If you haven’t heard of Shannon Kinney, she’s an expert in the field of online marketing. She can tell you exactly what your business needs, where it’s golden and what’s lacking. Unfortunately, the consultation of a master doesn’t fit into everyone’s budget. I know first-hand how important online marketing is no matter what the size of your business.
Kinney recently spilled some fantastic tips on how to beef up your online marketing efforts. She’s the founder of Dream Local Digital, which helps businesses across the nation start or improve online marketing. Kinney sat down with the Southeast Missouran and talked about easy tricks you can use today. Who says nothing is free?
It’s All About Planning
Kinney is adamant that a business plan should include online marketing and social media campaigns. It doesn’t matter if you’re a group of attorneys starting a new firm or sell tulip bulbs. Business plans have evolved and have to encompass the virtual world. Kinney suggests including what sites appeal to your target market and a solid list of messages.
It’s also critical to include the protocol for replying to messages. Kinney’s business works with businesses to develop and execute these plans, but you can do it yourself if it’s not in the budget. You (hopefully) know your business better than anyone, including a marketing whiz. As someone who’s started a small business, I know it can be daunting, but it’s a must.
Avoid These Faux Pas
You know social media and online marketing are important. However, Kinney says she keeps seeing the same mistakes time and again. Business owners just aren’t accepting how important these avenues are and aren’t committing. You can’t just toss up a Facebook business page and call it good. It requires constant management and improvement.
Another big mistake Kinney sees is businesses not listening to consumers. No one likes to be criticized and remember: You can’t please everyone. However, I recommend always replying to suggestions and comments. If a customer has a gripe, do everything plausible to fix the problem.
The Soft and Slow Approach
It’s tempting to go for the hard sale, especially on sites like Twitter. However, Kinney recommends switching it up. Mixing in some soft sales and working on engaging your audience is important in social media, too. Building relationships is the essence of social media even if it’s all taking place virtually.
I’ve been charged with building social media presence for a number of companies. It’s astonishing how flippant some owners are about this very important outlet. Social media requires just as much finesse, planning and dedication as traditional marketing tactics. Overlooking or dismissing social media can cause disastrous results and cause you to miss out on a huge market.