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social networking for our small business
  • My company is a small IT firm that does just about anything that you can think of in the Mac/PC/AS400 world. From internet faxing and VoIP solutions to custom point-of-sale applications or web/mail hosting, we're not too picky about the projects we take on.

    That being said, we don't have much of a marketing budget. That is to say, zero. We're focused on other things most of the time, but lately it's been a bit slow and I want to see if there's any way to get more business from the other local businesses that may not have heard of us (read: almost all of them).

    We're looking at doing the door-to-door thing in some of the local business districts and putting up a shiny sign in front of our building (on a busy street corner), but I'm always seeing social media being thrown about for everything else, so I thought I might check to see what we could do with it. Heck, at the bottom of the page for WeKnow we have all of the logos you could shake a stick at!

    So what does a small IT firm put in a twitter feed? Probably the same thing as on our facebook page that doesn't exist, I suspect. But what is that? "Helped some guy recover his lost password, go team!" doesn't seem exciting to me, but maybe that's a start? There are some big things, like partnering with some big companies to have our products/services sold with their stuff, but that's the rare press release that maybe happens every year or two (for us, at least). How do I keep the page fresh or interesting for someone searching for "livonia pc repair?"

    I've never been smart enough to understand the value of facebook, twitter, linkedin, or google+/places so I'm hoping there's some insight available from you smarter peeps. I'm a coder, not a marketing expert, but I'm trying to chip in with inexpensive ideas to get some more business coming in. We're smart and cheap, so if people knew about us I think that they'd take advantage of our abilities.

    Thanks for any insight!
  • Please note: All advice given is not from a professional.

    There are many many MANY social media outlets available. Of course, there are the big ones, like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc., but don't limit yourself to them.

    Figure out your audience and where they "live" in the virtual landscape. Are they mostly on blogs, twitter, forums, social music, social news, photosharing, etc.?

    Are there social outlets for your niche? (i.e. Micheal's crafts may benefit more from Pinterest than from Google +)

    Then get to promotin'! Create your pages: link yourself to complimentary businesses or your current customers. Offer discounts or promotional swag (keychains, wallpaper, a mousepad, etc. - just have your company name/logo on it somewhere to keep you in mind) for "liking" your page or retweeting your comments. Upload videos (if applicable) post photos, get to bloggin'. Create a mailing list and collect email addresses for mass mailings.

    You may have to cast a wide net at first and then see which ones are genuinely providing a ROI for your time/effort. Make sure that you use keywords and keep your content full of 'em in order to turn up on searches. Track your video views, number of #hastags, comments, friends/fans/members, etc.

    And once you get people hooked, you have to find that fine line between actively engaging and annoying the crap outta people. Think of it like watering a garden. Water often, but don't drown.

    And don't forget the physical aspect of self-promotion. Get out in the community and promote yourself with products/flyers/etc that link back to your social media world.

  • Hire me to telecommute, give me a coffee stipend, and an iTunes playlist full of speed metal. Easy as that!

    PS: I have some thoughts, but I'm on the iPad. You get a stupid comment as a placeholder.
    Post edited by Valisa at 2012-10-24 14:10:26

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