3 Simple Steps to Maximizing Social Media for Your Small Business

by Chris C. Ducker · 38 comments

Today I have a very sincere message for every business owner out there that is using social media to promote and market their business…

Stop having one night stands on your social media channels.

If you really want to utilize this medium to grow your business, then start getting married, instead.

Let me explain my thoughts further.

A short time back, I had marketing expert and world-renowned speaker, David Meerman Scott on the VBL Podcast. I’m a massive fan of David’s and literally read everything he puts out. The guy is my marketing Yoda, plain and simple.

The one thing that he mentioned that stood out, more than anything else, was that people have got to stop pitching and start engaging more, to be able to make social media work for them in business.

So, in reverse order, here are three quick and easy tips to start utilizing social media to help grow your business faster than you thought possible… The RIGHT way.

Tip #3 – Fill Up Your Social Media Calendar

At the beginning of February I had the opportunity to fly over to Phuket, Thailand and speak in front of 160 passionate entrepreneurs on the subject of boosting traditional / brick ‘n mortar success, by engaging the online world of business.

Throughout the course of the 3-day conference many successful business owners, myself included (duh!) presented their pearls of wisdom to the highly energetic crowd. One session was on the subject of getting your social media strategy in place – for the entire year!

The strategy is to post something, across all your channels every day of the week.

Its better to try and automate as much of this as possible, so you just have to focus on the interaction side of things, once people start replying, commenting and RT’ing your posts.

It included things like:

  • Video clips.
  • Links to blog posts.
  • Famous quotes.
  • Questions.
  • Useful resources.

Perhaps I’ll go into this strategy a little more in the near future, but the big eye-opener for almost all in attendance was that, with a little planning and execution, you can be everywhere, be engaging, helpful, resourceful and reap massive rewards through social media, in a non-spammy / sales-pitchy way.

So, get creative, plan your posting schedule (in the same way you would as a blogger), and then put it all on autopilot. Following this, all you have to do is pay attention and engage.

Tip #2 – The Twitter Tactic that has Transformed My Businesses

The one thing that I love about social media is that it’s instant.

Sometime last year I had issues with my hosting provider – our sites went down. I quickly went onto Twitter and discovered that there were a lot of people in the same boat, all using the same provider, just by doing a quick search.

This got me thinking. Surely if people were using the micro-blogging site to bitch and moan about problems they were experiencing, then they MUST be using it to find solutions, too.

I was bang on, right!

So, I immediately started stalking search.twitter.com, searching for people that needed help and support in my niche, and started reaching out – without pitching my company or services. I figured that if I helped them out willingly, that they would go ahead and visit my profile, click on my links and check out what I had to offer – when they were good and ready.

I was bang on, right – again!

Nowadays, I don’t do this searching myself. I leave it up to my VA, who manages all the searches via TweetDeck, and sends out pre-written responses that I produced in the course of my experimenting myself, as well as other types of interaction that she handles herself, too.

She does this with her own Twitter account, some company ones, and even sometimes using MY account, too! So, people think that they are chatting with me, as a thought leader in our niche, before they actually DO start talking to me. Smart so-and-so, aren’t I…?!!

For me, it works… Check out the tweets below, showing social proof.

Chris Ducker

Tip #1 – My Number One ‘Social Media for Business’ Tip

This is simple, yet so many people overlook it.

It’s time to minimize and simplify.

Having a presence on the major social media channels, such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn is important (click at random to interact with me on these channels). However, being actively involved on them all is just unrealistic – especially if you want to make a major difference in your business and more importantly, genuinely help your customers and prospective customers.

So, stop chasing the social media dragon and start getting smart.

Pick ONE channel that you enjoy using more than any other, and then GO FOR IT in a major way. That doesn’t mean that you won’t utilize the other channels frequently (or even have a virtual assistant manage them for you), it simply means that this one channel will become your social media focus.

For me, it’s Twitter. I like to tweet because it’s quick, easy and very mobile (thanks to my iPhone4 and iPad). It also enables me to add images, videos and links to other cool and helpful resources for my list of over 40,000+ followers.

For my aforementioned buddy, Pat Flynn – it’s Facebook. Pat’s fan page is ridiculous – in a good way! The engagement he has with his fans is unlike any other Facebook page that I have seen. Why? Because he decided a long time ago, that this was the way he wanted to answer fan questions, help, support and interact with them, away from his blog. He does a great job of it, too.

I’ll leave you with this…

10 People Doing it RIGHT!

There are LOTS of people doing things right already. However, here’s a list of ten of them that I see using social media in the right way (consistently), as discussed above, to engage, motivate, inspire and educate (as well as promote their businesses!).

Check ‘em out on Twitter, and emulate, people.

What are YOU Doing Right… or Wrong?!

What experiences have you had with social media in regards to utilizing it for building your brand and promoting / marketing your business?

I’d love to hear about the good, the bad AND the ugly in the comment section below.

Quick Request: If you liked this post and found it even remotely helpful, I’d really appreciate a quick share of it on your favorite social media channel. Here’s the URL, so you can copy and paste it quickly. Thanks in advance! - http://bit.ly/ygb0dO

Join My New Business Bootcamp for Free!

I'LL SHOW YOU HOW TO START, RUN, & GROW A BUSINESS IN THE 21ST CENTURY

  • Utilize the Power of Blogging in Business
  • Grow Your Empire Through Outsourcing
  • Attract Customers with Videos & Podcasts

{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

Damian February 24, 2012 at 19:40

The other important lesson is to be available.

I tell the story OFTEN of how responsive you were to me 2 years ago when I was first thinking of coming to the Philippines. You answered every question I had via email about Cebu, outsourcing, etc.

It was greatly appreciated mate and demonstrates the true “social” aspect of social media by actually communicating with each other.

Reply

Chris C. Ducker February 25, 2012 at 15:36

Hi Damian

Be Available. Absolutely right.

Thanks so much for the kind words, too. I’m like that with anyone that contacts me. It’s just about making time, for the things that are important. I class helping people as much as possible to be important.

Why blog, if you don’t have that outlook, I say…?!

Cheers,
C

Reply

Ben February 24, 2012 at 20:33

I like this Chris

Too many businesses are trying to kill it on 100 platform rather than just getting lean and focussing on just one or two that are big for their brand.

Reaching out on social platform is such a cool way to engage with people. I did this for a past venture and it rocked big style. The trick is finding your key words and search terms that find you the right kind of people.

If I’m honest I’m not sure about pre-written responses as it doesn’t feel authentic to me. I know there’s a time constraint with this, and often you end up saying the same thing anyway but authenticity is where its at now and that’s why you’ve dominated because you’re 100% real

Reply

Chris C. Ducker February 25, 2012 at 15:35

Hey Ben
:-)

Pre-written support, these are not really ‘answers’, rather than advice and additional resources. No pitching, just helping. After thats been accomplished, the enjoyable ‘conversation’ part of things starts!

Glad you liked the post, mate.

C

Reply

Ben February 25, 2012 at 15:52

Phew! Thought you had a glossary of Ducker statements lol

Reply

Chris C. Ducker February 27, 2012 at 11:28

Actually, I do – but its under heavy guard at the London Dungeon!! ;-)

Reply

Bill February 24, 2012 at 22:31

Chris,

I’d love to see Andy’s plan for mapping out a year ahead! That sounds like a big task on the front end, but a major timesaver on the back end.

Reply

Chris C. Ducker February 25, 2012 at 15:34

Massive task, Bill. But, a lot of it can be done by someone else – and you’d be surprised just how much content you properly already have that you can use!

I’ll elaborate on things more in a future post, promise!

Thanks for commenting.

C

Reply

simon healy February 24, 2012 at 22:34

Top stuff Chris. I live in Boracay and my business is in Sydney, Australia and Mandaluyong, Manila. You’ve got a cool collective outlook on outsourcing and life in general. Hope we can catch up one of these days in person. Cheers Simon

Reply

Chris C. Ducker February 25, 2012 at 15:33

Hi Simon

Love Boracay… In fact, one of my managers is there this weekend, having some fun!

Would love to catch up in the future. If you’re ever in Cebu – let me know.

C

Reply

Martha Christie February 24, 2012 at 22:45

Hi Chris

This is great information. I have found that I’m more active on Twitter than I am on any other social network – I haven’t forgotten about the others, I just prefer the “real time” interaction.

I manage a lot of social media for my clients and use exactly the methods that you have explained in your post but with one small difference – I know my clients and work for them as if I am part of their business. My tweets aren’t pre-written for me as I know exactly what to say and what not to say. Obviously this comes from experience and getting to know them, their personality and most importantly, their business.

For anyone starting out in social media, you have given them some great tips in your post to get started.

Best wishes
Martha

Reply

Chris C. Ducker February 25, 2012 at 15:33

Hi Martha

Real-time is EXACTLY what its all about.

Appreciate your kind words on the post, and nice to see you commenting – its been a while! :-)

C

Reply

Nica Mandigma February 25, 2012 at 00:02

Oh I’ve got a really good one for this!

I attended this live seminar once in Makati and like a true location-independent VA, I brought my netbook along hoping to do some work while waiting for speaker and to tweet interesting quotes. I’ve been following this guy for a while so I knew I’d get really meaty ones. Throughout the main speaker’s presentation, I was tweeting. The speaker took notice though how he was monitoring Twitter while doing a presentation is beyond me.

The good thing about this whole experience is that Tweeting got me the introduction I wanted and I think I made an impression because a month or so later, I got a call from his project manager and they were referring me to a clientt – the best client ever!

Who is this speaker? None other done Chris C. Ducker himself.

Reply

Chris C. Ducker February 25, 2012 at 15:32

Hi Nica

Great story. Love it.

And I was more than happy to suggest you for the role. You’re smart. Plain and simple.

Keep up the great work for my, client buddy, okay!

C

Reply

Rosemary Jayne February 25, 2012 at 02:11

Don’t forget that to some extent you can automate social media – using Buffer for Twitter and/or Facebook and/or LinkedIn can help hugely. That and services such as ifttt.com can make at least having an active presence on pretty much every service going a definitely possibility. Of course the danger is then over-automation and completely ruining it.

I really like tip number 3 of being everywhere – I guess it involves automation via Hootsuite which makes life so much easier. It’s given me an idea of sitting down and planning my social media – or at least some of it, every Sunday afternoon for the upcoming week.

Reply

Chris C. Ducker February 25, 2012 at 15:31

Hi Rosemary

Thank you for the comment.

Buffer just launched their LinkedIn support – I noticed that. Fantastic stuff.

Glad you enjoyed the post and good luck with your planning tomorrow afternoon! :-)

C

Reply

Rosemary Jayne February 27, 2012 at 12:59

Just thought I’d let you know I actually did my planning and while I’m going to spend about an extra 10-15 minutes on social media a day, I will also be a lot more involved.

Also don’t forget Amy Porterfield’s tip – if you post something on a social network hang around to answer the questions/comments!

Reply

Chris C. Ducker February 29, 2012 at 23:31

Absolutely, couldn’t agree more with Amy. She rocks!

Thanks for the follow up comment, too.

C

Reply

Mike Stankavich February 25, 2012 at 05:10

Good stuff Chris, thanks for sharing. So here’s a question for you. In a partnership situation, do you think it would be more effective for the partners to use the same platform or different platforms for their social media hub? I can think of arguments for both sides. But it still comes down to depth versus coverage I’d guess. But platform comfort also plays into that I’d think.

Reply

Chris C. Ducker February 25, 2012 at 15:29

Great question, Mike.

I think it would be better for them to go their own route, perhaps via Twitter or Google+, and then for them to come together on Facebook, where they can all have access to the page, as an admin and help out in answering questions, etc.

Just my humble opinion…

C

Reply

Valerie Joy Deveza February 25, 2012 at 14:25

I love the last tip.. minimize and simplify.. social media can eat up tremendous time if you don’t use it the right way.

Its something that I always tell my clients. Don’t get overwhelmed with all the outlets available online.. you don’t need to be on LinkedIn if your audience are on Facebook. I mean.. focus on the so”cial” part and not on the “media” part of it.

Just like you Chris.. Twitter is my favorite. I get a lot of feedback and traffic on this media alone.. (just got a new lead this morning who landed on my blog through Twitter)

Reply

Chris C. Ducker February 25, 2012 at 15:28

Hi Valerie

Great to hear you’re using Twitter properly, and that you’re getting business from it. Thats awesome!

Fantastic mindset you have on social media. Love it. Keep it up!

C

Reply

Joseph February 26, 2012 at 03:12

Top recommendations, Chris! This weekend I am actually putting together a big SMM consulting proposal for a potential client and there are some great nuggets and resources in here that I’ll be inserting into my proposal. As always, Thanks!

By the way, I have had my @VStaffFinder VA for 5 months now and we are still rockin’!

Reply

Chris C. Ducker February 27, 2012 at 11:33

Hi Joseph

Glad that the post came at the right time for you, man. I love the ‘dont have a one night stand, get married” line, myself. Use that!!! :-)

Glad everything is going well with the VA, too. That’s what its all about!

C

Reply

Anshul February 26, 2012 at 05:56

Great post Chris. I have been using a VA service of my own for over a month to manage my Twitter profile which has been great in boosting my twitter followers and driving traffic.

I think you would agree that there is a difference between having thousands of twitter followers Vs making yourself known as an authority figure on any social media platform. Will check out some of the examples you have shared here to get some clues!

Reply

Chris C. Ducker February 27, 2012 at 11:36

Thanks for the comment, Anshul.

Absolutely agree with what you say. I know I have a decent number of followers, but its the ones that I’ve amounted over the last year or so (I’ve used Twitter since 2008, I think) that are the most active on my stream.

Even though I am certainly NOT a SM expert, let me know if I can help you with anything as you continue to explore things, bud.

Cheers,
C

Reply

The Beach Bum Entrepreneur February 27, 2012 at 08:39

Hey Chris thanks for the heads up, I am learning more about the social media but have to be honest I really do not enjoy it. Its not really my thing. I prefer real socializing but understand the importance of communication and that facebook certainly can not be ignored from a business point of view.

I limit it to 20mins a day max, and would prefer to have someone else handling my social media communication. and I can add my input as and when i can.

Guess I should get into the habit of it.

cheers

Reply

Chris C. Ducker February 27, 2012 at 11:38

Hi Bum!

As long as you understand the importance of SM, thats all that really matters here. Some like it, some dont. But, you must get involved somehow.

That 20mins a day is about as long as I, personally, put into it, too – perhaps a little longer, but not much. The rest of the time, my team handle it for me.

Habit away, mate. It won’t hurt you, for sure.

C

Reply

Wasim Ismail February 27, 2012 at 17:57

Chris, I’ve been using your services for the past couple of months.
Also regarding Social Media, many rev up their accounts with lots of updates, and posts, which is fine, but than the quality drops. Its an easily done mistake, I’ve fallen into this trap too in the past, as its so much fun sharing content. But looking at it from your followers point of view, they want unique stuff, which will benefit them, totally agree and second your point “It’s time to minimize and simplify.”

Reply

Chris C. Ducker February 29, 2012 at 23:32

Great stuff, buddy.

Great to know you’re rockin’ the right way… regardless of falling into traps in the past.

C

Reply

Nadia Chaudhry March 4, 2012 at 11:26

Hey Chris,

I really loved the article. I plan using that ‘search twitter.’ I need to take full advantage of social media. :)

Thanks,
Nadia

Reply

Chris C. Ducker April 15, 2012 at 12:02

Hi Nadia

Glad you enjoyed…

You certainly do need to take advantage. Twitter is a great way to start as its instant – up to date ALL the time. It’s very quickly becoming my SEARCH ENGINE of choice, too…. Because of that very reason.

All the best,
C

Reply

Lewis LaLanne a.k.a. Nerd #2 March 6, 2012 at 01:11

Hey Chris,

Love the Social Media Marketing Calendar suggestion!

I know it’s not meant to be a marketing calendar in the way most people think of marketing calendars (when you’re doing what promotions during the year, but I still call it a marketing calendar because I believe marketing is the continuing education to your audience as to why they should pay attention and hand over money to you vs. anyone else.

So by educating people by either enlightening them to a new business/lifestyle breakthrough or just educating them to the fact that you’re a really fun and loving person through your social media interactions, you’re marketing.

Thanks also for the list of people to follow!

PS. Love the top and bottom opt in boxes you have laid out here. Very good looking!

Reply

Chris C. Ducker April 15, 2012 at 12:04

Hi Lewis

Thanks for all the kind words.

And yes – it IS a marketing calendar. All small businesses owners should look at social media as a marketing angle. Its different, yes – with interaction required, etc., but, sales is sales – marketing is marketing. We’re all in it to make more money and become uber successful, right….?!

Again, glad you liked the post and thanks for commenting!

C

Reply

Lester March 11, 2012 at 20:05

Hi Chris,

excellent and very effective post. The five main points Navigation, Speed, Focus, Display and Readability are always to be concentrated in. So thanks for sharing such a awesome post.

Reply

Chris C. Ducker March 13, 2012 at 17:01

Hi Lester

Indeed. Bang on the money with the ‘focus’!

Thanks for commenting.

C

Reply

Pilar Torres Wahlberg September 28, 2012 at 07:40

Hi Chris,
Planning things in advance is the way to go.
Having a proper Social Media Calendar.
Some distribution of your social media messages can be automated but it is best to focus on the main ones yourself and focus on building real relationships.

All the best.

Reply

Chris C. Ducker September 28, 2012 at 11:04

Hi Pilar

If you have access to a full blown SM Calendar, I’d LOVE to see it – let me know by dropping me a quick tweet, or FB message, okay!

http://www.duckeronfacebook.com

Thanks,

C

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: