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Local Marketing and the Future of Your Small Business

I recently attended a conference that was focused on all things that had to do with Local Marketing and the web as we know it right now, and what’s to come in the near future. It was three days of speakers, videos and PowerPoint presentations along with lots of networking. Which was worth the trip alone…hint, hint, hint.

Of all the topics that were presented, three hit home with me and today I am going to share with you one of those three. It was titled ‘Local Social’ and it is what local marketers will either embrace or be left in a ghost town.

Local marketing and the ability to utilize the web have come light years in the last ten years. I wonder what it would have been like at The Tiny Store to have such awesome tools  and avenues to develop and grow business? We’ll never know or maybe we will…

Web two point oh is now evolving to another level and engaging the searcher like never before. You probably already know this but I’m going to dig in and cover it anyway.

Search engines are starting to embrace the patterns and behaviors of us humans, aka the searcher. Combine this with the social media element and you have a very interesting chemistry that brings forth a new way of doing business.

This also brings even more to the surface as we become inundated with more and more information.

Thus the ‘Local Social’ comes into play and as we meld the search engine with social sites and other citation/review sites. Now it’s a little more complex than that but hopefully you get the picture.

It’s a new day for the offline small business that relies on the local folk for their livelihood!

So if you run and operate a small business that relies on the surrounding local community, then listen up and pay attention for a few more minutes, because this is serious stuff!

1. If you desire to attract and capture new searchers and visitors – you need to develop as many positive testimonials and citations (reviews) as possible.

2. You need to make sure you are listed on ALL of the local directories.

3. You must take action now and not delay another day!

Why you ask?

Because the race is on and the small business owner does the work and works the plan will be the one who rises to the top and dominates in his or her local marketplace. Yes, that’s the way it’s going to be moving forward. But now the small business can go head to head with the big national box and can stay out in front and win!

Guerilla tactics are us! (Thank you Jay Conrad Levinson)

Now there is more to these steps, if you are curious to find out – check in at SBM and see if the “Local Social Plan” for Small Business Owners is still available. Depending on when you read this, it may or may not be still on the market.

So waste not any time my faithful reader. Take action now and go make it happen.

Stay tuned and plugged in,

Dave Krygier

Social Media Madness

Today is one of those days where I’m going to step out of the norm and touch on the subject of social media and specifically social media madness. 

Let me first say this – I’m no social media ‘expert’, yet… But I have studied, tested some, used different channels and followed a few of the top marketers on the web who specialize in social media.

So I continue to learn, test and be open minded to all things social and since I’m not your typical type that loves socializing, this topic is one that takes more work than others.

This leads me to the guts of my post today…

Social media has a strong foothold on the web today. There’s no arguing this fact. 
What has yet to be seen is monetizing social media and that’s where the madness comes into play. Because more and more businesses are spending time and money on social media, yet do they have a real plan or understand how to monetize their efforts?

This is where testing comes in and in my opinion not enough small businesses test or survey enough when it comes to online and offline marketing.

Test, Test, Test…

My first social media test proved that the book marking sites like Digg and StumbleUpon, along with help from Twitter, will work if you create the right content and know how to post it.

Since I’m a firm believer that one should work in his or her strength areas and leave the rest to others, I actually hired a ‘social media specialist’ who was really a Facebook specialist at the time and pretty good at it.

This person was good at connecting and we learned together about the other social media outlets while I footed the bill.

This was an expensive test for me but turned out to be well worth it, because it taught me the value in the other social media sites outside of FB and TW. Plus it showed me the power of using FB for tele-seminars and future webinars.

As a small business person you always need to be looking at ways to increase sales while retaining customers and clients. Social media can work for you especially if you understand how each of these outlets work.

They are all unique and different so you have to understand how they function and best suite your needs.

After all, you are in business to make a profit and the last thing you want to do is waste precious time posting, tweeting, re-tweeting, posting some more, only to find yourself in a spiraling cycle.

You can post on as many walls as you want, tweet till the cow’s come home, and post article after article. But in the end ( or whatever time frame you determine), if you ain’t makin’ any money and new clients or customers are not coming your way, then you are simply wasting your time. 

Conclusion –

1. Have a plan for your social media endeavors. This means you’ll need to determine how each outlet is going to work for your business. DO NOT WING IT!

2. If you choose to hire a social media expert, make sure he or she knows how to each and every social media channel and have proven results with existing or past clients. 

3. Study the best of the best and learn from their mistakes. 

4. Test, Test, Test and continue to test and survey your prospects and clients.

5. Track your results and adjust your plan accordingly.

Ok – off my soap box.

Tomorrow we’ll return with our regularly scheduled program of posts having to do with small business marketing, sales and client retention.

Until then,

Dave Krygier

PS – If your small business is struggling to increase sales and revenues, contact The SmallBiz Mechanic