ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Use Social Media in Your Business Plan

Updated on September 10, 2017

Decisions, Decisions....

Source

Promoting Your Business Using the Internet

Every Business needs to have a business plan that includes the methods to market the business products and services to the public to gain customers and revenue.

Traditional marketing methods may include paid advertisements on television, radio, and paper media. While this may still work for some businesses, like used car sales, you will see these same businesses are now trying to use the internet to reach more potential customers.

Why the Internet? The most common answer is that generation X and Y customers are almost exclusively using the internet for social media, shopping, news, education, and finance.

If your business offers products or services that target the age groups for generation X (born in the 1960s - 1980), generation Y (born between 1980s and 2000 - also called millenials), or the generation Z (all born post year 2000), then the internet is the place to find these potential customers and get their attention.


Source

What Do We Need to Do?

OK, so what social media applications are out there on the internet to help reach new customers?

First off, I would HIGHLY recommend that you create your own picture / image / avatar to use consistently across all online accounts. These are graphical representations of your business.

I use a small JPG file that is around 8 KB in size. See image photo to the right.

Since I am not an Adobe Photoshop expert by any means, I called upon our friend Scott to design and create this image for me to use as a logon on my website and to use as the icon or avatar that represents my online identity.

Next, you could identify a mascot to help with any advertising images or photo that you would need to promote your product or service. Do you remember that Taco Bell Dog? It was a cute and adorable Chihuahua. It had nothing to do with the food products, but people remembered the company because of the cute animal.

Then, you would need to get a list of the most popular social media sites to use to promote your business.

Consistency for Sanity

In addition to using the same avatar for your online identity when creating social media accounts, you may also want to have a separate email address with your business name in it when you create these new accounts.

The email address may be available for people to contact you, so try to have a business-oriented email address for your social media accounts, business cards, and on your website (if you have one).

How Do We Start?

This is a good question. How do we start all of this? The answer is simple, identify all of the social media applications that are related to and are appropriate for your business.

How do you find these applications? The easiest way is to search the internet using a browser search engine, like Google or Bing. If you are not savvy using the internet to search, then ask for help!

You will need a method to keep track of all of your online usernames/passwords and links to the social media accounts you choose. Then you will need a method to track your activity on those accounts. See the example tracking spreadsheet below.

You will also need to know what the limitations are for your promoting on the internet. Some application sites do not allow hyperlinks to other sites. Most blog sites do, but you will need to read the terms and conditions to verify. Some application sites limit the content allowed. They will also specify this in the terms and conditions. One of the common restrictions is the "No Adult Content" allowed.


Example Online Media Tracking Sheet

Social Media Site
Promotion
Update Frequency
Facebook
Current Online Discount Codes and News
weekly
Twitter
Tweet latest business news
daily
Pinterest
Product Ads
weekly
Pearltrees
Product Ads
weekly
StumbleUpon
Product Ads
weekly
Example of Popular Social Media Applications.

Tell Me More About These Applications

Social networking websites, like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ always seem to appear in the top ten lists in recent news articles.

Facebook and Google+ are the social website applications. People use this site to share personal experiences, recipes, family photos and more.

Twitter is used for micro blogging. Each Tweet is limited to only 140 characters. For the best results, ensure that you add related #hashtags to every tweet. The #hashtag is a form of key word that people can search on in Twitter. The keyword or words are prefixed with the hash or pound sign character #. An example of a tweet for this hubpage short URL and using the #hashtags is: #smallbiz and #socialmedia intro http://hub.me/ajPlM. Note that the #hashtag keywords are lowercase and where 2 words are needed, combine them to one word. You could also use #smallbiz and #social #media in your #business #planning http://hub.me/ajPlM.

YouTube is for video sharing. If you make a short video discussing your product or service, you can upload it to share.

LinkedIn is more for professional people to network to share job opportunities and educational resources.

Instagram is used to share photos and Snapchat is used for Instant messaging.

Pinterest and Pearltrees are sites that share images to promote ads, recipes, how to articles and more.

Blogspot, Tumblr, and Wordpress are examples of blog sites. Blogs are used to log news or other information an easy format. For your business, you may want to write articles or reviews about your products and services and add links to those articles on your blog for the readers to follow.

Effective blogs are interactive, where you allow other people to add commentary to your news. of course, you would want to set the option to review all comments prior to publishing on your blog!

Keep It Business Only

Remember - these online accounts are for your business. Do not provide any personal information on them.

You can always create separate personal accounts later.

I Set Up a Couple Accounts, Now What?

Again, if you are not Internet savvy, you may want to start slowly and open just one or two accounts to start with. After you get accustomed to managing these, you can always add more.

After you have created your accounts on your target applications, you will need to do two things:

1. Promote the Internet address, URL, or link to your new accounts to your existing customers. You can do this by way of adding the links to your existing website, updating your business cards and letter head, and by mailing letters with this wonderful new method to contact you!

2. Gain internet followers. This is difficult at first. Your customers can add themselves to your follower list themselves when they visit your page, or you can send an invite to them if you know their email addresses. It does take time for your list of followers to grow.

A key point to remember here is that you need to be active with updating the information on these accounts. For example, if you are promoting a new product, you need to update the product list and photographs. If you have positive feedback from a customer, you may ask them to add that feedback to one of your blogs or Facebook page for others to see.

If you find that you still need more help, here is a link for Small Business For Dummies Books on ebay. Small Business for Dummies books are available for specific topics including guide for dealing with taxes, human resources, networking, financial management, marketing, and more!

Source

What Should I Watch Out For?

One word, Fraud. One of the biggest obstacles we face on the internet these days is the theft of identity and attempt of fraudulent use. When an entity impersonates you to try to get your customers, or worse - their personal information, your reputation will take a negative hit.

Another form of fraud is the attempt to lure you, the business owner, into signing up for help advertising your business website through the use of unwanted email. Fraudsters can buy stolen lists of email addresses from hackers and send unsolicited email to them. They will tell you they will market your ads to thousands of email addresses. Again, the people will think that you are the spammer and your reputation can take a negative hit from that.

Your reputation is everything in business. Guard it wisely!


How to Create a Blog - an example from YouTube

© 2015 Lori Robinson

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Ashish Dadgaa profile image

      Ashi 

      20 months ago

      @Lori,

      Wow, this is an excellent piece of work. I loved this idea of utilizing Social Media in our Business Plan. Being an entrepreneur I can relate to your article very and I will definitely consider your suggestions and secrets in the future.

      Thank you so much for sharing this article with us.

      Bless you.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)