About Social Media for Business

Social Media for Business: The Small Business Online Marketing Guide

Martin Brossman trains micro business owners (1 – 3 people) and what we call “small”  business owners, which we should probably call “very small” small business owners (4 – 20 people, we hesitate to call them employees, because they may be contractors or interns) in how to succeed in business. Since 2007, a growing part of that involves social media and Internet marketing.

Anora McGaha has started several of her own micro businesses, and has helped dozens of micro businesses and very small small businesses (taking her own advice), since she was laid off from a large corporation in 2006, the year before there started to be significant signs of economic trouble, and two years before the huge trouble.

Martin Brossman and Anora McGaha knew first hand that many many people now starting their own businesses were completely-to-moderately uninformed about the impact that social media could have on their business prospects. After working together for three years at the time, Martin brought the book idea to Anora and asked if she would take part in it. They had been managing social media programs for clients for two years together. Martin already had chapters from over a dozen contributors, and Anora proceeded to get a half dozen more. They wrote the content that they hadn't yet gathered, and in July 2011, Outer Banks Publishing Group published the book, with a standing room only launch in August.  The ebook came out later in August.

Who should get Social Media for Business?

If you're an advanced user of social media and fully aware of the Internet ecosystem, it's not for you. Though it's always fascinating to see the unique blend of perspective and insights that each author or speaker develops, this book is meant for the micro business owner and very small business owner who is not yet fully comfortable – doesn't yet have his or her “sea legs” so to speak on the vast ocean that is the Internet.

The book has three sections:

  1. Perspectives;
  2. The Building Blocks (Social Media and the Internet); and
  3. Online Marketing with Social Media (How to develop and manage a social media program to build your online presence).

Whatever business you're in, if you're just starting out in business, or if you're just starting to explore how to grow your customer base and increase your sales online, and haven't studied social media in depth – this book is for you.

It won't show you how to set up accounts, edit photos or create lists, but it will tell you how to think about social media and the Internet ocean to know where to sail and what to try to accomplish.

Social Media for Business is Still Current

Although published in 2011, because the book is not a “how-to” book, it doesn't run into the problem of Facebook's new privacy settings and options; or Twitter's new home page; or another site's new layout. The authors have also added video content in a private section of the site to supplement the book for topics such as Pinterest and Google + that took flight since the publishing of the book. (You will also see some public posts Pinterest and Google+ on this site now.)

Where to Get Social Media for Business

Social Media for Business is available:

In stores at: The Joyful Jewel in Pittsboro, North Carolina and New Horizons Coffee Shop in Raleigh, North Carolina.

On CreateSpace in paperback at a discount with a coupon.

On Amazon, at all of the national sites:

  1. Amazon US
  2. Amazon UK
  3. Amazon Germany
  4. Amazon Spain
  5. Amazon Italy
  6. Amazon France
  7. Amazon Canada
  8. Amazon Japan

The eBook is available via Kindle Select at 5 of the national sites: the US and Europe, but not Canada and Japan:

  1. Amazon US
  2. Amazon UK
  3. Amazon Germany
  4. Amazon Spain
  5. Amazon Italy
  6. Amazon France

Martin Brossman and Anora McGaha are available individually and as a team to do advising, social media plans, social media management, talks and training, in person, via webinar, Skype or Google Hangout through Martin Brossman & Associates.

The Latest on Email Marketing Pricing for Startups

Are you starting out in business? You’re probably watching every $ you commit to spend, trying to keep your monthly expenses low while you launch your business. Keeping your expenses down prolongs the amount of time you have to get your business going.

Often people starting out in business think they don’t need to have an email marketing service. But once you start emailing for your business, there are laws you need to know about, like the CAN-SPAM Act. Read contributor Greg Hyer’s post about what to do before you start email marketing.

The email marketing options talked about in the Raleigh area among micro business owners on the micro business owner professional network inside919.com are these:

Subscribers ———– ———– ———–
Provider Notes Under 500 501 – 2501 – 5001 – 10,000
MailChimp 

(15% Non-Profit Discount)

Has a Forever Free plan up to 2000 subscribers. $10 $15 to 1000 

$30 to 2500

$50 $75
Constant Contact 

(Non-Profit Discount)

Save 10 – 20% by prepaying 6 or 12 months. $15 $30 $50 $75
iContact 

(Free accts to NC Non-Profits, discounts to other Non-Profits)

Annual prepay discounts. $10 $19 to 1000 

$29 to 2500

 

$47 $74
AWeber 

Fee to use PLUS

Fee for subscribers

(Non-Profits get 3 months free, then 25% off)

Fee to use can be paid 

Monthly -$19

Quarterly – $49

Annually – $194

Monthly Rate of  $19 

includes up to 500 subscribers

Add $10 

/month

($29)

Add $30 

/month

($39)

Add $50 

/month

($69)

Disclaimer: If you discover that something here isn’t accurate, please add a comment here.  It is our intent that this be correct, though companies frequently change their pricing and terms.

Since this post is focused on startups and micro businesses, pricing for over 10,000 subscribers was not included, but is available. Plans also have different services, features, and discounts, which could not be easily represented in this post, so please study your proposed provider thoroughly.

What’s Easy about Social Media for Business?

QR Codes help customers get to online information fast.

As a business owner what about social media for business is easy to work with and why?

  • Interacting with the people who respond on Facebook?
  • Reaching out to follow and connect with people on Twitter?
  • Getting to share things that are going on with your business?
  • The ease of using photos and adding them to Facebook, and now Twitter?
  • The ease of finding other businesses?
  • The ease of learning what creative ways others are using social media?

 

 

 

Brossman and McGaha's Social Media for Business Book

Social Media for Business was written by small and micro business owners, with direct experience that can help and guide you in using the Internet and social media to grow your business, referral partners and your reputation. Find down-to-earth, insightful, practical and valuable practices, tips, perspectives and explanations in Social Media for Business (Martin Brossman and Anora McGaha) with chapters by 20 contributors.

Short chapters help you find what you’re looking for easily to get what you need to know fast.  If you haven’t read it yet, order it now. Amazon for $16.52. Or apply  Discount code: C47P9D2V when you order on CreateSpace for $16.00.

Let the tens of thousands of hours of research and experience represented in this book save you time and grow your business – for less than $23 delivered.  Read what reviewers have said on Amazon.

After you’ve read it, leave your own review. Have suggestions? Email info@thesocialmediaforbusinessbook.com. We want to hear from you.

Social Media for Business by Brossman and McGaha Uses QR Codes


2011 book cover adds QR Code to back cover
In an innovative step suggested by co-author Anora McGaha’s husband Martin McGaha, a QR code to the book’s website was added to the back cover.

The use of QR codes in advertisements in magazines and mail has increased enormously in recent months.

More small business stores are including the QR codes on printed sheets of paper in their store windows. Chains tend to have a fancier version of the QR code laminated, though still taped to their windows.
How many books have begun using QR codes on their covers is not yet known. Initial research on the “social media” section of Barnes and Noble didn’t show any as of June 2011.

Social Media for Business inserted QR codes at the end of several chapters asking readers for feedback and linking them to blog posts on their website to respond.

As we were finalizing the cover in June, reviewing the first proofs, Anora McGaha’s husband Martin McGaha suggested adding a QR code to the cover, and that led to Anora creating QR codes to specific blog posts on this blog, to make it quicker for readers to add comments on particular topics in the book. Several chapters have questions for readers to respond to, and now, a QR code for them to scan with a smart phone.
At the time, we hadn’t seen the use of QR codes either on book covers or within books or magazines to send readers to a site.
Researching this blog post today, we find that a book published in November 2010, QR Codes & Mobile Marketing for the Small Business Owner, by Michael Weir actually uses QR codes within the book.
Just a quick search, just as an indication, shows this:
A January 2011 post on Fast Company about creative uses of QR codes didn’t name books, but did suggest business cards as a good use.

 

Libraries and teachers were discussing QR codes in 2010.
And this spring 2011, more posts show up on QR codes related to books, outside of the library/teacher context. Here are just a few.

Another article is one that we can’t place in our timeline because they use the date-free practice to bypass our natural disdain for out of date information. Wildfire Marketing’s post How to Turn Print Media into Multi-Media Experiences Using QR Codes, lists using QR codes on covers as well as in the text of books.

Want to use a QR code on your cover? Inside your book or pamphlet?  In other printed materials? There are a few things to learn about.  Search Google or YouTube (if you prefer watching videos) for more information, and we’ll post more on another post.

Brossman and McGaha's Social Media for Business Book

Find down-to-earth, insightful, practical and valuable practices, tips, perspectives and explanations in Social Media for Business by Martin Brossman and Anora McGaha with chapters by 20 contributors. Written by small and micro business owners, with direct experience that can help and guide you in using the Internet and social media to grow your business, referral partners and your reputation, this book will help you and your business.

Short chapters so you can find what you’re looking for and get what you need to know fast.  If you haven’t read it yet, order it now. Amazon for $16.52. Or apply  Discount code: C47P9D2V when you order on CreateSpace for $16.00.

Let the tens of thousands of hours of research and experience represented in this book save you time and grow your business – for less than $23 delivered.  Read what reviewers have said on Amazon.

After you’ve read it, leave your own review. Have suggestions? Email info@thesocialmediaforbusinessbook.com. We want to hear from you.

The Social Media for Business Book

The Social Media for Business book, your small business guide to online marketing through social media and other Internet channels.

The Social Media for Business Book will be released any day now. Stay posted.

We will be having a book launch in the Raleigh, North Carolina area, date and location will be announced as soon as the book is available for sale on Amazon.com.

Update August 1, 2011:

The Social Media for Business book is available on Amazon.com. The launch for the book is planned for August 4th at 6pm at Raleigh’s Center for Excellence near the intersection of 440 and Six Forks South. RSVP at Eventbrite and any of the following social media sites:

Acronyms for ROI for Social Media

One thing is sure about this social media era, creativity abounds. We’ve seen half a dozen different creative acronyms for the concept of return on investment.

ROA: Return on Assets

ROE: Return on Effort; Return on Engagement

ROI: Return on Investment (the old standby); Return on Interest

ROSM: Return on Social Media

Brian Solis has a February 2010 post that lists some of the acronyms in circulation. He includes a few listed above, and others: among them, Return on Attention is a neat one, and Return on Trust is a great concept. (Too bad “ROT” as an acronym is not so appealing.)

What acronyms have you seen and what do you think of them?

Brossman and McGaha's Social Media for Business Book

Find down-to-earth, insightful, practical and valuable practices, tips, perspectives and explanations in Social Media for Business by Martin Brossman and Anora McGaha with chapters by 20 contributors. Written by small and micro business owners, with direct experience that can help and guide you in using the Internet and social media to grow your business, referral partners and your reputation, this book will help you and your business.

Short chapters so you can find what you’re looking for and get what you need to know fast.  If you haven’t read it yet, order it now. Amazon for $16.52. Or apply  Discount code: C47P9D2V when you order on CreateSpace for $16.00.

Let the tens of thousands of hours of research and experience represented in this book save you time and grow your business – for less than $23 delivered.  Read what reviewers have said on Amazon.

After you’ve read it, leave your own review. Have suggestions? Email info@thesocialmediaforbusinessbook.com. We want to hear from you.

How Are Facebook and LinkedIn Ads Working?

What’s your experience with Facebook or LinkedIn Ads? We’d like to hear from you.

(Updated September 21, 2011)

Facebook Ads

Facebook ads are very exciting because of how easily you can specify who you want to target. The breadth of attributes that we have access to on Facebook is unparalleled, and certainly never been available at the low price point that Facebook currently offers. Do start by reviewing the Facebook Ad information on Facebook.

Facebook allows you to target the people who are connected with a certain Facebook Page. You can target interests that people have specified. You can target people who are not connected with a Facebook Page. Focus on a geographic area. Age groups. Relationship status. The choices are boggling, and exciting.

There are also several different types of ads.

Sponsored Stories which link to a post on Facebook.

Sponsored Ads which can link back to a Facebook Page or to an external website.

Facebook’s capabilities of offering viewers the chance to click and like an ad, or comment on it, add to the appeal, because it allows participation.

Though pricing on Facebook Ads is rising, there is still a world of possibility in this arena.

LinkedIn Ads

LinkedIn ads are on the whole more expensive than Facebook ads, and have a much narrower spectrum of attributes to target. They only list certain jobs and professions, and didn’t have the wide spectrum of interests to draw from in targeting ads. For targeting professionals in traditional occupations and geographies, LinkedIn hits the mark. For more creative targeting, Facebook is a wonderland.

To learn about LinkedIn ads, start at this LinkedIn ads page. With LinkedIn you can target people by variables like these:

  • Industry
  • Company and Size of Company
  • Geographic Location
  • Job Title or Job Function
  • Seniority or Rank by Title
  • Age
  • Affiliations by LinkedIn Groups

 

Learn more about Facebook Ads:

There are several resources for you to pursue in learning about Facebook Ads.

Like the Facebook Ads Page.  Facebook Ads Resources.

Here’s the Guide to Facebook Ad Marketing.

The Facebook content is a starting point, but is not as in-depth as some of us would like. As we discover better resources for you we will post them here.

Brossman and McGaha's Social Media for Business Book

Find down-to-earth, insightful, practical and valuable practices, tips, perspectives and explanations in Social Media for Business by Martin Brossman and Anora McGaha with chapters by 20 contributors. Written by small and micro business owners, with direct experience that can help and guide you in using the Internet and social media to grow your business, referral partners and your reputation, this book will help you and your business.

Short chapters help you find what you’re looking for and get what you need to know fast.  If you haven’t read it yet, order it now. Amazon for $16.52. Or apply  Discount code: C47P9D2V when you order on CreateSpace for $16.00.

Let the tens of thousands of hours of research and experience represented in this book save you time and grow your business – for less than $23 delivered.  Read what reviewers have said on Amazon.

After you’ve read it, leave your own review. Have suggestions? Email info@thesocialmediaforbusinessbook.com. We want to hear from you.

Social Media Personalities and Participation Levels

In the Social Media for Business book, in our chapter on personalities and participation types, we review some of the pioneering work by Charlene Li in Groundswell and Brian Solis’ “behaviorgrahics” in Engage. They help us make sense of the ocean of behavior on the Internet, by categorizing types of participants and behaviors.

Still there are other dimensions that small business owners would find valuable to understand and integrate. Where do Raving Fans fit in? What about Honest Friends? And Quiet Supporters? What ways could we be interacting with these different groups of people that recognizes them and supports our business?

Another dimension that could add perspective is the sea animal categories developed by Francis McCarthy – Whales, Dolphins, Urchins and Sharks.

How do you group people to understand their behavior and figure out how to interact with it? Which of these categories do you find helpful in managing your social media plan – online communications? We look forward to your comments.

Brossman and McGaha's Social Media for Business Book

Find down-to-earth, insightful, practical and valuable practices, tips, perspectives and explanations in Social Media for Business by Martin Brossman and Anora McGaha with chapters by 20 contributors. Written by small and micro business owners, with direct experience that can help and guide you in using the Internet and social media to grow your business, referral partners and your reputation, this book will help you and your business.

Short chapters so you can find what you’re looking for and get what you need to know fast.  If you haven’t read it yet, order it now. Amazon for $16.52. Or apply  Discount code: C47P9D2V when you order on CreateSpace for $16.00.

Let the tens of thousands of hours of research and experience represented in this book save you time and grow your business – for less than $23 delivered.  Read what reviewers have said on Amazon.

After you’ve read it, leave your own review. Have suggestions? Email info@thesocialmediaforbusinessbook.com. We want to hear from you.

Estimating Time for Your Social Media Program

How much time does it take for a social media program?

How much time does it take to participate in social media for business?

Just about everyone discusses this question when talking about social media for business.

Many people have said they don’t have time.

Others say they do it by the clock – schedule 10-30 minutes a day or every few days, and log into their accounts to read what’s there and post topics.

There’s a basic physics concept that applies here. When you skim the surface you can go faster. Going deeper slows things down.

  • Posting news and links related to your business itself doesn’t take a lot of time. But figuring out what to post if you don’t have obvious news does.
  • Short simple blog posts can be quick. If you’re someone who thinks of ideas easily and you’re comfortable writing, you’re way ahead. But if not, it takes time to research topics, to write and edit them, choose the categories, tag words, summary, find a photo, edit it if needed, and proof it all, make any needed corrections and proof again.
  • Then there are technical slow downs. The photo doesn’t line up right. The text isn’t formatting right. Little things like that can take a lot of time. The post just won’t look right if it’s not formatted well.

An hour for a blog post can seem like a lot – even enough for 4 – 6 posts if they are short and simple and don’t take editing or research…  Or you could need 2 hours if you want to express more complex ideas, doing research to give examples, or looking for the right photo to put with it.

And if you’re going to optimize your social media content by researching keywords and choosing good links, that’s yet another layer.

How much time you’re going to need depends a lot on how deep you want to go. Since blog posts are lingering digital assets, investing more time to enhance the content isn’t a bad idea. Know what you’re going for in your own work, and take that into account with whoever is working with or for you on it.