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Rockford Small Business Social Media News

In thinking about my business plan last night, it occurred to me that I have been running through a daily list of chores,  which do spread the start up social media presence online and in Rockford, but I have not built a coherent sales strategy yet.  For example, I know what my most wanted response for my Logan Counseling blog is or on my other website,   AskMiketheCounselor2, but so far for Social Media Start Up, I do not have that nailed down as clearly, and I need to get a good elevator speech prepared too, because this particular Social Media Training that I am going through with Maria Gudelis and Tina Williams has been undertaken to enhance my retirement income, and to allow me to have more time to interact with the kids.

So I began working last night on a sales page that really talks about my gifts, the best thing that I have that perhaps others will not have, and what I came up with is passion.   I have seen people in my counseling practice come back from the Gates Of Hell, metaphorically speaking, so I know change is possible.  I know that Social Media can be a successful part of a very small business marketing plan, and I know that it makes a difference for our two person practice.  Clients from all over the country call Julie for her therapy services, and pay her cash.  Not sure about your business, but we appreciate those customers.

So the tool that I have that I have in spades is excitement.  Us small business folks can make a difference in our bottom lines, and keep doing what we like to do by developing a Social Media presence and incorporating it into our daily routine.   Your routine can be as complicated as you care to make it, but remember you do not have to be on Twitter or Facebook monitoring your stream all day every day.  There are tools to help you do that, like Hootsuite or maybe your kids will do it for you?  I am sure that with the right bribe my son will monitor my Facebook account and add witty responses, right?




4 Responses to “Rockford Small Business Social Media News”

  1. John Dilbeck says:

    Michael, I agree with you that social networking is a very important part of online marketing these days and its reach is moving into our local areas in addition to the world-wide reach it started with.

    When I was trying to interact with local residents in Murphy, NC, I couldn’t find them online. They weren’t on Ryze, Twitter, MeetUp, LinkedIn, or even MySpace. So, I started a community MuphyConnections.com that is powered by Ning.com.

    It’s losing steam though, because Facebook has become the place to do local networking, even here in this very rural area in the mountains.

    I say all of that to point out that sometimes it takes a lot of work and effort to get the ball rolling, but then you learn that the people you want to reach are flocking to a different game. So, we can either choose to dig in our heels and try to bring them back to our game, or we can go play in their sandbox, or we can do a bit of both.

    Now, most people aren’t as crazy as me and would not start their own online community when so few in my target area are actually interacting online. It is a lot of work, especially at first. So, that’s not a recommendation I would make.

    Now that Facebook has exploded everywhere, it seems to me that it is the logical place to put a lot of effort. After all, there is merit in being a small fish in a huge lake, rather than a big fish in a tiny pond. To interact with, to network socially, ya just gotta go where the people are, even if it’s not where you want them to be.

    If you can’t find a way to entice them to join you, ya gotta go join them.

    The real trick, at least from my experience, is not to let your social networking overwhelm you to the point that you’re not getting anything else done. If we’re doing this to increase our business, we need to keep that sharply in focus. After-hours socializing is great, too, but aimless all-day socializing won’t grow the business.

    I just signed up for HootSuite and don’t have a feel for it, yet. What do you like most about it?

    I have a number of Google Alerts set up to notify me when people are talking about things in which I’m interested and that really does beat the heck out of sitting there watching a Twitter stream or constantly reloading the Facebook home page or doing endless searches on Google and Google’s blog search.

    http://www.google.com/alerts

    I set mine to send me a daily email for the terms I’m tracking.

    You are right about passion being very important and it is a real competitive advantage. (But, you already know that.)

    I bet you could bribe your son to write witty replies on Facebook for home-baked cookies or a new video game now and then. (grin)

    As with everything else, if we’re doing this for business, we need to have specific goals in place and a plan for achieving them. Then we can more easily ignore the shiny red balls that bounce across our path all the time and focus on playing our own game by our own rules.

    Whatcha think?

    Act on your dream!

    JD

    • admin says:

      John,

      Thanks for your incredible reply, and for your sharing of your Ning experiences. I also tried to set up a couple of Ning communities, one for the parents of kids on my son’s little league team, and even for all the parents of kids in that league, and they all looked at me like I was crazy. So over the course of the season, I observed not one parent taking videos or cell phone photos but me. I was amazed. And I offered to bring my Social Media skills to bear for the league, as a fund raiser, and they didn’t even respond. So I can identify with your Ning community, which I, ahhh, borrowed from awhile back, and then everyone is on facebook, and what do you do? Can you make a Facebook business page, and invite your Ning folks to join? Your cautions about mindless socializing are making me blush. I have to make myself do content creation before I go to Facebook. Just to many guys watching thunderstorms and listening to John Denver. I have used Google alerts for keywords, and backlinks too, so I second your thoughts on that. I really like hootsuite, which is a little easier for me to read than tweetdeck) because I can keep it booted up, pop in, scan conversations and retweet, and I can post my favorite Mark Twain quotes, quickly and efficiently. As for the boy, he has gotten suspicious about Dad’s offers, has hired an attorney, and I have to sign a contract before he will do any witty 6th grade “Your momma wears combat boots” kind of rejoinders. Mike Logan

  2. John Dilbeck says:

    Hi Michael,

    One of my Ning communities has recently taken off like a shot. The other continues limping along. I’ll see what they do this winter, when there’s less to do outdoors and we’re spending more time indoors, and probably, on our computers.

    I do have a Facebook page for each of my Ning communities, but haven’t had the energy to do a lot with them, yet.

    All I’ve been doing lately is mindless socializing. (grin)

    There’s even some guy on Facebook who talks all the time about a rooster named Fred and whether he’s crowing or not.

    Too bad about the boy. Attorneys and contracts in the sixth grade — the mind boggles. (grin)

    Act on your dream!

    JD

  3. admin says:

    Hi John, good morning, since I know Fred is crowing about now, hope the morning coffee is thick and the view of the dawn from your front porch is exhilarating.
    what do you think of the new Ning pricing structure? Yeah, it is a bummer to have the kid pull out a contract for Facebook, but I suppose I have earned that with my constant demands that he clean, really clean his room. I had not thought of building Facebook pages for Ning communities. Do members chat more on Facebook or on Ning? Mike

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