Social Media Marketing for the Small Business (Part 1)

Editor’s Note: This is part 1 in our Social Media Marketing Series.

Social Media Marketing RocksSocial Media Marketing for the Small Business (Part 1)

So you have a business that sells something, widgets, gym memberships, washing machines from the Walla Walla Washing Machine Company, you have your thing you sell. And of course you want people to buy it. You have heard Facebook is this amazing place to post stuff and hope people see it and maybe just maybe if someone sees your post you will sell something. Or maybe you are supposed to be on Twitter, yeah, that must be where you are supposed to say amazing things in 140 characters or less and have people read your Tweets, visit your site, and buy something. Or is it LinkedIn, or Instagram, or maybe its Snapchat. Yeah, they sell stuff there, right?rnrnOkay, yeah, sort of, not really, but kind of. First, Facebook is a great place to post content but if you are a business, you will be hard pressed to get any traction with out paying some money (more on that in a future post). Basically Facebook has tweaked their “secret sauce” to make sure you aren’t getting something for nothing. Only if others share you stuff do you get any chance of traction. But how do you get people to share your stuff if they don’t even see it because Facebook buries it like the second page of a Google Search result.

The 80/20 Rule

So how does one get exposure for their business? It is tricky but doable. First remember the 80/20 rule. 80% of your postings on any social network should be information that benefits your target audience or at least entertains them and gives them something to like but even better share. 20% of your posts can actually be able your business and what you offer. Why? Well, like sales pitch, we get bored quick if you keep hitting us with ads but we are forgiving if you are busy posting useful or interesting things. So an ad every once in a while isn’t a problem. Great, so how do I get started?


Account Names Matter

First you need to decide on an account name. This is like naming your first born child. It has to be a name that won’t get them ridiculed in school and that you won’t go your whole life wishing you could change. In other words, once you set it you need to be able to stick with it. Twitter has a fourteen character limit on screen names. And you want to be able to use this same name on every social media you sign up for. This is the name that represents your brand. Say you are representing Joe’s Pool Hall. Well, it might make good sense to use @joespoolhall as your screen name on Twitter, Instagram, Google Plus, Snapchat, and Facebook. But notice it could be misread as joe spool hall. Does that matter? Maybe but probably not. But be aware of words inside of words when you put all your words together. You may want to do a little research before you fall in love with a username. For example, you would not believe how many sites there are that are variations on Faith and Technology. I didn’t know and if I had researched it I might have gone with a different domain name.

While a rose with any other name would smell just as sweet, this isn't true of websites.Click To Tweet

Check Out Part 2 of the Series.

The Writer’s Emotional Roller Coaster

ArcelorMittal Orbit, Olympic Park, Stratford, London 29July2012

Writing is an emotional roller coaster. When you think about all of the emotions you go through every day as a writer, it is shocking we get anything done at all.

Happiness – When we are writing, getting words on the screen or page, it is exciting. Our characters are moving forward in the story line or our ideas are flowing and we are on an emotional high point. We feel a giddiness. We don’t want to stop. Nothing matters, sleep, eating, love ones, almost going to the bathroom. The fingers are flying against the keyboard.

Guilt – This emotion can run at least two ways. The first way – Why can’t I write today? I just want to get 1,000 words in today. Is that so much to ask of my brain? The second way -uh, I do have this family. I need to spend time with them but my main character is at a turning point. She is whispering in my ear what she is going to do next. But I spent the whole weekend chained to my computer and we never left the house. I have to spend time with them or I need to cut the grass. I burned all of my vacation days on my “Great American Novel” and now they want to go a family vacation.

Sadness – Why can’t I write just one word today? I have all day free and I can’t even get the word “A, An, or the” on the page. Why didn’t I write anything Tuesday? I could have gotten up early and wrote for two hours before work. Or why did my main character have to die? That means they aren’t a main character. I have to figure out how to undo this. But he told me it was his time to go. Maybe Susan is the main character. Yeah, that could work. But I wrote 100+ pages of backstory for Manny. He can’t be dead on page 158. Why? Why? Why? Why are there tears on my final draft?

Denial – What ever made me think I could write? I can’t spell. I have the grammar of a ten year old. Am I trying to be Hemingway (with these short sentences) or Faulkner (with these paragraph sentences)? My words read like the writing of the last book I read. What is up with that? I am obviously NOT a writer. That is the wrong verb right there. Why suddenly do my words sound like they fell out of a perfume bottle? Why can’t I decide between affect and effect? Daisies happen.


Anger – It is my computer and I can smash it with a baseball bat if I want, right? It is my computer and I can throw it out the window. “Yes, officer. I did not see that little old lady outside my window when I threw it. I forgot for a moment I live on the fourth floor.”

Police Tape- Do Not Cross

Stress – Why is the Internet down when I am trying to email my editor, my publisher, my mom? Why having I heard back from that magazine I sent the article to? That was my best work. I know I said I would have the book done by the 12th but well, my dog chewed up the power cord for my laptop. I swear it’s done. What do you mean it will cost $100 to change that font? I did not say I wanted Comic San Serif, it is either Helvetica or Courier or forget the whole thing. Stupid eReader is going to change my font anyway but still. Why are all of these bills due now and I don’t have my advance yet, my royalty check yet. Where is my dog? Why do I have to work when I am a writer?

Happiness (again) – This the greatest day of my life. The book is finished. It is a beautiful day outside. My spouse doesn’t hate me. The kids are talking to me again after my shouting match.

And then your emotions change. Wait, there is a typo on the first page. How did I miss putting a word there. I have read this stupid thing a hundred times. I should have seen that. Ugh!