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Building Business Basics, Social Media

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Social Media conversations with allFor a new start-up social media is one of the cheapest forms of marketing.

It enables you to get your message out and also hear what others think through polls, discussions, groups and trends.

Social media enables multiple conversations with referrers, supporters, targets, prospects and clients.

Its cost is time to build your connections and to engage with them.

3 key reasons why new businesses must use social media

1 Dunbar’s Number- the beauty of interconnection

Robin Dunbar worked out that on average people have 148 contacts, who know them well socially. For me that means I have 148 people I could bump into on the street and have a chat and a coffee; without them saying ‘who the heck are you?’ They in turn know 148 people.

So once step removed from me there are theoretically 21,904 contacts. Depending on where you live and your life so far, there are overlaps; so let’s assume c12,000 individuals. Unless you are selling something very unique, most businesses should find at least one buyer in that number and probably more for reason two.

2 People buy from People

The full quote is ‘people buy from people they like and who are like themselves’. Often the first clients of a business are the friend and family of the start-up. Why? Because they know them and want to be supportive.

They also like them as they are a friend and like attracts like, whether that is lifestyle (eg alternative), time of life (young mothers) or job (engineers). If your friend can’t buy from you, they may well know someone who can and can refer them or alternatively positively comment or review.

If you are reading this via Facebook and like it, your friends see it. And who knows if any of them are considering setting up their own business near the Forest of Dean and end up liking the page to get more information?

3 Social media drives traffic to your website

It does this in two ways. A website is still the cornerstone of your internet marketing strategy. By linking back to your site, prospects can get a bigger and better picture of what you do rather than the 140 character tweet. Social media can broadcast your blog and events cheaply.

Secondly the search engine algorithms look for social signals as a measure of quality. In other words you might write some high quality information, which is well optimised; but the true measure is do people read and share that information. If they share is it through social media where it might go viral.

What next?

So now all you need to do is to set up a company Facebook page, a company twitter account and/or linkedin account and start the conversation as those that engage typically prosper. Of which more in next month’s article on the basics of building a business.