This week I had a wonderful telephone catch up with an old university friend, Charlie. It had been ten years since we had been at university together, and four years since the last time that we met in London. I always love to meet up with people who are on the same wavelength and have a good chinwag.
What was fantastic about our catch-up conversation was the way that we realise the parallels between both of our lives since graduation. We both travelled a lot and we both set up our own home-based business. How we laughed when we told each other, especially at the way that we had both used our surnames – Charlie had set up minty systems and my own business was Trumpeter Media!
And there it was…the best thing that had been said to me in a business conversation for a long time…
‘I worked for a company called Top Banana. They sent me to Dubai to dress up as Batman!’
After a long and exciting discussion about home based businesses, Charlie inspired me to write a blog on marketing your home-based business on social media.
Remember that when you set up your social media accounts for your home-based business, you will need to have the money and also the time to invest in the running of the accounts. Many people jump in at the deep end, try to manage too many social media accounts, and end up getting stressed and overburdened. This often leads to one of two things….
Either they close all of their social media accounts completely, and miss out on a extremely beneficial way of advertising, or they leave the accounts unmanaged giving a bad reputation for their business. Of course, neither of these are good!
When you start out marketing your home based business on social media, you may be better off starting with two business accounts, such as a basic business Twitter and Facebook account. If you can stretch to a third platform, Google Plus might be advantageous because it helps with SEO (search engine optimisation).
You will need to research whether these are the best platforms to use, but as a general rule, one or two accounts are enough to manage in the initial stages. As you become more comfortable with social media, you can add more accounts as time goes on and your business grows.
Yes! My best advice for those of you who are starting to market your home based business on social media is to get a strategy plan. Strategy plans don’t have to be extensive and costly. You can actually put together your own strategy plan by answering a few simple questions and summarising your answers on one page of A4.
1. Where are my customers, and which social media platform should I use?
2. What is it that I want to get out of my social media marketing? New customers? Referrals? Increased awareness of the brand online?
3. How much money and time do I have to spend managing social media accounts?
4. Who will manage my accounts and hold the password?
5. What is my social media voice?
6. How will I handle online complaints or a social media crisis?
7. How frequently will I post or Tweet?
8. Which other businesses and professional do I want to connect with?
Once you have decided upon which accounts to use and have a strategy plan in place, you are ready to start marketing your home based business on social media.
The main mistake that home based businesses make when marketing on social media is that they overly promote. Too much ‘me, me, me’ will be very off-putting. Try to remember the ‘social’ element to social media. Mix in the odd post or tweet about product or services with free information and social posts.
You can also use social media for networking. Running a home based business can sometimes be very lonely. People in a similar business may turn out to be excellent friends and mentors. By connecting with other businesses, you can give each other referrals and support.
It is easy to isolate yourself and hide behind a computer when you run your own home based business. Try to connect online to the real world by attending networking events and following up with social media connections.
You can also use your social media accounts for good customer service. By listening to your customers through social media such as Twitter, you can gain both positive and negative feedback. You can then act on this feedback either to thank them, or get it put right.
If you are interested in further reading about marketing your home based business through social media, I highly recommend The New Relationship Marketing by Mari Smith and Likeable Social Media by Dave Kerpen. They are easy to read and will help your social media boom!
You can also sign up to the Trumpeter Media mailing list to receive your FREE social media Podcast.
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