global trend towards market capitalism continues to be strong, governments around the world will take a more active role in managing and regulating their economies.  Small businesses will need to be aware of federal, state and local government policy and programs changes and their impacts.

3.  Global Infrastructure Spend:  President-elect Obama and his transition team are preparing a massive, $850 billion economic recovery package.  China, Japan, the EU and other countries are also developing large infrastructure spending programs.  In the US bridges and roads, alternative energy, transportation, clean tech and education will likely see substantial federal spending increases with the impacts likely being felt in the second half of 2009.  Small businesses will benefit directly through government contracting programs targeted at them and indirectly through providing goods and services to larger firms.

4.  The Number of Small Businesses Will Increase in 2009:  With job losses high and traditional employment options limited, many will turn to self-employment and small business in 2009.  The prior three recessions have seen small business formation rates increase.  And with it easier and cheaper than ever to start small or personal businesses, we expect a strong year for small business formation – especially personal businesses.  Failure rates will also increase, but not enough to offset the number of new small and personal businesses.

5.  Small Business Globalization Will Temporarily Slow:  While we believe the long- term trend towards small business globalization is still strong, we expect small business globalization to slow in 2009.  The primary reasons are the global economic slump, turmoil in currency markets and small businesses focusing on local markets.  We expect small business exports to pick up in late 2009 as the global economy starts to recover.

Demographic Trends

6.  Baby Boomer Retirement Problems Will Lead to Increased Interest in Small Business:  We’ve long forecasted that baby boomers will stay in the workforce past the traditional retirement age.  Current economic turmoil makes this trend even stronger.  Baby boomer retirement has taken a series of major blows.  The value of their homes, retirement savings and inheritances has all declined substantially.   Many have lost or will lose their jobs.  Boomers will have to extend their working years and small and personal businesses will be their best, and in many cases, only option.

7.  Generation Y Will Turn to Small Business:  Gen Y will continue to be be more entrepreneurial than youth in recent generations.  The economic slump will make this trend stronger as many Gen Yers face limited traditional employment opportunities.  With their risks and opportunity costs relatively low, many Gen Yers will choose to start or work for small or personal businesses.

Technology Trends

8.  Mobile Computing Continues Strong Growth:  On our list last year, mobile computing is entering the US mainstream.  Notebooks outsold desktop PC’s in the second half of 2008, smart phones sales continued their rapid growth and millions of netbooks (very small personal computers designed primary for mobile internet access) were sold.   Adding the continued rapid growth of navigation systems, location-based services and mobile search results in mobile computing having a major impact on small businesses in 2009.

9.  Cloud Computing Continues Strong Growth:  Another trend that was on our 2008 key technology trends list.  Cloud computing offers too many small business benefits not to continue its strong growth in 2009.  In particular cloud computing lowers capital costs and turns fixed costs into variable costs – two powerful attributes that are very attractive in a down economy.

10.  Small Businesses Will Expand Their Use of Online Marketing Tools:  Despite the economic downturn, we expect the small business sector to increase its use of online marketing tools and methods in 2009.  Online marketing is cheaper and often more effective than traditional approaches.  And although online marketing can be complex, many tools and methods are accessible to DIY small business marketers.  With small businesses focused on customer acquisition and re-defining their business methods, we expect their use of online marketing to grow in 2009.


The More Things Change . . .

by Christi on March 23, 2009


Twenty years ago, could a business afford to be without a telephone? Of course not! However, before the telephone was invented people didn’t know any different. I’m sure there were businesses that were reluctant to adopt telephones when they were first being used by other businesses. I can hear them saying how much time the telephone would waste. How could they do business when they were having to answer the telephone all day? All the while, their competition was embracing the telephone and its ability to let them easily communicate with their customers.

Sounds absurd, doesn’t it? How could anyone not have realized that in order to do business they would need to adopt the latest technology of the telephone? Adding the ability to easily communicate with their customers was essential.

Fast forward to today. What is the latest? Social media for business. What are some businesses saying? How can I do business when I’m using social media all day? Sound familiar?

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Social Media Access

by Christi on March 20, 2009


A couple of days I posted an article about identity theft and social media. As you may recall, I added that I would post the question on a LinkedIn group. Within minutes, I had a response from Fred Held, Former Marketing and Operations Executive Mattel, McDonald’s and Burger King.

This made a good point. Through LinkedIn, I had access to professional knowledge that otherwise I would never have. While I was there, I saw a discussions on “If I loose my job during the recession, what will I do?”, “How is your business using social media” and more. These are great discussions and anyone can join. Are you taking advantage of this networking opportunity?

photo by Stephen Poff

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Social Networking and Identity Theft?

by Christi on March 18, 2009

You have probably learned to use a little caution by now. You look both ways before you cross the street, you lock your doors at night. You buckle your seat belt. We all do things to protect ourselves every day.

Our friend, Herb Lawrence, ASBTDC Director, recently did a seminar where the subject of identity theft with social networking came up. This poses an interesting question, “Is identity theft something I should worry about when using social networking?” The answer to this is that you should use caution, not just with social networking but when emailing, putting things in your mailbox, throwing away your trash, etc. Whatever you do, don’t miss the incredible opportunities offered by social networking out of fear. Identity thieves look for targets. Make yourself less of a target online by using your privacy settings and not giving out information that could be used against you. Here are a few tips:

  • Never, ever give out your social security or driver’s license numbers
  • Consider unique user names & passwords for each profile
  • Vary your passwords and change them regularly
  • Don’t give out your username & password to 3rd parties (even if it helps you connect to others and build your network
  • Avoid listing the following information publicly: date of birth, home address, year of high school or college graduation, primary email address
  • Assuming you plan to be active in social media, minimize the use of personal information on your profiles that may be used for password verification or phishing attacks
  • For password security verification questions, use a password for all answers (rather than the answer to a specific question)
  • Watch where you post and what you say, as it can be used against you later.
  • Google yourself regularly and monitor your credit

You can also sign up with identity theft protection services as added protection. Just like everywhere else in life, use caution but don’t live in fear. Social Media is a great tool for business.

For LinkedIn members, I’ll start a discussion on this topic in the LinkedBusiness and the ProMarketers groups. If you are not on LinkedIn, check back here for updates.

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Social Media Groups

by Christi on March 17, 2009


Social media groups are a great place to discuss new ideas with other people all around the world who are dealing with the same types of problems you face in your own business.

I am following a discussion on a LinkedIn group that I have joined called Linked Business. The question asked was this?

As small business owners, I just wanted to know if you are cutting costs and investing in marketing in this business environment. And if you do invest in marketing, what is important for you?

Industry leaders and business owners are joining the discussion with their own thoughts and insights. There are many such discussions going on within many groups. The groups I belong to are generally business and marketing oriented but there are groups for a wide variety of industries.

If your not already on LinkedIn, why don’t you sign up, join some groups and get involved in the conversation?


Norfork Lake near Mountain Home, Arkansas

Norfork Lake near Mountain Home, Arkansas

You are invited! These two upcoming seminars are a great low-cost opportunity to learn techniques to grow your business. They are both being held in beautiful Mountain Home, Arkansas which is located between beautiful Bull Shoals and Norfork lakes and surrounded by three rivers.

Don’t miss these opportunities!

Blogging and Social Networking for Business Profit

Small Businesses can Market Effectively… The key is finding unique and unconventional ways to GROW!  How would you like your product or service to be in the top 10 Internet search engines?  Did you know that many businesses have been quietly harnessing a new Internet technology to do just that?  This seminar business owners will:will introduce small business owners web logs (BLOGS) and social networking :

  • Get Introduction to web logs (Blogs) and Social Networking,
  • Learn simple, low-cost resources to position your product or service ahead of your competition,
  • Learn how your business can harness these tools to grow,
  • And Much More!

Successful entrepreneurs know how to tap into information that will allow them to grow their businesses.  Learn why blogging and social networking are becoming the NEW BUSINESS SKILLS OF THE DECADE!  Your Competitors are on line and communicating with customers You Should Be TOO!

Successful entrepreneurs know how to tap into information that will allow them to grow their businesses.  Learn why blogging and social networking are becoming the NEW BUSINESS SKILLS OF THE DECADE!  Your Competitors are on line and communicating with customers You Should Be TOO!

Event Info
Date:  Friday, March 20th
Time: 1-4:00 p.m.
Location: Room F308 FNBC Building ASU Mtn Home Campus
Registration Fee:   $49 per person
$35 for Chamber Members

Register at the ASU SBTDC  FOUR EASY WAYS!
Call:        (870) 972-3517
Fax:        (870) 972-3678
Mail:       ASU SBTDC P.O. Box 2650
State University, AR 72467
E-Mail:    [email protected]
On-Line: Training Schedule

Market Research for Small Businesses
Simple Tools for Every Business to GROW their Market!

Knowledge is Power… The right information at the right time is crucial to small business success.  In this 3 hour seminar find out how to tap into:

  • Industry Analysis Tools
  • Customer Segmentation Tools
  • Financial Benchmarking
  • Competitor Analysis with GIS Mapping
  • And Much More!

Successful entrepreneurs know how to tap into information that will allow them to apply simple market research techniques to grow their businesses.  Now these market research tools and much more is available to to help grow your business at low, even no cost through the ASU SBTDC.
Event Info
Date: Tuesday, March 24th
Time: 6-9 p.m.
Location: Baxter County Library
Registration Fee:   $35 per person
$20 for Chamber & Main Street Members
ASU Mountain Home Faculty, staff and students
receive ASU employee discount 50% of registration fee.
Register at the ASU SBTDC  FOUR EASY WAYS!
Call:        (870) 972-3517
Fax:        (870) 972-3678
Mail:       ASU SBTDC P.O. Box 2650
State University, AR 72467
E-Mail:    [email protected]
On-Line: Training Schedule