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Social Media can help your business grow

“I don’t tweet and I don’t have any friends on Facebook. That stuff is a waste of time. I’m trying to run a business” roared the Lion. “While all that might be true said the Owl. The reality is that social media is increasingly becoming important in business. Look at how your customers interact and check-in when they come to your restaurant on Foursquare or look at how they post feedback on your competition’s Facebook page. Don’t miss out on the trend.”

Lesson: This tip is from “Why Social Media is a Big Factor for the Growth of Your Business” by Sheine Austria. It is featured on Rescue a CEO. “The trend of today’s business world is being social. Reaching out to your potential market is something that any business owner should strive for. This brings about awareness towards your company, and innovation within your products.”

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When rebranding think of your customers first

The Flamingo always prided herself on branding, but she understood that after being in business  for 15 years it was important for her business to rebrand. As always when she made changes she asked her customers for feedback. While her customers dined she dropped off a survey to tell them that they were thinking of rebranding the restaurant and what things they would like to see.

Lesson: This tip is from “Entrepreneurs Offer Tips on How to Begin Rebranding Your Business” on Rescue a CEO.

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Guest post to promote your business

The Owl offered monthly seminars for entrepreneurs and business owners. One of the segments of these seminars was free ways that entrepreneurs and business owners could promote their business. For the each month the Owl focused on a specific aspect. This month was on business blogging. He counseled the business owners and said “Business blogging is the future so make sure that you get started. The beauty of guest posts is that you don’t even have to have a blog. You can blog on sites that get traffic and you can show your expertise.

Lesson: This tip is from the guest post “Four Free Ways to Generate New Business” by Tasha Mayberry of Social Media 22. “Content-driven marketing is extremely effective and is a way to show your expertise…. Make sure your guest blog is informative/helpful/interesting. The most successful blogs are short and concise (400 – 600 words) offering tips of some sort or steps on how to accomplish something (bullet points or lists). At the end of your blog, make sure to add a short bio.”

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Your Brand is Everywhere

Every morning the Ant would wake up and hop on his computer before he want into the office. He check his email which sent Google Alerts directly to his e-mail containing information about his business, his name and even his competitors. He monitored the Facebook and Twitter pages to ensure that the messages, logo, images all branded his company in the way they were supposed to. He understood the ubiquitous nature of business and wanted to be ahead of the curve.

Lesson: Now more than any other time it is important to monitor your brand because your digital footprint is growing and only continues to grow. Everything your business’ (and personal) brand stands for can be found online with a simple Google Search.

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The Ant Learns the Impact of Social Media

In a field one summer’s day the Grasshopper was relaxing with his feet up. In his lap was his laptop and whenever his phone went off he would pick it up while he responded to his Tweet or Facebook comment. The Ant passed by with his large briefcase hoping to knock on doors and visit local businesses.

“Sorry, can’t speak right now,” said the Ant, “I have set the goal to knock on 100 doors today so I can get more customers and I don’t have time to waste.”

“That’s fine” said the Grasshopper, “best of luck to you. I hope you exceed your goals.”

The Ant stopped and said to the Grasshopper, “Aren’t you going out into the field?”

“Not today!” the Grasshopper said while holding up a book which said something about social media for grasshoppers. “I’m doing all my work right here,” he said lifting up his iPad, “and here,” he said lifting up his phone.  “And…”

“Sorry, got to go! No time to waste!” shouted the Ant as he rushed away into the field.

As the sun set and the Grasshopper powered down his iPad and cell phone and ended his day. After a dinner with his family, he waited on the porch for the Ant to come back. He thought to himself, if I was this successful then surely the Ant must have sold the entire farm. After 8 PM and the sun had already set, the Ant slowly trudged in front of the Grasshopper’s house.

Looking forward to hearing the great news, the Grasshopper asked the Ant, “How’d your day go?”

In just a few hours the Grasshopper was able to Tweet a message announcing a one day only sale to his 40,000 Twitter Followers and 10,000 Facebook Fans. He had 3 Skype phone meetings, and he used his webcam to record a webinar which he blasted out to his 15,000 e-mail address. Just from the e-mail and another Tweet he was able to schedule meetings which would fill up his calendar for next week.

“It was okay” said the Ant weakly. “I only had time to see about 8 customers. When I met Mr. Duck he wanted to talk and talk and talk, so I didn’t have time to go to that many customers and even Mr. Horse took up an hour of my time. I did set up two meetings, but I didn’t make any sales. I’ve learned my lesson, so I will wake up earlier and stay out later.  Hopefully, I will be able to see 15-20 businesses tomorrow.”

“Anyways, how did you day go?” asked the Ant

“Umm….it was okay” his voice trailed off not waiting to throw his successes in his friend’s face. Earlier that month, the Grasshopper met with a social media expert that explained the importance of social media and how it could grow his business. He even helped him to optimize his website so that customers could make purchases directly on his site. In just a few hours he was able to Tweet a message announcing a one day only sale to his 40,000 Twitter Followers and 10,000 Facebook Fans. He had 3 Skype phone meetings, and he used his webcam to record a webinar which he blasted out to his 15,000 e-mail address. Just from the e-mail and another Tweet he was able to schedule meetings which would fill up his calendar for next week. He read the analytics report which showed that he received clicks leading to sales from his Twitter and Facebook updates. This left him enough time to have a productive lunch meeting with Mr. Owl and close a financially beneficial partnership.

Snapping back to reality, the Grasshopper said “I think this social media thing is here to stay. It works. You should try it out for a little bit.”

The Ant sighed, “Not you too.” He shook his head and walked back home mumbling to himself. The Grasshopper hoped that his friend would one day be able to accept change and embrace the power of social media.

Don’t be like the ant. Accept change. Social media is the future, and it is not an option but a requirement for the success of all businesses.  The world is considerably smaller, so that now business owners can speak with clients on the opposite side of the world in real time. It is estimated that over 80% of Americans use social media. The names will change and the products may look different, but social media is here to stay and it offers incredible potential to prospect, to increase sales, to market products and services, to develop and strengthen brands, to communicate with consumers and clients, and to listen.

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