Hi, Bill Parlaman from and this is Video 6 of The Beginners Guide to Small Business Internet Marketing – How to Take Your Offline Business – Online.

Today I’m going to talk to you about social media and how to leverage social media in your business.

First, let’s define social media.

Social media is the ability for you, the business owner, to communicate with your customers online using various websites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and I’ll get in to those sites in a little bit as we get further into the video.

But first, I want to discuss some of the benefits of using social media in your business.

1. Benefits of Social Media:

a. Builds your online brand. The first benefit of social media is it helps build your online brand. Social media helps identify you with the products and services you sell and establishes you as the expert and the go to person in your market place or niche.

The more times people see you talking about your products and services, the more they will identify you with those products and services and as the expert.

b. Protects your online reputation. This is the new internet. This is the new World Wide Web and what people say about you online sticks and it’s around forever. So, leveraging social media sites to be able to manage your online reputation is really important. Let’s say someone write a negative review about you and your business.

It’s very easy now to go online and to answer that negative review with the positive comment to remedy that situation and to make that customers negative experience a positive one and then you can also do this in a public setting where other people can see how you solve that problem. So, online reputation in using social media is really important.

c. Builds customer loyalty and trust. The more times people see you out there online, interact with you, engage with you through social media websites, the more time it’s going to help build trust and loyalty with your products and brand.

In own average, it takes about 7 interactions between you and your customer before your customer feels comfortable buying from you especially online.

d. Allows you to “spy” on your competition. I don’t want to use spy as negative connotation but what it allows you to do is kind of like see what your competitors are doing.

You can join up with them on their social networks, see what kind of products, services and things that they’re doing online. And of course, you can improve upon that in order to establish you as the go to business in that market place or niche.

e. Builds Product Awareness. So, if your leveraging social media sites like Twitter or Facebook, you can talk about your products, explain different ways to use your products, better ways that people can leverage and utilize your products and you can do that online for people to see and you can interact with those people as well.

f. SEO. And our last video, we discussed about small business SEO but social media now, the websites itself, the Facebook and Twitter are very powerful sites. They tend to show very high in the search engines.

If you have a presence on a social media site using your business as the brand and the names and your social media count, there’s a very good chance that your social media site will show up high in the search engines for the products and services you sell. There are also some indications that the search engines are using social signals to indicate that your website has content and information that people all over the web love.

The more times that people visit your social sites, click the like button, share links on Facebook or make comments on your Youtube videos, the search engine tend to say “Hey, there’s a lot of chatter online about ABC brand. So, this must be a good brand and we want to show this higher in the search engines.”

g. Free market research. If you have an idea for new product or service, it’s very easy to pitch that on your social media sites and get immediate feedback because it’s social interaction and social media is very much instant clarification.

In other words, you put a comment out and mean time your customers respond right back. So, if you’re looking for ways to improve your products or to start a new product or service, social media is a great way to test those ideas.

h. Improves customer service. Again, you can interact with your customers, you can learn with your customers, saying about your products and your services and then you can interact with those customers and make your services that much better.

2. The Big 5!

So, let’s talked about the big 5 social media websites.

For the purposes of this video, we’re talking about the Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and Google Plus. These are the sites that I feel are a must for any small business owner coming online.

Facebook, you need to set up your personal profile, from there you want to set up a business page and anything that you do from a business stand point. You want to put that on your business page.

I recommend naming your page after your business and make sure you interact with your Facebook page regularly. Again, I recommend probably 3 or 4 post to your Facebook page and that should be good enough.

Setting up a Twitter account. Twitter is a micro blog. It allows you to used a hundred and forty characters and it’s a great way to communicate quick messages with your community and with your power. So, absolutely recommend Twitter.

Youtube is the second biggest search engine online now. It allows you to upload videos, your customers, products and other people in your community can comment on your videos.

Youtube is a great place to kick your products out there, your services, and show people how to use them. Inform people why should you used them and really demonstrate your expertise in the market place.

LinkedIn again is another social media site that you can go ahead and put your information on, interact and make great connections with other people in your market place or niche.

The new kid on the block is the Google Plus. I think you need to pay attention to Google Plus. Google Plus is the answer to Facebook. It’s Google’s answer to Facebook and it’s a really cool social media platform. I’m on it, I’m enjoying it.

Google Plus, is going to be the next big thing, right now as this video is being recorded, it’s not open to the public; only in the beta stages right now. It will still soon open to the public and I think that’s going to be a big player in the social media arena.

So, that’s the end of the Video 6. If you need any other information or you like to learn more about social media and how to take your offline business online, be sure to grab a copy of my free report titled – The 7 Most Commonly and Costly Mistakes Business Owners Makes When Taking Their Offline Business Online.

And this is Bill Parlaman saying, “Now go, dominate Google!”

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