Recently I have had the opportunity to meet with individuals that are just getting started with marketing their business online. In working with this group one question that has been surfacing lately is what does my basic set of tools look like for getting started using Social Media and Online Marketing in my business?
I have told them that there are literally thousands of tools that they could use, however that doesn’t mean that they should use all of these and in fact many of them will not be effective for what they want to accomplish.
That being said here is what I usually suggest as a basic Social Media and Online Marketing Basic Tool Box:
A Company Website – This would be the static site that provides information on your products and services, hours of operation, location, etc. This would also be where you sell products or services from if that is a component of your business
A Blog – A blog is becoming one of the top items that a business should have in the basic Social Media and Online Marketing tool box. This is where you discuss your thoughts on topics related to your business and topics that are of interest to your target market. This is your place to post content and to share and in some cases interact with your target market.
Tracking Tools – Once you have your website and blog set-up it is important that you know where your traffic comes from. There are several tools that you can use out there that will provide you with that information. One of those tools is from Google, Google Analytics. Take the time to make sure you have this in place so you can analyze where your traffic is coming from and how people are finding you.
E-Mail Marketing – In order to build the relationship with your target market you need to begin collecting their information. You can do this by offering a newsletter or a free report from your website and blog. Your visitors will choose to opt in to your list. This will allow you to stay in front of them from time to time via email.
Twitter – Twitter is a must have for all businesses. This is where you begin to connect with others interested in your market and interact. Twitter can also be used to listen to your target market’s needs and wants as well as use as a customer service outlet. Twitter is also a great tool to use to drive people back to your blog.
Facebook – Facebook is another place to connect with your target market. I would suggest you have a Facebook Fan Page where you can connect and learn more about your target market. Interact with your friends and do things like wish them Happy Birthday and share information they can use.
LinkedIn – LinkedIn is a great tool to use to connect with those that may need your product or service on the professional level. This is one tool that should be in every consultant’s tool box. You can join and participate in groups with others that are your target market. LinkedIn is great for many businesses; however I would have to say that it may not be the best tool for businesses that deal directly with consumers (such as restaurants, retail stores, etc).
As I stated there are thousands of tools that can be used for Social Networking and Online Marketing, this is just a bare minimum to start out with in your tool box.