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small business marketing
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Fresh-Faced Recruit
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Aug 8, 2013, 10:48 AM
 
I'm doing a bit of research on online retailers and their marketing techniques.
How easy is it to build an online presence? Small businesses obviously don't have a large marketing department so I want to know how important things like twitter and facebook are, as well as LinkedIn and Pinterest.
I've seen lots of companies that can do it for you, and I imagine using social media is almost the same as word of mouth, just on a bigger scale.
How long would you say it takes to build up a sufficient following on twitter for example? It's ok having scheduled tweets etc but hwta's the point of that if you don't have many followers?
( Last edited by Thorzdad; Aug 8, 2013 at 12:36 PM. )
     
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Aug 8, 2013, 01:36 PM
 
Just like any business, small businesses using Twitter and Facebook have to be responsive to customer feedback. These tools are replacing phone calls, and customers expect response. Make tweets/posts informational and have something useful to say, or at least be entertaining.

I would definitely look down on any business who used astroturfing, fake reviews, or other iffy promotional methods.
     
Clinically Insane
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Aug 8, 2013, 03:33 PM
 
If you don't have followers, the social media will not simply give you new followers just because these accounts exist. I think the main thing is just making it standard practice to encourage customers to find you on these social networks, and make it easy for them to do so whenever you contact them somehow or they are accessing your website. Perhaps a big campaign to get those followers by creating little contests and stuff, offering referral discounts, etc. might help too.

Once you have those followers you can look at having somebody manage this PR and maintaining these accounts, but personally, I think if it were me I'd try to get some amount of followers with in-house resources before I bring somebody new in. To me, it makes sense for that new person to continue to find ways to reel in new followers, but also to maintain communication with those existing followers. If it were my business I'd probably feel uncomfortable sitting around and waiting for people to press the "like" button. If there is hesitation in doing so, sometimes this can be the result of fundamental messaging problems that probably should be addressed before a massive marketing push.

I'm sure there are a number of other opinions out there, and I'm sure from others that have more experience at this than I, I'm just keeping this conversation rolling because this question is of interest to me too!
     
Clinically Insane
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Aug 8, 2013, 03:34 PM
 
You want to market in high traffic areas, like MacNN.
     
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Aug 20, 2013, 05:02 AM
 
Thanks. I suppose it's about striking a balance between building relationships and pushing your product. I know I personally don't respond well to somebody pushing the hard sell all the time.
     
   
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