Social media is often a big challenge for small business owners. Running the business itself is so much work—how can you find the time to do the “extra” work of social media? And how can you make sure that those efforts actually yield a result?
These are real challenges for real businesses. And in today’s world, the brick and mortar business model has to be both online and offline. This is why I invited Laura Nunemaker to the show this week. Laura used to own and run her own bakery in Atlanta, so she knows first-hand what it takes to find the right balance. Now she’s helping other cafés and restaurants reach their customers via a social strategy.
Marketing is important, but it can’t take over your life. You have a business to run. Getting really efficient in your marketing strategy can make a huge difference. Social media comes with huge opportunities—to connect with your community and create the next wave of loyal customers. But it comes with risk, too. Do it “wrong,” and you’ve wasted energy that you could have been using to feed the business. Balance is everything.
In this episode, Laura and I talk about issues with online marketing that are specific to offline businesses, such as:
- How to get really efficient in your marketing efforts using some “light” automation.
- Creating and curating content that’s useful to your customer base.
- How to find the right mix between promotion and community building.
- Finding clever cross-promotion opportunities with other local businesses.
- How to build an email strategy into your marketing plans early on.
- Using a mix of proactive and reactive strategies to create relationships with your customers.
- How to make the most of hashtags on Twitter & Instagram.
- Finding the right balance between scheduling social posts and “in the moment” posts.
- How to have fun with it—and give your business a personality and a voice!
If you are listening on iTunes and wish to leave a comment or question for Laura or me, please do so here on the show page: http://bit.ly/mwm-040.
Here are links to the some of the things that came up during our discussion.
- Example of a local business doing Instagram well: Criminal Records (record store in Atlanta).
- How automation can go wrong on social media (blog post from Laura).
- Mention, a social media monitoring tool (paid w/free trial).
- Zapier and IFTTT to connect and automate your apps.
- Buffer and Hootsuite to schedule social media posts.
And a very special bonus for our listeners! After our discussion, Laura was inspired to create this video that demonstrates how to use Tweetdeck to find new customers and build community: http://socialforsmall.biz/mwm.
I hope you find these to be helpful!
More about Laura:
Laura Nunemaker, owner of Social Media For Small Business, has been an Internet professional since 2001 with experience in email marketing, social media, and content development. She’s a former retail bakery owner who loves cycling and scuba diving. She also a vegan and somewhat of a cat magnet too.