Guest Post: Elian Evans
[Editor’s Note: Please welcome Elian as one of our guest bloggers for 2012. She is a savvy online marketing strategist, who brings a wealth of knowledge with her to help you build a stronger online business foundation. Welcome Elian!]
Your business is growing and you need easy and low/no-cost ways to interact with your clients and your growing team. These are my top recommendations. Don’t feel overwhelmed. Once these systems are set up, you can have an assistant help or do most of them for you. All of these services are pretty easy to get started with. Contact me if you get stuck or would like help.
Here is your action list based on my recommendations.
1. Create a Blogger website
Blogger is owned by Google and is also known as Blogspot. There is no fee to use this service.
I recommend a website because not everyone uses Facebook (I know that’s hard to believe). For examples of professional Blogger websites, go here: http://new.elianevans.com/p/small-business-marketing.html. Those samples are all Blogger websites.
2. Add a MailChimp sign up box to get your periodic updates and stay abreast of specials. Consider offering a discount coupon or special to those who subscribe.
3. Post once per week offering tips and best uses for your product and related industry news. Use at least one picture per post.
4. Link your site to your Facebook group for easy interaction.
5. You can opt to have your own domain name (such as your name, mine is www.elianevans.com). You can do that straight from Blogger and is around $10 per year. One benefit is you can then have a matching domain name email (up to 10) at no charge through Google Aps. Mine is elianevans @ elianevans . com. That is a great way to keep separate your business and personal life.
6. Create a Facebook group.
Be sure to add all events here and invite guests through the Facebook system
Don’t be spammy. Think about what would interest your customer. Consider posting one of your company related things for every 2 or 3 non-company related (it should be industry related though). Post no more than 1-2 times per day. At a minimum post 2-3 times per week.
For example, if you are in the make-up industry. Post one item about your company (a special, how to use one of your products, etc) and then 2-3 complementary posts (fashion trends/tips, makeup application tips, gift giving ideas from popular blogs or magazine sites)
7. Set up an RSS reader on your group page so it will auto post links from your Blogger site
8. Link your group to MailChimp for folks to sign up for your updates.
9. Email updates with MailChimp.
A huge benefit of using MailChimp is that you can see who opens your messages, if they click anything, and if they share it. Best of all it is free when you have a smaller list.
10. Set up your mailing list so you can capture folks who register on your blog and your Facebook group
11. Set up an rss campaign so it will automatically email your list when you post on your Blogger website
Use this list when you need to email everyone about a special, open house or other special event (of course you will want to list the event on both your website and Facebook as well).
Sub divide your list as needed. Some great groups would be business opportunity leads and preferred customers.
For your growing team
1. Create a Blogger website
You can make the site private if you have sensitive information here. This is a great way to keep your team up to date and share resources. Make your team feel special with recognition on the site.
2. Create a Facebook group
This can be set as a private group. It is a great way to share information as well. It is also an easy way to train and get conversations going back and forth. Set up your consultant events here as well. Facebook can be a great tool to use for accountability and challenges, if everyone in your organization is on Facebook.
3. Create a second list on MailChimp
There are several benefits of creating a second list within your MailChimp account. Tracking – you can see who opens your messages. You can auto email them when you post to your Blogger website and Facebook wall using the RSS campaign option. You don’t have to worry about forgetting to use the BBC function in your email program.
Be sure to check with your company’s online policies. If for some reason they say you can’t mention their name, you can usually still be topical, but generic on your site. With a team Blogger website or Facebook group you can change the settings to private to prevent prying eyeballs from seeing your training content.
I also recommend using a good RSS reader such as Google Reader (and FeeddlerRSS for iPhone). This way you can easily follow your favorite magazines and blogs by subscribing to their rss feed. You can create folders to keep these organized by topic. When you need content to share, you can easily find links and resources for your clients.
About the Author:
Elian Evans is a social media marketing specialist for small business, groups and organizations (for and non-profit). She provides consulting (and some services) with regards to websites, Facebook, Twitter, QR codes, mobile and traditional marketing. Learn more at www.ElianEvans.com.
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