Three Steps to Better Social Media Marketing

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Social Media has become a mainstay in business marketing, but the idea of it still leaves many business owners a little lost and confused as to how to use it effectively.

The informal nature of Social Media can confound even a savvy business marketer,because “Just be yourself” and “Be professional” don’t always coincide as seamlessly as we would like to believe. A few small readjustments the overall understanding of how Social Media fits into your business can help provide some relief to this confusion.

  1. Stay true to your branding – If you have a brand image offline, that brand image needs to be the same online. People tend to think that Social Media gives them a reason to play with logo variations, change company colors, or just completely divert from their brand message and try something new. More often than not, these things just confuse your patrons and weaken your brand. It’s ok to be a little less formal and add some personality, but don’t let it stray from your business’ brand message.
  2. Transparency does not mean “TMI” – Transparency has been a buzz term for the past few years with many online marketing gurus touting the need for your business to be “Transparent” online. This has risen in popularity as many social consciousness movements have begun to malign businesses and greedy, soulless entities bent on getting rich while their employees slave for low wages. So business owners have tried to be more human, real, and transparent. This can be a slippery slope however. The goal is to let people know that your business values its employees and tries to contribute to the good of the community. It is not an excuse to complain about profits being down or how hard government regulations are making it for you to cash flow. Be human, but don’t be whiny.
  3. Tread lightly with humor – Humor is a great medium to use on Social Media, the only problem is that humor is subjective. What you find funny may be construed as corny, silly, or even worse, offensive by your followers. It is never a good idea to be political or religious with your humor. It’s fine to poke good natured fun at yourself and to let people know a bit of your personality, i.e. you’re part of nerd culture, you love golf, you are a booster for your favorite college team, etc… but don’t trash talk or make fun of anyone or anything in the process. A good rule is, if you wouldn’t share it at a business networking event, don’t share it online.


There is no doubt that Social Media Marketing is necessary in business these days, so take the time to do it well. Plan your posts for the week or even month. Strategize with your messaging just as you would in any other form of marketing to ensure that you are maximizing the time and resources that you are putting into this valuable online resource.


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Holly Pituch
Social Media Adviser for the Business Innovation Center


Waiting For That Bright Idea? Think Again.

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The spirit of entrepreneurship seems to be something people are born with. It’s certainly what built America and continues to be a very important part of our culture. With all the high tech gadgets and multi-million dollar deals, some modern day entrepreneurs seem to be waiting for that bright idea, the one that will change everything.  If you’re waiting for that light bulb moment, think again.

The idea that a startup has to be “cool” or “cutting edge” is a problem that stagnates many would-be entrepreneurs and stops great products and companies from ever getting off the ground.  Focus on problems that people face on a daily basis. Mundane problems are where you can find the most inspiration.

Recognizing opportunity where others do not is the first step to breaking through as an entrepreneur.  Problem solving products are the ones that stand the test of time. It makes your product not only nice to have, but a necessity. Rethinking existing products can be very profitable. Use the “think differently mantra” and deconstruct processes that are already in place to see where there is room for improvement.

Use research to ensure that you’re on the right track. Pay attention to complaints and modern day trends and follow up on them to increase your likelihood for success. Talk to people to find out their frustrations and areas of need. Test your ideas out on real people and learn from their feedback..

You might not be the next Henry Ford, but if you focus on the obvious, you could turn out to be the next Q-Tip guy (Leo Gerstenzang). While putting cotton on the end of a stick wasn’t revolutionary, it solved a mundane problem, and to this day it’s a product that you’ll find all over the world.


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Kenneth Cody Gray
Public Relations & Marketing Coordinator
Business Innovation Center

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Networking For The Entrepreneur

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Networking is crucial for an entrepreneur, but it can often be painful.  Not everyone is a natural when it comes to meeting new people, not to mention building lasting relationships.  It can be a difficult thing to do, but as an entrepreneur, you must push yourself to accomplish this ultra-important task. Not only does it build awareness of your current project but it sets you into the fabric of the network, and that could bring you more value than you ever could have anticipated.

Make lasting connections

When you’re at a networking event, it’s important to remember that you’re not just there to collect business cards. Make real connections with your new contacts.  Be open to sharing yourself beyond your business persona. Bring the conversation full circle by being inquisitive. Asking questions shows that you’re not only self-promoting; instead you are interested in what they have to say, leaving a positive impression.

Follow-up

Following up with the people you meet is a sure-fire way to make yourself memorable.  Even if they didn’t feel that instant connection, they will appreciate that you cared enough about them and what they had to offer. Express how nice it was to meet them and talk about topics you may have discussed with them in your initial meeting.

Stay current

Reconnect with the people you met in person via social media. Social media can be a great way to bring your interaction to the next level.  Push out information in regular intervals that remind others that you are a valuable link to the industry. Reach out, comment and congratulate others on their content. Let them know that you are following them and they will see you as someone to follow as well.

Be useful / Help others

Take an active role in helping others in your network. Make sure that they know that you are someone they can reach out to. Offer advice, and make introductions for others. Become a staple at grand openings and events and help out where you can. While helping others may not always have the desired immediate return, it pays off in the long run.

Kenneth Cody Gray
Public Relations & Marketing Coordinator
Business Innovation Center

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