Are you one of the many business owners or managers who find it difficult to manage your online reputation? According to the latest PEW Research analytics, social media usage continues to trend upwards with nearly 70 percent of the public using some type of social media. On today’s show, we have Jeff Sheehan, author, speaker, and social selling expert, to tell us how your small business can benefit from social media marketing.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Jeff Sheehan, so happy to have you on the Atlanta Small Business Show, thanks for joining us today.
Jeff Sheehan: My pleasure to join you this afternoon.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Yeah, great, great.
Jeff Sheehan: Appreciate it very much.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Let’s kind of jump right in here. You are an expert in the area of social and digital marketing, specifically, we’re going to talk today about your social efforts out there because you know how to do it. So, let’s drill down. Tell us a little bit about what social selling is. I know that’s near and dear to you.
Jeff Sheehan: Yeah, social selling. Basically, I’ve been in marketing for 40 years.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Okay.
Jeff Sheehan: Worked at some of the world’s largest companies in that regard. Basically what social selling is applying sales utilizing the social media tools that are out there, whether it be LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest. Applying those tools to the sales process and dong it more effectively. Because the fact that before, and I did this, I had to pick up the phone and make cold calls. And you can still do that, cold callings have not … The whole process has not died. It’s a question of taking that and helping you accelerating the ability to reach people and to connect with people by using social tools, social media tools.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Does every business that you know of out there in Atlanta need all of the social outlets such as Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook?
Jeff Sheehan: No, what they need to do is they need to find out where their audience is. Position themselves accordingly to address the wants and needs of their customers and then if your budget allows to look at those other channels.
Jeff Sheehan: The thing is to use the social media tools to fill that funnel with leads and opportunities.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Right, to complement it. Sure.
Jeff Sheehan: To complement it. But it has to be part of an overall portfolio approach to your marketing game plan. And you need to know what your goals and objectives are, your target audience, and have a plan, both for execution and also for content strategy. Because what’ll happen is people just get on these social media tools, they’ll have no strategy, no plan, no content that really addresses the needs and wants of the target audience.
Jim Fitzpatrick: So, for the people that are watching right now that say, “Man, Jeff’s talking about a social media strategy, I don’t know where to begin on that.” Where should they go to learn more about how to build a social media strategy in marketing for their small businesses?
Jeff Sheehan: I think if they look at my Twitter feed, @jeffsheehan, they’ll get a pretty good sense of some of the tools and what they should be doing in a lot of respects because on a daily basis I curate articles on marketing, Tweet about email marketing, Tweet about social selling.
Jim Fitzpatrick: How many times do you Tweet in a day
Jeff Sheehan: Could be 16 to 20.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Really?
Jeff Sheehan: Could be 16 to 25. Or more.
Jim Fitzpatrick: And is that recommended for business owners that are out there?
Jeff Sheehan: No.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Okay. What’s too much, what’s not enough?
Jeff Sheehan: I mean, they should be doing it maybe four or five times a day, if they can. And schedule it. Use tools like HootSuite to schedule the post, but make sure it’s content that your audience wants to see, that’s going to help them solve a problem.
Jim Fitzpatrick: And it’s not necessarily a picture of you standing next to your latest customer, right?
Jeff Sheehan: No, no, correct.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Kind of.
Jeff Sheehan: Although that can be part of it.
Jim Fitzpatrick: So if you’re a realtor, the information you want to push out would be great content about that particular market that you’re in, right?
Jeff Sheehan: About the market, about the schools, about activities in the area, new restaurants. And what you should try to do is, if in the case of a realtor, is what can you do to help other businesses in the area grow their businesses?
Jim Fitzpatrick: That’s a good point, that’s a good point.
Jeff Sheehan: Having that type of mentality-
Jim Fitzpatrick: What’s the best insurance you should get for your new home?
Jeff Sheehan: Right, correct?
Jim Fitzpatrick: What’s covered under it.
Jeff Sheehan: Help your referral partners out, the people that can help … But help the other business owners of the community. Make sure that they’re prosperous as well because the fact that they’ll invariably come back and help you accordingly. Boomerang doesn’t always come back, but if you’re putting yourself out there and try to do it, don’t be disingenuous but try to help promote them, it’s going to help you tremendously with regard to getting your name out there and creating relationships with people who can help facilitate referrals and that for you as well.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Well, Jeff Sheehan, I want to thank you so much for joining us on ASBN, we appreciate it, hopefully we can have you back.
Jeff Sheehan: Absolutely.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Learn more about these marketing opportunities and again, you’re knocking the cover off the ball out there.
Jeff Sheehan: Well, thank you very much. I appreciate being a guest today.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Thanks for joining us.