15 (NO Cost) Actionable Social Web Ideas to Help Promote Your Small Business Today

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Have you been meaning to use the social web to help promote your business, but have been holding back because you did not know where to start?

Today, you have NO more excuses.

The other day I did a guest post over on Twitip, 20 Must Read Beginner Twitter Tips for Small Business Owners, which had over 700 ReTweets. (Not meant as backslapping just seems to intimate that there’s a need for this kind of information!)

That post came about came about because a friend of mine, who is also a small business owner, was hesitant and did not know how to start using Twitter.

Today I thought that I would build upon the Twitip post and broaden the scope to include more of the social web. Here are my suggestions for you as you work to build your social media footprint:

  1. Register for Help A Reporter Out (HARO), read through the notices, and reply to all inquiries that are related to your business.
  2. Connect with, or promote, at least five people in your field on Twitter.
  3. Find the most visited forum that covers your industry and leave a non spammy comment or post as you work to begin to gain the trust of your potential customers.
  4. Upload 20 well-tagged pictures to FLICKR that show us how you ply your craft.
  5. Start a “Customer of the Day” photo section on your website or blog and provide a story to go along with the picture.
  6. Setup Twitter Search and Google Alert to see who is talking about you or your industry.
  7. Create a blog and with your very first post teach us something.
  8. Make a fan page for your business on Facebook and encourage your customers to drop by.
  9. Have a look at your ‘About’ page and rewrite the whole thing.
  10. Write a useful and amazing guest post and submit it to a very large blog. (Note: If I can get published on ProBlogger, Zen Habits, and Chris Brogan then YOU most certainly can.)
  11. Think creatively about your website’s search engine rankings (and SEO) and find new ways to rank better in Google. (Here’s one example of what I did last week!)
  12. Define who your customers are, fire your customers who don’t fit, and then let us know what you offer and who your ideal customer is via a detailed FAQ’s page.
  13. Shoot an interesting video that’s somehow related to your business and your brand’s story and then post it to YouTube.
  14. Do a Twitter or FaceBook only promotion.
  15. Depending on your business, study sites like Epinions, Yelp, Citysearch, Yahoo! Local, TripAdvisor,  and OpenTable. Thank those who are singing your praises and respond to your critics in a professional manner. But, most importantly, try to find the kernels of truth from those who criticize.

I am sure you know that social media is not rocket science. Sometimes the hardest part is just taking action and getting started. The keys are to listen, learn, engage, and be helpful. (Once you’ve started, consistency counts!)

As a final note, you should realize that if you don’t begin to manage your business’s online reputation today, sooner or later someone else will.

Over to you. What do you think? Do you have more suggestions?

image source: Matt Hamm

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Mark Hayward


8 thoughts on “15 (NO Cost) Actionable Social Web Ideas to Help Promote Your Small Business Today

  1. Hello Mark,

    Thank you very much for your articles on how to promote small businesses on the web. Your website is very informative and your advice hands-on! I just subscribed to your feedburner! I am looking forward to reading more from you!


  2. Pingback: Twitted by cgw3
  3. Hi Mark,

    Thanks for a great blog entry. While I did not copy it exactly, I tailored it to my customers, Mac users, and made some small adjustments to it. Otherwise a great post.

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