Lisa Baorne Social Media ExpertRecently we featured Lisa Barone, VP at Overit Media and a prolific writer of small business social media strategy with 3 questions for using social to market your organization. If you missed it, you can read the first 3 questions and her answers here. Lisa has been recognized  as  one of the top 25 online marketers to follow on Twitter by interactive marketing expert David Vogelpohl.  Now, we’re excited to share 3 more great thoughts with Lisa and even have a bonus 4th question for you too. 🙂

So, without further delay, let’s pick the conversation back up with Lisa:

Q: Lisa,  as a rule of thumb – how often should a small business post of Facebook and Tweet?

You should experiment with different frequencies to find what works for you, ultimately coming up with unique strategies for each

For Twitter, I recommend SMBs spend at least 15-20 minutes a day sharing content, RTing the content of others, and taking the time to engage and talk to people. That doesn’t mean you have to spend 20 minutes constantly tweeting things, but check in and be engaged. If you do want to use that time to share things, use a tool like Buffer to schedule your updates so that you can have a presence on Twitter all day without actually being on Twitter all day.

For Facebook, it’s really about creating that engagement and posting things that are going to be of interest and warrant a response from your community. Because Facebook has its EdgeRank algorithm to determine whether or not your updates are even shown, you really want to spend time creating content that will spark something with your audience. It’s better to have two posts a day that mean something, than to litter your page with updates that your audience will just ignore and may not even see.

One thing I do as the Vice President of Strategy at Overit is to help SMBs create their social media schedule and show them how to stay stocked with engaging content ideas to help remove that “what do I say today?” burden. Because I’ve found that for most SMBs, once you remove that pressure, it’s a lot easier to have those engaging conversations that turn into longer relationships. It makes it a lot easier to see social media as the great opportunity it is rather than something you have to do.

Q: Can a small business forgo a website and simply use Facebook?

No, they can’t. Even if you have a Facebook page, you still need a website.  Having your own site affords small business owners with a number of marketing advantages that a simple Facebook page will not.

When you have a website:

  • You have a place to build links to increase your rankings for targeted search times
  • You have a central hub for your brand to build a community
  • You create additional visibility and benefit from the search engine’s local bias
  • You create a content repository through the articles, blogs, and other material you share
  • You create a point of difference between you and everyone else
  • You establish yourself as a real business and earn trust associated with that

Truthfully, there are countless reasons why a Facebook page simply isn’t enough in today’s local market. You need a website.

Q:  Do you think every small business should have a blog? Is it worth the time or expense  of a busy business owner – especially of a retail service firm that does not sell product online?

I absolutely think every small business should be blogging. As a SMB, there really is no better way to increase your brand awareness, visibility or expertness than by starting a blog and turning your site into a hub of information.  I’ve been a small business owner so I understand the time crunch, but the rewards and benefits of creating such a strong lead gen tool really do make it worth it.  Blogging opens up doors that SMBs wouldn’t be able to create for themselves otherwise.  I’ve worked with many companies to help them create content/blog strategies and calendars to make sure they’re getting the most bang for their blogging buck. It’s very important.

Bonus Question:  Lisa, what’s the one tip you give to any small business owner?

Be fearless. There is so much opportunity on the Web and in social media for small business owners who are willing to put themselves out there and take risks. Find unique ways to reach out to your customers and to service them better. That’s what they’re looking for and it’s how you’re going to get noticed. But sometimes that means taking chances or not being afraid to reveal yourself.  Find your audience.

Thanks again to Lisa and Overit Media for sharing some excellent real world insights and tips with us at Social Jumpstart.