Free Internet Marketing Services: A Small Business Guide III

Image Representing small business using social media

Free Internet Marketing Services and Advice for Your Small Business

Our “Free Internet Marketing Services: A Small Business Guide” series concludes with Part 3, “Connect with Customers for your Small Business”. Last 2 posts were about free internet marketing advice for how to “Develop a Professional Image” and “Become Search-Engine Friendly”. Comment on our dofollow blog to let us know free tools you use whether you are a small business, nonprofit, or other internet marketing company.

 

Part 3 | Connect with Customers for your Small Business

Whether you are new to social media or a well-connected veteran, keep reading as these sources of free advice for using social media to help SMBs connect with customers will help you boost your online presence:
 

Get in the Social Media Game

So, to state the obvious, get a free account at one of the myriad of social media sites like Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google+, DeviantART, and so on. But, which one? Get accounts on 2 or 3 of the sites you feel most suit your small business. Follow some competitors and target clients as well as some “outside the box” people or businesses to watch what they do. Yes, it is a little like going to the junior high dance and sitting on the wall watching, but, of course, you have a plan to watch for a little while then jump in! Read the beginner’s guide for the chosen social media sites as they will explain important rules and how to attract followers as well as how to measure your success.

Look for tools to help you find followers, manage followers, and identify follower demographics. The list of tools is endless, so just search for the tool type and social media community that you want to learn more about. Keep watching this blog for more details on these social media management tools.
 

Gauge Clout with Klout!

Influence is the name of the game in most business success and this was never more true than for a small business social media presence. Want to have more clout? Then check your competitor’s influence level using Klout. Be sure to read the “Understanding Klout” info, then sign in with your Facebook or Twitter account to use this free social media tool to observe what competitors are doing by typing in a competitor’s Facebook name or Twitter handle. You can compare:

  • Which social networks and blogs are used – Followers / Likes
  • Types of content they’re posting
  • Posting frequency
  • What topics they have influence in

For the best ideas, choose competitors that have higher Klout scores to analyze what they are doing so you can improve upon it. Add your own ideas to make a more impressive social media plan.  You can also try these free social media influence tools: PeerIndex.net and Kred.ly. These tools can also help you decide which social media channels to engage in because you can see your competitors’ social media strategies.
 

Listen

The criticality of listening cannot be overstated. You want to know what is being said and thank those who mention your products or brand. To receive email alerts when your brand, company, marketing campaign, news story, or competitors are mentioned, check out the free social media tool, SocialMention.com. You may also find these specific tools useful:

Connect and Blog

With all that great social media intelligence in hand, you can now create your own social media strategy (future blog topic on a great template!). It takes time, but provides returns for your website. Write down when you want to share with your social media communities. Plan several weeks in advance what you will communicate. Use all the techniques of retweeting, sharing thoughts that set the tone of your company, and point to great content on your blog. Often your blog is the first impression a visitor will have of your company and your website. It is very powerful to use for attracting the right traffic and boosts on-page search engine optimization for customers to be more likely to find you through pure search. You can find some great advice, training, and free blog setup at http://www.wpbeginner.com/free-wordpress-blog-setup/. Remember to use keyword research to ensure that you are using words that potential customers are searching for!  For free images to enhance your blog, see Stock.xchng/. Get started!
 
What are your tips for free internet marketing tools for small business to connect with their customers?
 
This completes our series on small business internet marketing services that are free! I hope you found something useful to increase your small business’s effectiveness on the Web. If you decide you need help with your internet marketing, we would enjoy the opportunity to talk with you to see how we can help. Contact us. Keep the comments coming! We dofollow!
 

By Wanda Anglin

Wanda Anglin has a passion to help businesses and non-profits reach their goals by attracting more of the right website visitors. Her empathy and understanding for small business challenges comes from a background in project management, sales support, accounting, and business ownership. When not helping clients, Wanda is traveling, fixing her home, or tending to her 900 trees (really).

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