For start-up businesses or those that haven’t yet explored Internet marketing, social media can be a nagging proposition.  After all, there is email marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC), and much more that is involved – and that leaves one big avenue left with social media.  Yet, small businesses owners only have so many hours in the day.  Its hard enough, as Internet marketing consultants to get our clients to blog.  Now we are telling them to spend more time creating online communities and content distribution channels via social networking websites.  There are only so many hours in a day.

It doesn’t have to be that difficult.  By making a plan and sticking to it, you can get started on social media in a short amount of time.  Here are four tips that are worth mentioning:

  1. Get Customers to Your Pages: You have to create that connection.  Links on your website is probably the best way to do so, but don’t forget about business cards and email – as well as when you network.  The next frontier in Intern marketing optimization is merging offline business marketing strategy with a company’s online marketing and viability goals.  So, finding ways to leverage your print materials and other offline resources is key.
  2. Expand: The big three are Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, but expanding could help you reach your target audience better.  From Pinterest for visuals to Digg & Reddit to trendy topics, the sky is the limit.  Don’t overreach yourself, though.  With a little research and maybe even some SEO consulting help, you can identify those social networks that are most likely to give a high ROI for the time you spend.
  3. Respond to Everything: Interaction is crucial with social media.  Respond quickly to comments and questions.  Remember that you represent your company in each and every interaction.  Make a great impression and do it quickly.
  4. Have an Ongoing Plan: Will you need to assign someone to watch over your accounts?  If you don’t have the time or expertise, this as a reality.  Whatever choice you make, ensure that your social media accounts stay active and fresh. Also, don;t be a victim of your own success.  What happens if your SEO and social media investment really pay off?  Do you have the resources to be able to take on the new business?  What about inquiries from new buyers outside of your traditional geographic scope?  developing a plan that includes contingencies is a key part of any marketing strategy – social media marketing is no different.

Utilize these tips as you prepare to make noise on social media.  With a little bit of content marketing and great visuals, you can “wow” your customers while increasing revenues.