Welcome to Spark Bits Weekly where I ask a panel of homeprenuers a blazing question about running and growing their business from home.
Today’s Q is:
In the ever-changing landscape of social media, what strategies and networks do you find are working best for growing your home-based business?
Stephanie L. Watson from Barry Publishing says:
I have found that the very best social media strategy for growing my business is to use all the social media of which I am a part to share information, blog posts, articles, and products that are based on my website or blog.
In other words, everything I post on social media should “technically” go back to my website. I don’t always accomplish that, because face it; social media is a huge distraction. But, it’s the goal and the best way to use social media to promote my business. (Where did 2 hours go?)
IMO, the entire point of social media marketing is to help me get traffic to my products and services — not get likes, followers, and friends on social media — although that is nice too. I just have to be very careful and limit my time on social media so that I am not too distracted.
Reba Collins from PLR One Stop says:
Social media is tough for me. Since I still work a fulltime job, there’s just not much time left to spend cultivating relationships on social media sites. I have a Facebook page, Twitter account, and Pinterest but I only give my time to Facebook and even then, it’s limited. Because of my time constraints, I use social media to advertise in order to build my list instead of depending on it for organic growth. Currently I only use Facebook ads and I pay close attention to how they perform. Each week I try to tweak my ad a little to get better and better conversion rates. I’m still not where I want to be with the conversion but it’s much better than it was when I first started. Practice and testing makes perfect!
Brenda Trott from Done4UMedia Marketing says:
One of the on-going conversations I have with my clients is that if they want to be FOUND on-line, they need to BE on-line. Sometimes, though, we forget to take our own advice! That happened to me when someone noticed that I offer all of these done-4-u services to get others found on-line, but I didn’t do it for myself.
They challenged me to do it for myself for 30 days. I only lasted 15, but the results were fantastic. Here is how you can do it too:
- Write one blog post on your own website every day.
- Create one additional piece of content a day…a mini podcast, an article for an article directory, a video, or a guest blog post.
- Syndicate what you’ve created. I use Onlywire to syndicate my material and also selectively share content to groups I belong to on LinkedIn and other networking sites where my clients hang out.
Once you get the hang of it, it takes less than an hour to create your content and syndicate it.
Jessica Lee from Psychic Readings Guide says:
Without a doubt, the best social network for me has been Facebook. Not only am I able to bring traffic to my site when I post articles to my Facebook page, I have also built some wonderful relationships with clients and other people in my niche.
I can’t necessarily say that I have a strategy other than being myself. I make sure to take the time to read each and every comment that is left on my page and interact with the people who follow the page. The experience has been overwhelmingly positive and, even with over 6,000 followers, I feel as though it is an intimate enough setting to get to know people. I love to post questions on my page and it’s come to the point that, when I post a question, I’ll think to myself, “I wonder what _____” will say about this. I love it! It’s like an extended family.
Last year, before I started getting a lot of traffic to my site, I gained many new clients through Facebook. People got to feel that they knew me and could trust me. It’s been a great experience and I’ve been pleasantly surprised with the depth of some of the connections I’ve made. This year, I’ve started connecting with other “soulpreneurs” on Facebook and that is really enjoyable as well!
I set up a Twitter account last month and plan to set up Google+ next month. To be honest though, I’m glad that I’ve spent an entire year focusing solely on Facebook because it’s given me a good, firm foundation in social networking with a fantastic tribe of people that I’ve come to really enjoy.
One thing that I would tell people is not to worry so much about your number of followers. Focus on building relationships with people and, when others see that you are genuine, your social following will grow organically.
Social media took the world of marketing (as we knew it) for a spin and changed the name of the game. In this new socially connected world, it seems like every time you blink, someone discovers a new social network faster than you can keep up with saying the word “social.” But with that also comes the reality of dealing with maintaining the attention of your followers in addition to your own focus. Let’s be real. It can be easy to get distracted with what’s shining in the periphery even when things are popping right in front of you.
I asked the panel this question for several reasons. One, because in my quest to find a system for social media marketing that works, there’s this little voice of “reason” in the back of my mind that tells me that by the time I finally get it, my method will be old news. Secondly, as some of our members described, it is darn difficult at times to stick to your guns and be consistent when there are so many aspects to keep tidy as a solo homepreneur.
To bring light to my first point, consider this study I came across about the fate of Facebook. In it, Princeton describes how Facebook’s estimated usage will drop by 80% by the year 2017. Although, in Facebook’s defense, some may argue that the questionable methodology used in this research would produce dubious results for any organization – including and in particular for Princeton University.
It is true that it’s important to stay on top of the trends. After all, the customers do seem to be one step ahead. But in all the social media research I’ve done in order to grow my budding business, one thing’s pretty consistent across the board. And that is – engagement. Customers want to be part of the conversation. As a marketer, engaging them plus offering solutions to a real problem seems to be the recipe for success.
So if you cultivate relationships fruitfully with your followers on social media, would the actual platform carry any weight or will they “like” you regardless?