For the small business owner and entrepreneur, incorporating effective social media marketing tactics can become a source of confusion and frustration. While many businesses claim that they have a Facebook page, have a LinkedIn profile or are on Twitter, very few know how to effectively engage these social media platforms so as to generate new clients, retain existing ones and thus generate higher revenue.

Keep It Simple

I didn’t add the “stupid” to the traditional K.I.S.S. statement for the simple reason that most business owners are not stupid, but quite intelligent. But possessing a high I.Q., or even having some street smarts, does not ensure success in implementing social media as a part of one’s marketing strategy. This blog post is to give you some simple tactics that one can employ, as well as execute with some measurable results. The key is engaging your social media strategy consistently.

What I am about to share is not some regurgitation of some book I just read, or some cliffs notes from a recent seminar I attended in Las Vegas. These are social media tactics I have either employed or have seen in person being employed with success.

Email Is King. “Hail to The King!”

It always astounds me at how simple this one tactic is to employ. Email has been proven time and time again as the king of online marketing tactics. And now with simple methods to develop one’s look on email, these too can be easily shared via social media. Yet, most places I go to, such as eateries, coffee houses and most small businesses, never ask for my email address.

Last night a friend and I went to see some live music at The Mint in Los Angeles, CA. After one of the bands was over, and the other was setting up, several of the band members walked around with binders that contained all the emails of those that they had played for in the past. Versus hoping we would do it on our own, they instigated proactively and garnered with enthusiasm everyone’s email. And 99% were most eager to accommodate.

Would You Please Check In?

Social media is about real time, as it is happening. I consulted a local coffee house on how to use social media to generate “word-of-mouse”. Competing against Starbucks can be quite a daunting task. You have to sell many $2.00 coffees to not only win against that Goliath, but to remain in business and profitable. I suggested that he offer a 10% discount every time they checked in on Yelp, Facebook or Foursquare. What a simple and inexpensive way to let people know what you are doing and where. Most often, people will also post pictures and reviews.

Please Say Something Nice!

While we are on the subject of posting on social media, what about encouraging your best patrons or clients to say something positive on Yelp or Google. While there is no assurance that their positive reviews will be posted, by consistently asking then to do so will soon find positive reviews about your business appearing online. What about negative reviews? The policy on this is not to make them wrong, but to engage with them and to ask then how you can make it up. This is positive dialogue that shows you care. As well, it can lead to the negative review being removed and that person becoming a client once again. If most of your reviews are positive, most people will understand that there are always some complainers who can never be satisfied.

Video: The Secret Weapon of Social Media

YouTube is the second most utilized search engine in the world, second only to Google. Videos can be utilized in your blogs, embedded in directories, such as Yelp, sent as an email and posted on all your social media channels. Why not make a video of your best clients positive experience and then have them post it on their social media channels? Video can be an effective way to maximize you impact with social media.

Saying Thank You

When people make positive comments or share your brand and services on their social media, be sure to say thank you. By rewarding excellence, you inspire great word-of-mouth with those who like to advocate brands via social media. Moreover, you are building a true community of followers who feel appreciated and important to your success.

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