Creating Your 2012 Social Media Plan !

In 2011, I met with many small business owners and assisted them in 
creating Facebook pages for their businesses or helped them claim their 
venues in FourSquare or in Google Places. In order to build on this for 
2012, small business owners need to leverage these social media tools 
and make them a part of their daily operations.

This is my 5 Step plan for Social Media Success in 2012.

1. Create your Social Media Brand.   Encourage your 
followers to interact with you through questions, polls, and contests. 
Make your customers feel as if they are part of your business decision 
making process.  By getting your customers involved, it will increase 
their loyalty to your business and it’s more likely they will promote 
you through reviews and recommendations on other social media sites.

2. Make Mobile Marketing Work for You. Smart phones have revolutionized the way people 
and businesses interact. These days before I make purchasing decisions, I can consult with friends and get instant replies; QR codes and bar code scanning 
help me find the best price while I’m shopping; and apps like FourSquare notify me of specials at 
nearby businesses. For 2012, 
make sure your business is listed on Google Maps, as 80% of Google 
searches are location based (ie: toy store Scranton, PA )

.

3. Offer Valuable Content. Stop thinking like a 
business owner and start thinking like your customers.  What would you 
want to see on a website, blog, or Facebook page to make you keep coming 
back?  Offer content that adds value, such as coupons, discounts, 
advice, etc., and make sure your customers know that it’s your business 
providing the information.  If it’s valuable enough, your customers will 
share it with their friends and help spread your marketing message.  
Any content provided on your blog and/or website should be rich with 
keywords and phrases that search engines will use to distinguish you from 
your competitors.

4. Use Video to Get the Word Out.  The second largest search engine after Google is YouTube, 
however it is totally underutilized as a business tool.  What better way to offer valuable content than 
through the use of short videos.  Today you can create a short, good 
quality video, and in seconds you can upload that 
video to YouTube.  There are many video production companies who can assist you in this process, or if your budget is tight, you can create a short video  with a smart phone. From there you can use other social media tools such 
as your blog, Facebook and/or Twitter pages to share that video with 
your customers and potential customers.  There are currently over 40 
million how-to videos on YouTube. Take the opportunity to show your customers what makes your product or service better than the rest. Or ask your customers questions and have them reply via video. The possibilities are endless.

5. Create a Social Media Marketing Plan. It’s Worth your Time.  All of these suggestions sound 
like a good idea, but who has the time?  I hear all the time that entrepreneurs are so busy dealing 
with the day-to-day operations of their business and they don’t have 
time to “be playing” on Facebook, etc.  
Creating a social media marketing plan and taking advantage of tools 
that allow you to cross-post to different social media applications, 
and/or schedule posts for a later time make using Social Media much less time consuming and more beneficial to your business.  Let’s face it … Facebook has over 800 million 
people using it, and over 50% of them use it every day.  If your 
business is always looking for new customers… guess what? They are 
on Facebook!  It’s also only a matter of time until platforms like Facebook 
offer businesses the opportunity to incorporate e-commerce, allowing people to 
purchase product from their business pages.  Will your business be ready 
when that happens?

If you need assistance in making Social Media or Internet 
Marketing work for your small business, contact The University of Scranton Small 
Business Development Center for free and confidential guidance to help 
your business move forward in 2012.

Happy Holidays!

Keith D. Yurgosky
Manager of Internet Business
University of Scranton SBDC

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About The University of Scranton SBDC

The University of Scranton SBDC provides no cost small business consulting services that are tailored to fit the needs of small business clients of Bradford, Lackawanna, Monroe, Pike, Susquehanna, Tioga, Wayne & Wyoming Counties. The center offers confidential individualized assistance designed to identify and address the problems of small business owners as well as individuals interested in establishing a business. The program is jointly funded by the US Small Business Administration, Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and The University of Scranton.
This entry was posted in small business education, small business on the internet, social media and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Creating Your 2012 Social Media Plan !

  1. saiinfo says:

    It’s nice blog and thanks share with us .

    regards
    Local Business Information Center

  2. Great job Keith! easy to follow and implement plan thank you for sharing this post I plan to “steal” it for our ASU SBTDC blog, of course will give credit where due! I would only add one item…have a good website that you control and can post to. All of these social tools are wonderful ways to increase traffic to your site and ultimately to your cash register but for most of my small business clients a website is vital. Maybe it is just a given that you need it. Keep blogging!

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