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By Sarah Mote
January 31, 2014

Growing Your Business with Social Media

marketing is all about getting customers, right? But when I think of the word “getting,” I think of going to the grocery store and getting the items on my list. Customers are not objects that we “get" You don’t pull a customer off the shelf and put them in your cart. Customers are people, and people want to be listened to, engaged with--not talked at.

Earlier this week, Kimberly Beer’s seminar “Grow Your Business with Social Media and Email marketing” hosted at the Kansas City Chamber of Commerce showed attendees how social media lets us interact with customers. With social media, instead of pitching a product, you’re starting a conversation. Instead of selling, you’re educating. Instead of building a company, you’re creating a movement.

For social media, “getting” becomes more about understanding your customers and creating relationships with them, rather than collecting them.

Here are three more takeaways from Beer’s seminar:

  1. Barter for better karma and EdgeRank.
    According to Beer, less than 15% of your business page’s Facebook fans will see your posts. That doesn’t mean that they missed it. That means it never appeared in their new feeds at all. 

    Her recommendation: boost your presence on Facebook by finding other complementary businesses that are willing to share and like your posts. And then do the same for them.

    Maybe you have a hotel business near the Legends Outlets, you could "like" and "comment" on posts by Schlitterbahn, Sporting KC or the Kansas City Speedway. In return, they like and share your posts.

    The result: You build EdgeRank to help boost your visibility, you help provide value for your customers by showing other entertainment opportunities near you, and you help another fellow small business in the process.
  2. Less is more.
    It’s may be annoying to see 10 posts a day about your cousin’s new baby. But here's the reality: that baby will always be cuter and more interesting than anything your business is going to pump out 10 times a day.

    So resist the urge to binge post.

    Beer recommends posting three to five times per week for Facebook. Otherwise, you run the risk of customers "unliking" you. However, it’s acceptable to post five times per day on Twitter and Pinterest.

    The lesson: know your medium (and how folks use it) when you’re deciding how much to message.
  3. Image is everything.
    Users engage more with posts that include images or videos than those that don't. Beer says posts on Facebook that include a video have 100% more engagement, posts plus pictures have 120% more and posts plus photo albums have 180% more engagement. Use pictures to help attract people to your message, but do be sure you own or have the commercial rights to use any photos you post.

Ready to learn more about how social media can grow your business? Check out these upcoming classes: 

Tuesday, Feb 04
Make the Connection: Using LinkedIn to Build Your Business & Career Webinar

Thursday, February 13
Essential Social Media for Business

Wednesday, February 19
Small Business Internet Basics: Websites, Social Networks, Search Engine Optimization, and Ads

Content contributed by Sarah Mote, Kimberly Beer, and Ashley Anderson

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