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Social Media Toolkit

Guide to how small and medium businesses can make the most of social media

#dellsmb
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Social Media Toolkit

About this guide


Dells Social Media team has produced this guide for any small or medium businesses who are looking to embrace or further develop their use of social media.

What is it?
This guide looks at social media through the lens of small and medium business, with the core principles of online sharing and collaboration. Its designed to be a practical resource for not only using social media professionally, but also personally in the context of how your employees can represent your company. In creating this guide, weve drawn on experiences and insights from the Dell Small and Medium Business team and many of our friends and followers online. We hope you nd it a useful resource and see your business grow through your efforts in social media.

Who is it for?
This guide is designed to provide you with a good basic knowledge of the social media landscape, an understanding of how businesses and consumers are using social media, and best practices and trends. It will help: People who are new to social media engagement Users who are already engaged with other people via social media and who want to take their participation to the next level Business owners who are looking for some no-nonsense tips and best practices

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Social Media Toolkit

Objectives of the guide


1. Support small and medium business owners and entrepreneurs with a simple guide on the fundamentals of social media.
How we communicate has fundamentally changed. The informality of social communication has brought about a new playing eld with ve key principles:

1. Channels have fragmented. Its not just the traditional media anymore. And the word media doesnt mean the same as it did. Its no longer just about newspapers, TV and radio, but also the Internet, mobile and interactive. 2. The customer is in control. In reality, when were talking about messages and communication, no ones really in control. But if we consider control as meaning who can inuence the opinion of others through word-of-mouth and make it happen online faster than you can say customer, then the customer is in control.

4. Content creation and

distribution have been democratized. Today, anyone has the tools to voice an opinion, ask a question or criticize your brand anywhere at any time 24/7 if he or she has a connection to the Internet. And consider, in 2011, the rst students to grow up with the Internet graduated from university.

3. Social media has arrived. It started among the early adopters with blogs in the early part of this century. Then came podcasts, YouTube and the social networks that are ubiquitous today.

5. Sources of trust have shifted. Authority gures are less trusted. Today, people look more to their peers, friends, colleagues and subject matter experts for news, information and knowledge. So a major challenge for companies is how to be part of such informal networks of trust and inuence, where word-of-mouth is the unwritten rule.

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Social Media Toolkit

Objectives of the guide


2. Offer general guidance on how to engage responsibly and effectively for both professional and personal purposes.
Getting started with social media doesnt mean you have to create a Facebook business page or open a Twitter account.

On the contrary,

your rst step isnt talking, its listening.


When you listen carefully, youll know your customers online world. That information will help you focus on insights, which can inform your planning. That will help you identify who drives share of conversation. In other words, who you should pay attention to. In addition to texts and rich content, this guide contains worksheets and checklists that will help you develop effective plans to help you make your business case for using social media, developing a clear and measurable objective and showing how your use of social media will help you achieve that business objective. You will be able to focus on your planning by asking yourself some specic questions, such as: What do you want to achieve? Who do you want to reach? How do you want to do it? What social media tools will you use? How does social media integrate with your overall communication plan in the long term?

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Social Media Toolkit

Why use it?


Social media is a collective term that describes a means of communicating and engaging with people. Its something many people see as evolutionary, if not revolutionary, in helping people connect with each other in genuine, authentic and informal ways.

This guide will help you engage and interact more effectively online, by showing you how to: Leverage best social media practices Learn from the experiences of businesses that have leveraged social media Link online engagement to measurable objectives specic to your goals

However you see it, social media usage is increasing rapidly and dramatically in all levels of society and in more countries around the world. It isnt merely the domain of geeks and the young. Increasingly, businesses of all shapes and sizes are embracing it. Now, online sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and many others attract hundreds of millions of people every day, who share their lives and experiences. More businesses are developing homes in those places too. Whats important isnt so much the tools and the channels: Its about people and new, simpler and more effective means of connecting with other people.

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Social Media Toolkit

How do you use it?


Because this guide is presented in a modular format with easy-to-nd sections that address the topics in an easy-to-understand manner, you will be able to adopt and adapt these practices, strategies and tactics in a manner consistent with your personal interests, objectives, planning and business needs.

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Social Media Toolkit

Ch.1 Building strong social media foundations for business success


Why social media matters for business success Ch1-03 Creating employee guidelines Ch1-08 Tips for employees Ch1-10 Dealing with a crisis Ch1-11

Please note the following about your use of the Social Media Toolkit. This Social Media Toolkit does not cover all social media channels and networks. Instead it focuses on the essential ones for small and medium-size businesses seeking effective engagement with their stakeholders via social media. While we have researched and used publicly available information available at the time of preparing this content (January 2012), we would point out that social media tools and channels and information change, services will evolve and, in some cases or circumstances, cease to be available or continue availability in a form or manner different to how this material portrays them. All information you see in this publication is provided as is, with no warranty or guarantee of accuracy. While we have taken care in our research when preparing this content, it is your responsibility to satisfy yourself of any regulatory, legal or other issues that should be addressed in or prior to your use of social media. Dell cannot and does not take responsibility for how you use the information presented here. Finally, note that the information in this publication does not reect the opinion, business policy, practice or any other aspect of business activity of Dell Corporation or its employees, unless otherwise stated. For more information about the Social Media Toolkit, and for additional and updated content, please visit http://www.dell.co.uk/business/socialmedia. Copyright 2012 Dell Corporation. Except where noted otherwise, content in this publication is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Soci al Media Toolkit

Building strong social media foundations for business success


If you are trying to put some structure around social media as well as mitigate risks for your business and employees, then setting out some simple social media guidelines is a good place to start. In this chapter, we run through some of the basics of why social media increasingly matters to small-and midsized businesses and highlight best practices for using social media guidelines as a foundation for success.

How effective is social media?*

Fall 2012

Spring 2011

47%
Twitter

82%
Facebook

47%
LinkedIn

60%

86%

55%

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*eWeek, Social Media Marketing Grows Among Small Businesses, Nov. 16, 2011

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Seven reasons why social media matters to business success


1. Social media can help foster a genuine connection between a company and its customers. Usage is increasing rapidly and dramatically; businesses of all shapes and sizes are embracing it. Why? Because they see measurable benets from directly connecting with other businesspeople in ways that are more natural and authentic than the traditional marketing-led approaches of the past. 2. Increasing importance of word-ofmouth on purchasing behavior. Much customer purchasing behavior online is research nding out what others think about Brand X, reading product reviews, asking questions on social networks all the activities that involve active word-of-mouth engagement with other people online. By the time a customer takes the concluding step and actually makes a purchase, decisions and expectations about that brand have already been made, shaped and inuenced by the consumers peer network and online community.

3. By 2014, 20% of all business users will rely on social media rather than email for personal communication.1 Social media has begun to threaten the effectiveness of the inbox. Faster, more up-to-date, easier to interact with and share (with any connected device wherever you happen to be), this up-to-the-minute communication poses a serious threat to emails relevance as a personal communication method.
1

Gartner, Top Predictions for IT Organizations and Users, 2011 and Beyond, Nov. 2010

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Seven reasons why social media matters to business success


4. A fth of journalists access Twitter at least once a day as part of their story sourcing.2 The microblogging service has found an important place in the reporters toolbox as an effective way to research stories. If something just happened that is newsworthy, someone is probably talking about it on Twitter. For reporters, its foolish not to monitor it. 5. Build relationships with online inuencers. They can generate positive word-of-mouth among online communities about your brand or a new product or service. They can also share thought leadership to demonstrate that your company is innovative, helping to put an attractive name and face on your business. 6. Manage issues and crisis situations by responding quickly. The 24-hour news cycle is a reality around the world, with commentary, opinion and discussion online rapidly affecting the spread of news. This means that talk about you and your business can happen at any moment, anywhere in the world. You need to be paying attention 24/7, not just 9 to 5. Social media can work well for you in this regard by acting as an early-warning alert system, giving you minutes or hours in advance to be prepared. 7. Inuence mainstream media coverage.
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Social media extends and expands the news cycle, giving you a highly effective, rapid and low-cost means of getting your perspective and views out in the mainstream in ways that get attention and can inuence opinion.
2

Cision, European survey highlights journalists increasing dependency on social media, Sept. 2010

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Lets be clear about social media


With all the talk you hear about Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and other online social meeting places, it wouldnt be too difficult to think that social media is all about Facebook, Twitter and the others. Yet its not. Whats important isnt the tools and the channels. Its the people and new, simpler and more effective means of connecting with other people.
Click to watch the video:

Social Media Revolution 2011. Based on the book Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business by Erik Qualman.

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Soci al Media Toolkit

We dene social media like this:


The term social media can mean different things to different people. We want to be sure were all clear as to what the term means in our context.

Social media is any tool or service that facilitates conversations over the Internet. Social media applies not only to traditional big names such as Facebook, Twitter and Renren, but also to other platforms you may use that include user conversations, which you may not think of as social media. Platforms such as YouTube, Flickr, blogs and wikis are all part of social media. Social media is a collective term that describes a means of communicating and engaging with people. Its something many people see as evolutionary, if not revolutionary, in helping people connect with each other in ways that are genuine, authentic and informal. Social media usage is increasing rapidly and dramatically at all levels of society and in more countries around the world. It isnt merely the domain of geeks and the young. Increasingly, businesses of all shapes and sizes are embracing it.

The Conversation Prism is a living, breathing representation of social media that evolves as services and conversation channels emerge, fuse and dissipate. Creator Brian Solis explains, We view conversations across the networks through the prism of our social dashboard. Each shade of color represents an entirely unique reection of light, meaning separating context and intention by network.

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The Conversation Prism 3.0 by Brian Solis and JESS3.


Used with permission under Creative Commons license.

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So why should we care about social media?


We care about social media because its changing how marketing and communication work. Its an affordable way to get results, its rapidly growing, and customers turn to you and their peers for answers.

Social media enables us to engage in dialogue, provide and exchange information, and build understanding.

Soci al Media Toolkit

At Dell, we believe that social media, when used properly, can be an effective business tool. Were leveraging and experimenting with social media to build relationships and better connect with consumers and key inuencers. But there are responsibilities to consider and practices we all must follow, as well explain.

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Why agree on social media guidelines?


Weve all seen social media clangers, where a companys or individuals reputation has been damaged by injudicious use of social media. Lack of awareness of privacy settings has also led to oversharing of information. In the most visible cases, individuals have been red, arrested, sued or burgled, and businesses have lost brand value, customers and revenue. This is why guidelines are so critical for any company or employee looking to engage in social media.

Best practices
As a business owner or employee, you engage in conversations about your business every day. Joining the conversation online really isnt all that different. Much of what you do with social mediafor business as well as for personal useand how you use it comes down to common sense. Youll know, for instance, that the kinds of things you would never share with someone outside your company via email or phone, you also wouldnt share via social media channels like Twitter or Facebook. In the online world, there are additional considerations to be aware of, to enable and protect your employees when engaging online. Well take a look at a few example social media guidelines used today by leading businesses. If you have not already created a company social media policy, these will be useful guidelines for what to consider.

Examples
Chris Boudreaux has collected social media guidelines from over 100 organizations.

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Why agree on social media guidelines?


Dell social media principles
1. Protect information

For example, Dell has ve Social Media Principles that guide our employees when theyre engaging in any type of online conversation. We think these principles are equally useful in the wider Dell community, enabling everyone to be clear on what the rules are as well as providing you with some practical advice to help you be condent and effective in your online activities.

2. Be transparent and disclose 3. Follow the law, follow the Code of Conduct 4. Be responsible 5. Be nice, have fun and connect

Guidelines dont have to be boring

4 minutes and 20 seconds well spent. This example from the Department of Justice (Victoria, Australia)
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explaining the key elements of its social media policy shows just how effective video guidelines can be.

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Ten social media tips for employees


Tips weve learned from engaging with our customers online
Be transparent Apply your common sense
Always pause and think before commenting or sharing an opinion. If in doubt, dont do it stop and seek advice from your manager or another. If you are commenting on someones Facebook wall, tweeting to them on Twitter, or writing a blog post, use your real name. Identify your employer if a post involves your company.

Be human rst
SPAM

Be respectful
When disagreeing with others opinions, keep it appropriate and polite.

If you are engaging in a forum and posting information about your company, dont use the forum to sell your products and services unless you are certain it will be useful and appropriate.

Dont speak out of turn


Dont assume the role of spokesperson unless you are an official one for your company.

Get to know the community


Always listen rst before diving in. Consider how you are contributing to the community and adding value to a conversation.

Respect condential content


Be smart about protecting yourself and your privacy be selective in disclosing your personal details.

Brand yourself well


Select a prole picture and screen name (or handle) that best represents who you are and topics others may want to connect with you on.

Copyright applies
Never use images, text or any other content youve found on the Web unless you have permission or the site makes it clear that you may use such content and under what conditions.

Stay focused
Have a business objective when engaging in social media and identify what success will look like. Make sure your objective is one that will both benet your company and the communities you engage with.

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Soci al Media Toolkit

Tips for dealing with a crisis


Increasingly, social media is where people go for information in times of crisis. From a crisis management point of view, its easy to update that information. Social media means you can speak naturally with other people, in a so-called human voice. Two-way communication is transparent and credible. And importantly, keeping a record of conversations is easy to do with social media.
Crises can take many forms. And sometimes, what appears to be a crisis turns out to be an issue that requires management. Conversely, an issue can rapidly develop into a genuine crisis, especially in this interconnected age of 24/7 online.

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Tips for dealing with a crisis

1. Acknowledge that there is an issue, and agree to look into it.

2. Do not respond to negative comments in a way that is snide, nasty, demeaning or snarky because you cannot win. 6. Let people have their say no matter how negative.

3. Humoror at least a human voicecan often defuse or sidetrack issues.

4. Removing negative comments is pointless they will appear elsewhere.

5. Make the companys official position clear in all online places where conversation is happening. Do not bury it on the company website. 9. Recognize that enthusiastsbrand evangelistsare your powerful allies: its not difficult for them to become powerful critics. 13. The participants have the power, so participate.

7. Respond with alacrity to customer complaints online.

8. Dont assume the mainstream media are the only inuencers.

10. Realize that Internet time means, literally, hours and minutes, not days, let alone weeks.

11. Always have staff on hand to be prepared to respond during a weekend.

12. Dont launch a campaign right before a weekend or public holiday unless youre prepared to respond.

14. Dont dismiss blogs and other social media as unimportant.

15. Engage rapidly with your community.

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Soci al Media Toolkit

Social Media Toolkit


Guide to how small and medium businesses can make the most of social media

#dellsmb
Ch2-01
Soci al Media Toolkit

Ch.2 Planning your social media strategy

Know your audience Ch2-05 Make your business case Ch2-06 A framework for developing a social media strategy Ch2-07 To sum it up Ch2-17

Please note the following about your use of the Social Media Toolkit. This Social Media Toolkit does not cover all social media channels and networks. Instead it focuses on the essential ones for small and medium-size businesses seeking effective engagement with their stakeholders via social media. While we have researched and used publicly available information available at the time of preparing this content (January 2012), we would point out that social media tools and channels and information change, services will evolve and, in some cases or circumstances, cease to be available or continue availability in a form or manner different to how this material portrays them. All information you see in this publication is provided as is, with no warranty or guarantee of accuracy. While we have taken care in our research when preparing this content, it is your responsibility to satisfy yourself of any regulatory, legal or other issues that should be addressed in or prior to your use of social media. Dell cannot and does not take responsibility for how you use the information presented here. Finally, note that the information in this publication does not reect the opinion, business policy, practice or any other aspect of business activity of Dell Corporation or its employees, unless otherwise stated. For more information about the Social Media Toolkit, and for additional and updated content, please visit http://www.dell.co.uk/business/socialmedia. Copyright 2012 Dell Corporation. Except where noted otherwise, content in this publication is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

SMB Social Soci al Media Media Toolkit Toolkit

Planning your social media strategy


People often think of social media in terms of tools and channels, with Facebook and Twitter being especially popular. But the truth is, social media is about people and what they do with the technological tools they have at their disposal.
Getting started with social media doesnt mean you have to create a Facebook page for your business or open a Twitter account. On the contrary, your rst step isnt talking; its listening. Why should you care about social media? Its a good question. You should care because social media is changing how marketing and communication work and how people connect with brands, whether in a consumer or B2B setting. When employed effectively, it presents your business with an affordable way to get measurable results quickly. Its rapidly growing, and customers are increasingly turning to their peers for answers through social networks and other online tools and channels. These channels are precisely the places where your business needs to be present. But it has to be done the right way.

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Soci al Media Toolkit

Planning your social media strategy


Its an unmistakable trend. You only need to look around you to see it happening right before your eyes.  Social media highlights the increasing importance of word-of-mouth in regard to consumer behavior, including recommendations and actual purchasing.  Social media amplifies and accelerates word-of-mouth, rapidly shaping and inuencing opinion.  Social media can help foster a genuine connection between a company and its stakeholders. Well help you answer some specic questions that will be the key elements in your strategy planning:  How do I make a business case for social media?  What is the framework for developing a social media strategy? What social media channels do I use? Weve included a worksheet that will assist you in piecing together all the elements you need to develop your strategy plan. Go to the strategy worksheet online.

Engaging in honest, direct conversations with customers and stakeholders is a part of who we are, who weve always been. The social Web amplies our opportunity to listen and learn and invest ourselves in two-way dialogue, enabling us to become a better company with more to offer the people who depend on us. Michael Dell
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Ch2-04

Know your audience

The Social Technographics Ladder, Forrester Research, 2010.

 Many companies approach Social Computing as a list of technologies to be deployed as needed a blog here, a podcast there to achieve a marketing goal. But a more coherent approach is to start with your target audience and determine what kind of relationship you want to build with them, based on what they are ready for. Forrester categorizes Social Computing behaviors into a ladder with seven levels of participation; we use the term Social Technographics, to describe analyzing a population according to its participation in these levels. Brands, websites and any other company pursuing social technologies should analyze their customers Social Technographics rst, and then create a social strategy based on this prole.*

 *Charlene Li with Josh Bernoff, Remy Florentino, and Sarah Glass, Social Technographics, Forrester Research, April 2007 Presentation on SlideShare Ch2-05

Soci al Media Toolkit

Make your business case

In thinking about how you want to use social media, whether launching a blog to demonstrate your thought leadership or creating a Facebook page or a Twitter handle to engage with customers, there are two essential elements to consider:  Make your business case to your stakeholders to get their support. Discuss your ideas with them.  Develop a strategy plan to get started (i.e., resources, content, budget, processes, timing, etc.)

It will help you focus if you ask yourself some specic questions such as: What do you want to achieve? Who do you want to reach? How do you want to do it? What social media tools will you use?  How will social media integrate with your overall communications in the long term?

Your getting started checklist:


 ou must have a clear Y objective. Your objective should be measurable. Your use of social media should help you achieve your objective.

Once youve got the support you need, youre ready to develop your strategy and get started.

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Soci al Media Toolkit

A framework for developing a social media strategy


Social media is strategic when it is planned as a means of addressing core business issues, and its impact on the business can be measured. In your approach to developing a social media plan for your small-to medium-sized business, there are ve key elements to focus on:

1. Outline your objectives

5. Test and rene

2. Listening audit

Soci al Media Toolkit

4. Plan your approach

3. Available resources

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Step 1 Outline your objectives


What is the core business issue you want to address? Consider the primary and secondary objectives you aim to achieve with social media.
How will you measure success? Set two or three SMART goals where SMART = specic, measurable, achievable, realistic, timed.

Product Development Feedback loop Early warning  New product ideation

Sales Collaboration T  hought leadership B  logs

Marketing Demand forecast Lead generation  Message reach

Online Presence Ratings and reviews Communities  Customer stories

Customer Service Listening Support widgets O  utreach R  esolution

Communication Rich media Brand reputation  Influence  Reputation


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Ch2-08

Step 2 Conduct a listening audit


Above all else, listening is paramount. Its what you do before you start or conduct any engagement activity online, from leaving simple comments on a blog or posting your comments on Twitter, to performing a deeper relationship-building exercise with a prominent inuencer.

Listen to what your customers have to say, understand where they are as well as what communication theyd welcome from your company. Learn from them constantly. One of the best things about social media is that it enables you to connect and understand what your customers need or would nd useful. If you dont yet know with some precision what your customers are saying about you, where and with whom, then you need to nd that out via a listening audit.

Listening is a monitoring approach that tells you:  Who is driving share of voice for your brand(s).  What the top issues are that matter to your customers.  Where your customers live online.  Where conversations that matter are occurring.  How news is shared and by whom.  How you can add value for your customers.  When you should engage the community.  Why customers are passionate about certain topics.
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Step 2 Conduct a listening audit


There are many tools and services you can choose from that will help you conduct a listening audit and interpret the resulting data. Some are paid for; many are free. Which you use depends on a number of factors starting with how comprehensive you want to make your auditing.
You have these choices: Paid for: Depth analysis across the social media universe, taking in all keyword-matching conversations discovered on all social media platforms, from forums to video sharing to popular social networks. Dell has been listening for six years and has built expertise in how to decipher insights from the huge amount of data available. This includes how to best use the tools, where to listen, who to listen to and much more. Dell can monitor conversations relevant to your companys industry and competitors, provide business intelligence, improve social media outreach and give you the detailed insight reports behind the data. If you are interested in leveraging Dells listening capabilities, contact SM_Solutions@dell.com. Free: Snapshot views across specic social media platforms that require manual setup of keywords, specifying what to search and where. Typically used on the y as the need arises; more for temperature-testing goals than to conduct in-depth analysis or see detailed reporting. No contracts, no commitments. Just use the services you need as you require them. Most require signicant time commitments, especially to set up your audit keywords on each service you use and then to monitor the results. Products include Google Alerts, Google Blog Search, Social Mention, TweetLevel and Technorati.

Soci al Media Toolkit

$$$

FREE

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Step 2 Conduct a listening audit


Audit framework
Questions to ask in your planning:

Where are people talking about your brand and your industry online? List the top ve opportunities.

Who are the inuencers related to topics that matter to you? List the top ve opportunities.

What is your share of conversation compared to your competitors?

What are the top keywords for your company? How do they stack up against what you see your customers and others searching for?

What content do your customers care about most? List the top five topics customers are looking for from your company.

Who is dening your brand, pro or con?

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Go to the listening audit worksheet.

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Step 3 Define your available resources


Each social media channel has its pros and cons. You must consider the benets of each one as part of an integrated approach to connecting with and inuencing people where social media tools and channels are used in tandem with more traditional marketing and communication activities.
Knowing which channel is likely to be most effective for what you want to achieve is an essential step in your strategy planning. Lets look at eight areas online that have developed powerful reputations as places where inuencers gather or pay attention and where we nd inuential opinions. Some descriptions may not mean much to you yet, but the specic tools and channels will.

Wikis
Relevance:  Wikipedia is the public wiki with the greatest awareness. Theres a Wikipedia entry for almost anything you can imagine, which means it could be the rst information people nd about any topic they are seeking information about.  As a tool, a wiki enables communities to write documents collaboratively, making it easy to create, edit and share content and increase opportunities for knowledge sharing. Trend:  Growing appeal within organizations for collaborative working tools that are easy to use and support (browser-based) from anywhere (the cloud).

Twitter
Relevance:  A great opportunity to build a network of influencers who want to share your news in real time. Trend:  An effective way to alert and connect with influencers, help propel news cycles.
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Step 3 Define your available resources


Blogs
Relevance:  Stating an opinion, demonstrating thought leadership, providing a stimulus for discussion, getting your voice into the conversation. B  uilding a community, opportunities for citation being referenced by and linked to by other people. Trend: W  ith over 200 million blogs globally, a trend in business is for multiple blogs in multiple languages.

Social networks
Relevance:  Many peoples days often start and end with Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, XING, Viadeo and others, depending on where they live and their specific personal and business interests.  If a social network is where our community of interest spends time and shares opinions, thats where we want to be. Trend:  Increasingly, the communities that are often the first place people go to online.  LinkedIns Groups feature is popular among business users for developing community.

YouTube
Relevance: V  ideo learning is increasing in importance visual information can improve understanding of spoken words as much as sixfold. Y  ouTube is the worlds second largest search engine opportunities for your content to be discovered, cited, shared. Trend:  Consumption habits are starting to favor video over the printed word.
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Step 3 Define your available resources


Document sharing
Relevance:  Services like SlideShare and Scribd are favored locations to share public and internal presentations that become referenced and used by others. Aids knowledge sharing and collaborative working. Trend:  Increasing awareness and use in business; development of business channels.

Image sharing
Relevance: I mage sharing services like Flickr, Photobucket and others provide opportunities to offer tagged images for other users and search engines to nd easily. S  uch services enable others to share your images, thus increasing exposure of your brand or product across the social Web. Trend: O  ffering images with clear copyright permissions for sharing by others; tagging images in multiple languages to increase opportunities for discovery and sharing.

Audio
Relevance: P  odcasts of all types, plus audio tracks of video segments, have growing utility as complementary communication and communitybuilding channels. Trend: A favorite of sales force, customers and others on the go. Download the planning worksheet.

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Step 4 Plan your approach


The results you get from listening will enable you to identify the key inuencers, those whose commentary and opinions drive the attention of others online. This is the key aspect in planning how you will develop your action steps for engagement the heart of your social media strategy.

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Step 5 Test and refine


Be engaged.
Find ways to join the conversation. You can start by leaving comments on blog posts or responding to questions in a forum or message board.

Listen carefully.
Listening to and learning from the community is a great way for us to better understand what is important to our customers and partners. Follow the conversation. There are lots of tools to help you do that.

Whats your POV?


Be relevant. Share information and perspectives that are valuable to the online community. If you focus only on your own agenda, you will fail.

Get involved.
Listen, post responses and engage in two-way conversations if you have something to contribute. Otherwise, just keep on listening.

The power of your peers.


Expose brand evangelists within your own company. Your employees are likely some of your biggest fans. Encourage them to participate in online conversations, and make sure your company policies allow them to do so.

Stay on topic.
Dont get caught up in tit-for-tat dialogue. Respect the broader conversation and ensure your comments stay on topic.

Get feedback.
If you have new information to share with an inuential blogger, you can email him or her directly. You may even offer bloggers the chance to review your companys product or service and write about their experience, no strings attached.

Add value.
Give due attention to posts. Offer thoughts or ideas when appropriate; invite others to respond as well.

Treat people the way you would want to be treated.


Be polite, mutually respectful, and dont engage in negative, inappropriate remarks. Being vulgar or abusive doesnt work in real life or in social media.

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Speak about what you know.


Especially if youre asked.

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To sum it up
Heres your starting guide:

1. If you understand the shifts in behaviors we see all around us and in our workplaces, it becomes easier to understand why we must adapt how we communicate and connect with people online.

2. Understanding your audiences and what they expect of you is crucial.

3. Be clear on what youre doing and why.

4. Commonsense rules.

5. Be clear on this point: Armed with the knowledge from a guide like this one, you can venture onto the web openly as an ambassador of your company and connect with anyone, condent in the knowledge you are empowered to do this.

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Soci al Media Toolkit

Social Media Toolkit


Guide to how small and medium businesses can make the most of social media

#dellsmb
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Soci al Media Toolkit

Ch.3 Engaging with your audiences


Wiggly Wigglers Ch3-04 Jagex Ch3-05 Lonely Planet Ch3-06 ebookers Ch3-07 Endeavor Ch3-09 Sew what? Ch3-10 Dell Trade Secrets Ch3-12 Worth your attention Ch3-13

Please note the following about your use of the Social Media Toolkit. This Social Media Toolkit does not cover all social media channels and networks. Instead it focuses on the essential ones for small and medium-size businesses seeking effective engagement with their stakeholders via social media. While we have researched and used publicly available information available at the time of preparing this content (January 2012), we would point out that social media tools and channels and information change, services will evolve and, in some cases or circumstances, cease to be available or continue availability in a form or manner different to how this material portrays them. All information you see in this publication is provided as is, with no warranty or guarantee of accuracy. While we have taken care in our research when preparing this content, it is your responsibility to satisfy yourself of any regulatory, legal or other issues that should be addressed in or prior to your use of social media. Dell cannot and does not take responsibility for how you use the information presented here. Finally, note that the information in this publication does not reect the opinion, business policy, practice or any other aspect of business activity of Dell Corporation or its employees, unless otherwise stated. For more information about the Social Media Toolkit, and for additional and updated content, please visit http://www.dell.co.uk/business/socialmedia. Copyright 2012 Dell Corporation. Except where noted otherwise, content in this publication is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

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Engaging with your audiences


Free your imagination in terms of what can be achieved with social media. Get inspired by what others have achieved in this chapter, which includes business case studies focusing on successful uses of social media and engagement of online inuencers.

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Wiggly Wigglers podcast


One of the pioneers of business podcasting (its rst show was published in 2005), organic farming and mail-order gardening rm Wiggly Wigglers counts the first-ever Dell Small Business Excellence Award in 2008 among its many recognitions and awards.

The Wiggly Wigglers podcast is a key element of the companys social media engagement within its community of customers and fans. Published every Monday, content typically embraces discussion of the environment, wildlife, gardening, farming, biodiversity and things everyone can do to make a difference. With thousands of listeners from all around the world, and over 100 5-star reviews on iTunes, it seems that our audience enjoys listening to the shows as much as we enjoy making them, says Wiggly Wigglers founder Heather Gorringe. The companys use of social media, which today also includes a blog, Facebook and Twitter, has let the rm cut its advertising budget by 90 percent. Today, the rm counts over 100,000 customers worldwide.

The podcast is created and produced in-house by the Wiggly Wigglers team at the companys office in Herefordshire, England. Its saved in universal MP3 format and playable on nearly any digital device, from computers to music players to smartphones. The podcast is also available free via iTunes as well as direct from the Wiggly Wigglers website and its Facebook page.

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Soci al Media Toolkit

Jagex: Community development


Jagex is an independent developer and publisher of online games. It is the largest independent games studio in the U.K. with 450 employees. It has developed over 40 titles. Its best known for RuneScape, the worlds most popular free-to-play, multiplayer online role-playing game, recognized as such by Guinness World Records the last four years in a row.
Since its beginning a decade ago, RuneScape has reached more than 150 million registered accounts worldwide, offering over 15,000 hours of free game content and many times more in the paid members expansion. Providing a framework for online engagement with players and fans is an important element in Jagexs community-development plans. The company has embraced multiple social media tools and channels to further this goal, many of them managed by the community:  A vibrant and lively Facebook community with more than 620,000 likes.  An active and engaged Twitter feed, commenting on matters of interest to fans, issuing frequent responses and retweets, and providing links to other content.  A YouTube channel with over 100,000 subscribers and community-created videos.  A wiki with a wide range of game-related content, support advice, guides and how-tos, tips and tricks, developed by the company and the community.  Traditional multilayer forum with 65 separate channels and millions of discussion threads. In addition, Jagex runs a RuneScape merchandise store as well as a member loyalty program.

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Soci al Media Toolkit

Lonely Planet
Founded in 1973, Lonely Planet is the largest travel guidebook and digital media publisher in the world, now owned by BBC Worldwide. It was one of the rst series of travel books targeting backpackers and other budget travelers. By 2010, Lonely Planet published about 500 titles in eight languages, as well as TV programs, a magazine, mobile phone applications and websites. It has about 450 employees.
Clearly, community, storytelling and engagement are key elements to Lonely Planets success and appeal. Its online community, Thorn Tree, is used by over 600,000 travelers for travel tips and advice. Lonely Planets social media portfolio includes the Lonely Planet website, RSS feeds, community blogs, Facebook Connect, Flickr photo sharing, a groups platform, the ability to rate and review sites and restaurants, as well as a trip planner tool. While all its online activity encourages interaction with and among their communities, Twitter has proven to be its most effective platform for community engagement. Since opening the @lonelyplanet Twitter account in June 2008, Lonely Planet has grown a community of more than 575,000 followers (and it follows some 464,000).

Lonely Planets Twitter proposition is clear and clearly stated: Tweeting (& retweeting) the best in travel. 1. Follow us. 2. Tag your tweets with #lp 3. We read your posts 4.  We re-tweet the best of them

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ebookers: iPad app


London-based ebookers.com is a pan-European online travel agency specializing in worldwide travel. It offers a wide range of travel products, including a choice of over 250 airlines, more than 100,000 hotels, holidays, car rentals and insurance. A subsidiary of Orbitz Worldwide, a leading global online travel company, ebookers.com operates local online travel agencies across 13 countries in Europe.

ebookers.com is a travel company that has embraced the Internet, not the other way around. It wanted to understand its user base and offer them a method of researching and sharing information as well as a convenient way to book their next holiday or travel experience. So, they introduced the ebookers Explorer iPad app, a unique experiential app developed by digital agency Fortune Cookie.

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Soci al Media Toolkit

ebookers: iPad app


Heres what the app does:

 ebookers Explorer pulls together socially generated content from across the Internet. The content is tailored to the destination and activity the user is looking to explore.  Socially generated content is pulled from sites around the Web: photos from Flickr, videos from YouTube, blogs from Google, tweets from Twitter and hotels from ebookers.

 The groundbreaking (and free) app delivers personalized content in an easily digestible travel magazine format.  Flickr photographs, YouTube videos, Twitter tweets, Google blog posts and hotel information from ebookers are combined, allowing users to access and share all the latest information about their chosen destination.

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Soci al Media Toolkit

Endeavor: Global connectivity


Hailed by New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman as the best antipoverty program of all, Endeavor is a nonprot organization that supports high-impact entrepreneurs in emerging markets to fuel economic growth.
Endeavor connects entrepreneurs to what they need most: experienced mentors, timely connections to smart capital and the inspiration to think big. With Endeavors help, these entrepreneurs break down barriers, creating thousands of jobs and millions in revenue over 156,000 jobs and over $4.5 billion in revenue in 2010. Headquartered in New York, Endeavor currently operates in 15 countries throughout Latin America, Africa, Southeast Asia and the Middle East. Endeavor uses social media in the following ways to engage with its mentor network and help entrepreneurs:

H  igh-Impact Entrepreneurship blog featuring original content highlighting entrepreneurial successes worldwide, and guest content syndicated from around the Web. YouTube channel with original video, TV interviews and community-generated content. F  acebook page for community-building featuring content highlights from blog and YouTube channel, additional photos and video and information on community events. Twitter account to build a network of inuencers who want to share Endeavors news in real time.
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Sew what? Blog for thought leadership


If you can dream it, we can sew it! is the motto of California-based Sew What? Inc. Since its founding in 1992, Sew What? has grown to become the premier provider of custom-sewn theatrical drapes/curtains and fabrics for the entertainment and special events industries.

Weve manufactured drapes and soft goods for numerous major artists, including Maroon 5, Slipknot, Green Day, Sting, James Taylor, Dave Matthews Band, Madonna, Rod Stewart and Don Henley, says Founder Megan Duckett. In addition to the big stuff, we also manufacture stage curtains for elementary, middle and high schools, community theaters, churches and college auditoriums. And thats not to mention providing drapes and soft goods for special events, trade shows, fashion shows, conferences, even the occasional inaugural ball. Sew What? capitalizes on its leadership position in a highly specialized marketplace, demonstrating its thought leadership via Its All Sew Biz, a blog about theatrical drapery and stage curtains for production managers, set designers, custom drapery resellers and local/school/ church productions. Katy Perry dropped into VH1s Salute the Troops TV show in 2010 as she descended onto stage in a giant parachute in the form of the U.S. flag made by Sew What?

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Sew what? Blog for thought leadership


Having such a niche audience presents Sew What? with a great opportunity to showcase its knowledge of the industry in ways that engage with that audience, offering them content that specically addresses their needs. For example, recent posts discussed such topics as:

Case study example of using Cambio projection screen material. This summer and fall, we worked with Faith Bible Church of The Woodlands, Texas, on just such a project. We created a 19 h x 32 w Projection Screen in Cambio!, accompanied by three Triangle Shapes, 18x 18, also in Cambio!. The pieces worked great for the church, and we were so pleased to be mentioned in the churchs blog. Want to see a Cambio! Projection Screen in action? Check out their blog.

Expert opinion on how lighting can affect the look of Austrian drapes. ...With a slight change in the angle of the lights, lighting color, and stage design, we can help create a unique and exciting look for any event. Some of our satised clients have been the Jennifer Hudson/Robin Thicke Tour, Maxwell, Foo Fighters, the Glee Live Tour, and an amFAR Benefit starring Lady Gaga, the queen of fresh and innovative style herself. Each Austrian Drape has such a wonderfully rich and special look to them, that you can use them for practically any event you can think of where you may need to add a little touch of wow-factor. Tips on getting color right. ...Some people think just because you assign a Pantone color in Photoshop it will automatically print that Pantone color on press. Actually, if you want to give your logo the best chance of printing correctly, get a conversion book, look up your desired Pantone color and dial it in by the numbers based on what [the] Pantone conversion book tells you.

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Soci al Media Toolkit

Dell #tradesecrets: Influencer outreach


To support the introduction in 2011 of a new business laptop computer, the VostroTM V130, Dell launched Trade Secrets, a marketing campaign hosted on the Dell SMB Facebook page and under the Twitter hashtag #tradesecrets.
The campaign included a signicant element of inuencer outreach where bloggers and others formed part of the conversation through using the computer and talking online about their experiences with the Vostro V130 via tweets, Facebook posts, blog posts, video and other channels.

n this interview with the For I Immediate Release podcast, co-host Neville Hobson talks with Laura Thomas at Dell about the campaign, its objectives, outcomes, expectations and more.  Listen to the interview
Soci al Media Toolkit

The 2011 Trade Secrets campaign won the Business to Consumer North America: Listening Groundswell Award from Forrester Consulting. The campaign is evolving and continues into 2012.

 See the Trade Secrets: First Impressions 2011 presentation deck

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Worth your attention


There are many other examples of imaginative uses of social media by small and medium businesses. Weve added this collection of pointers that we think are worth looking at to see what they do and how they do it.

Cakelove

Good Energy

Lighting the LED Revolution

Cakes from scratch, seven locations in Washington, DC; Maryland; and Virginia. B  log T  witter F  acebook iPhone app

Renewable electricity supplier in the U.K. T  witter Facebook  YouTube

U.S. lighting manufacturer Cree started a contest in 2009: If youve been living or working under the oppression of inferior lighting, we want to know. We also want to see. Submit your photos of dismal lighting here. Each month, well give away ve Cree CR6 recessed downlights to revolutionize one persons poorly lit space. B  log F  acebook T  witter  YouTube

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Soci al Media Toolkit

Worth your attention


There are many other examples of imaginative uses of social media by small and medium businesses. Weve added this collection of pointers that we think are worth looking at to see what they do and how they do it.

Ten ways for small businesses to use LinkedIn

Five small businesses using Twitter right

Nine small business social media success stories

Writing on the LinkedIn blog, entrepreneur and author Guy Kawasaki says, Many small-business people are using the site in ways youd commonly imagine: nding leads, growing their business globally, or nding the right vendors. My buddies at LinkedIn recently provided me a list of ten additional ways small businesses can use LinkedIn.

Here are five examples of small businesses using Twitter effectively. From sales to research, wordof-mouth marketing to localization, and everything in between, Twitter can help you reach your target audience in ways you probably never thought of before.

This article highlights nine small businesses of various sizes and industries that have transformed their online presence with innovative social media marketing practices. These tactics will work for just about any business, from solopreneur to multi-employeemanufacturer.

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Social Media Toolkit


Guide to how small and medium businesses can make the most of social media

#dellsmb
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Ch.4 Social media best and next practices

LinkedIn best practices Ch4-04 Twitter best practices Ch4-07 Facebook best practices Ch4-09 Google+ best practices Ch4-11 SEO best practices Ch4-12 Social media measurement best practices Ch4-14 Social media next practices Ch4-16

Please note the following about your use of the Social Media Toolkit. This Social Media Toolkit does not cover all social media channels and networks. Instead it focuses on the essential ones for small and medium-size businesses seeking effective engagement with their stakeholders via social media. While we have researched and used publicly available information available at the time of preparing this content (January 2012), we would point out that social media tools and channels and information change, services will evolve and, in some cases or circumstances, cease to be available or continue availability in a form or manner different to how this material portrays them. All information you see in this publication is provided as is, with no warranty or guarantee of accuracy. While we have taken care in our research when preparing this content, it is your responsibility to satisfy yourself of any regulatory, legal or other issues that should be addressed in or prior to your use of social media. Dell cannot and does not take responsibility for how you use the information presented here. Finally, note that the information in this publication does not reect the opinion, business policy, practice or any other aspect of business activity of Dell Corporation or its employees, unless otherwise stated. For more information about the Social Media Toolkit, and for additional and updated content, please visit http://www.dell.co.uk/business/socialmedia. Copyright 2012 Dell Corporation. Except where noted otherwise, content in this publication is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

SMB Social Soci al Media Media Toolkit Toolkit

Social media best and next practices


Practical how-tos and advice on using social media tools and channels are always helpful. You can nd such advice in this toolkit. In this chapter, we offer some tips and tricks on current best practices for social media across a number of channels to help you get the most from your use of social media in business. On page 16, hear what some expert voices have to say on next practices.

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LinkedIn best practices: 5 tips to engage your followers


Mike Grishaver, senior product manager for Company Pages at LinkedIn, shares a few tips to optimize your company status updates, a LinkedIn feature that allows companies to engage directly with its LinkedIn followers.

Take an audiovisual tour of company status updates with LinkedIn in this short video.

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LinkedIn best practices: 5 tips to engage your followers


This powerful new tool isnt just a way for companies to recruit talent, market goods or sell stuff. Think of it as an engagement channel to build long-term relationships with your followers be they potential customers, employees or advocates who can help your business succeed.
Not sure how to start? Or maybe you feel a little nervous about what to say to your followers on a professional social network? Well, here are a few easy ways to start the conversation.

1. How do you start a relationship? Say hello. Introduce yourself. Describe who you are and why you and your business are here. Get to know your audience. An IT services rm would tailor messages to its tech-savvy followers differently than to, say, marketing executives. Remember: Your followers are already interested in hearing what you have to say, so be succinct, authentic, genuine and relevant.

2. Mix it up. Vary your status updates. In one post, share a link to press coverage or industry news; in another, highlight a new product release or a list of hot jobs. Photos are great. A YouTube video, infographic or poll? Even better.

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LinkedIn best practices: 5 tips to engage your followers


3. Think quality, not quantity. Offer news, tips and other insightful, relevant information about your industry or business. Get your followers engaged and build relationships. Dont just sell all the time or blast them with promotional messages.
$$$

Become friends first! If you build it, the business results will come. A pithy, punchy status update can go viral and expose you to a broader audience as your followers share, like, or comment on companydriven content with their own professional networks.

4. Be part of the conversation. Solicit feedback from your followers; find out what they want from your company. Ask questions, watch how they respond and interact with users who are commenting. Answer their questions, highlight insightful comments and show your followers that youre listening.

5. Analyze your engagement. How do you know if youre doing well? Check the stats that appear on your posts about 24 hours after your status update goes live, and see what types of information and links create the most likes, comments and clicks. Use this data to understand who your followers are, refine your strategy and optimize the conversation.

Soci al Media Toolkit

First published on the LinkedIn blog.

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Twitter best practices: Build your following, reputation and customers trust
Twitter for Business: Let your brand take ight with the faster, easier, simpler Twitter. Learn more.

1. Share. Share photos and behind-the-scenes info about your business. Even better, give your followers a glimpse of developing projects and events. Users come to Twitter to get and share the latest, so give it to them! 2. Listen. Regularly monitor the comments about your company, brand and products. 3. Ask. Ask your followers questions to glean valuable insights and show you are listening. 4. Respond. Repond to compliments and feedback in real time.

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Twitter best practices: Build your following, reputation and customers trust
5. Reward. Tweet updates about special offers, discounts and time-sensitive deals. 6. Demonstrate wider leadership and know-how. Reference articles and links about the bigger picture as it relates to your business. 7. Champion your stakeholders. Retweet and reply publicly to great tweets posted by your followers and customers. 8. Establish the right voice. Twitter users tend to prefer a direct, genuine and, of course, a likable tone from your business, but think about your voice as you tweet. How do you want your business to appear to the Twitter community?

Useful resource:
Download Twitters small business one-pager (PDF) for more tips and best practices including the following: How to get started with Twitter Ideas for great tweets More
Soci al Media Toolkit

Visit Twitter for Business for a wide range of free resources, information, guides and tips to help you understand more about what Twitter can help you do for your business.

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Facebook best practices: 5 guiding principles


Facebook allows marketers to stay connected with people throughout their day, whether they are on their computers or mobile devices, at home or at work, watching TV or shopping with friends. This enables businesses to create rich social experiences, build lasting relationships and amplify the most powerful type of marketing word-of-mouth.

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Facebook best practices: 5 guiding principles

Build a strategy that is social by design. Social media should be baked into everything you do, not added at the end of a campaign or done on the side. Facebook should be integrated with your broader marketing efforts and part of how you reach your business objective.

Nurture your relationships. Just like in the real world, building relationships with people on Facebook takes time and requires a long-term investment. Keep content fresh and easy to consume, use ads to stay in touch, and reward people for their loyalty through deals and promotions.

Create an authentic brand voice. People on Facebook are clear and open about who they are. Be the same by providing straightforward information about your business. Facebook is an ideal place to bring your brand personality to life through an authentic and consistent voice.

Keep learning. Facebook allows you to get feedback from people in real time, giving you the ability to learn on the y. Use reporting tools to learn about your fans and the content and products they nd most interesting. These tips appear in Facebooks Best Practice Guide: Marketing on Facebook (PDF), available for free download.

Make it interactive. People spend time on Facebook communicating and sharing with others, so always engage in two-way conversations. Think about the aspects of your brand that are inherently social and create content people will be excited to pass along.

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Google+ best practices: Promote your Google+ Business page


Try these different strategies to promote your Google+ page and gain followers.

1. Spread the word. While on your Google+ page, click Spread the word on the side of the stream. This will allow you to share your page in a post with people from your personal Google+ profile. The sharing action will come from your personal Google+ profile, not from the Google+ page. For instance, lets say your friend has a page for his band. If his page spreads the word, the people shared to will see the update as coming from Raj, not from the page.

2. Post updates frequently and keep your prole fresh. People are more likely to engage with a page that contains fresh posts and a complete prole. Learn about sharing in Google+ and how to edit your page.

3. Link your Google+ page with your website. This is a great way to drive traffic to your page and it provides an excellent opportunity to engage with your customers and fans in an intimate fashion. Learn how to link your page and website.

4. Link your Google+ page with your Google AdWords campaign. Connecting your page to your campaigns allows your advertising and page to share +1s. Any +1s on your ads will increment the count on your page and vice versa. Learn more about social extensions. 5. Link your Google+ page with your AdWords Express campaign. You can set your AdWords Express destination page to be your Google+ page. Learn more.

Soci al Media Toolkit

This Google+ best practice tip is one of many helpful texts published by Google to aid businesses in getting the most from their Google+. See more in Google+ Help.

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SEO best practices: 6 ways to optimize your content


If you rely heavily on search engines for page views and sales, as many businesses do, Google search results will drastically affect how your customers nd you. If your business needs to be seen and clicked, Erin Everhart, director of web and social media marketing at 352 Media Group, explains six search engine optimization (SEO) tips that will help you.
1. Local SEO is taking over. If your business relies on local listings, concentrate on scoring a seat at Google Places. You can do this by using: Citations: Ensure your correct business information is listed in as many (reputable) sources as possible around the Internet. As always, consistency is king. If you write Blvd. instead of Boulevard on your Google Places page, make sure your other listings reect the same. Google Places page optimization: Just like your website, make sure your Places page is properly optimized. Include categories that match exactly, and point your Places page back to a city-specific landing page if applicable. Reviews: Google will only display reviews from Google, but getting reviews from aggregators like Yelp, Superpages or Trip Advisor will help increase your presence. 2. You cant have search without social media. The separation of search and social media has officially ended. Social media cues such as Twitter shares, Facebook likes and social bookmarking heavily inuence search rankings. Essentially, search results are personalized for each person. With any SEO campaign you put into motion, include a social media aspect to it to facilitate information sharing. Superpages or Trip Advisor will help increase your presence.

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Soci al Media Toolkit

SEO best practices: 6 ways to optimize your content


3. Think of people, not robots, when optimizing brand keywords. People search in Google because they have a question. Your keywords and the content on your pages should reect the answers to those questions. Keyword research is tedious, but its arguably the most important aspect of SEO. Transition away from thinking of keywords like data, and put more of an emphasis on the person who will be typing in that keyword. 4. Content links are king; good writers are sorcerers. Google is not stupid it can spot paid and spam links. For the most effective long-term SEO strategy, move the focus back to great content, both on your website and across other sites. Guest blogging is great, for instance, but to get a leg up on your competition, target blogs that arent direct matches to your industry. 5. Check your back end: Schema.org microformats and rich snippets. The Big Three (Google, Yahoo! and Bing) have worked together to develop Schema.org, a set of website standards that will tell search engines what your site is about, making it easier for those engines to read the sites data and index accordingly. By using rich snippets, for example, youre able to tell Google what information to feature in search engine results pages: product reviews and prices, upcoming events, etc. The added data will increase your click-through rate because users are able to preview more about the link before they commit to the click. 6. It doesnt mean anything without data. Whether youre a one-man SEO show for your company or working in an agency with several clients, your site needs to see results. While ranking reports of keywords is still a great indicator of progress, personalized searches make it difficult to get the most accurate readings. Plus, when Google defaulted to private searches for users signed into their Google accounts, the company made it harder to track how people arrive at your site. Adapted from 6 Best Practices for Modern SEO, published by Mashable. See Mashables SEO resource center for more best practice advice.

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Social media measurement best practices: 5 tips for measuring social media campaigns
Running successful social media campaigns is not just a matter of creativity and good execution. Getting the measurement right is a key part of a successful campaign, as David Vinjamuri, founder and president of ThirdWay Brand Trainers, explains.

1. Align your goals. Traditional marketing initiatives can have vastly different goals. So, too, with social media. Are you trying to reach your brand evangelists or consumers who are not aware of your brand? Are you looking to develop prospects or increase awareness of a new product launch? Do you want loyal customers to engage more deeply with your brand or purchase more often? These are all different goals and will require different measurements. Are you looking for brand awareness, lead generation, prospects, sales, increased customer loyalty, new product awareness or evangelist engagement? Different goals require different measures.

2. Talk to PR. Your next step should be a check-in with your PR or corporate communications counterpart. Social media works more like PR than traditional advertising. A PR expert can help you understand the portfolio nature of social media (placing lots of little bets so one can pay off). In addition, there may be a system in place for measuring earned media that already has senior management buy-in.

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Social media measurement best practices: 5 tips for measuring social media campaigns
3. Know what you can measure. As a marketing leader, youll probably never look at a Facebook Insights dashboard. If you understand the types of measurements each social media platform can provide, however, youll be better equipped to discuss measurement with your agency. Some (but not all) of the information you can get from four common platforms is as follows: Facebook: likes, impressions, demographics, sign-ups, links clicked, purchases Twitter: followers, retweets, links clicked YouTube: plays, pauses, mutes, hot spots, stops, view time, full screens Foursquare: check-ins by time, top users, gender breakdown, broadcasts to Twitter and Facebook 4. Create a feedback loop. With traditional promotions, we often wait until after a program ends to analyze it and learn from our mistakes. Social media requires us to make frequent adjustments and measure the effect of each change. Many brands are not set up to do this. Make sure you have a process that requires the agency to monitor the performance of your campaigns on a daily or hourly basis and empowers them to make adjustments. Make sure both your approval process and your crisis management plan are nimble enough to respond quickly. 5. Negotiate. Negotiate a set of measures that is both objective and reasonable now. Push your agency to find comparable programs for which some measurements are known. If youre making a big bet, it is fair to have higher expectations. If youre just putting a toe in the water, understand you may need to do a lot of experimenting before you nd success.

Soci al Media Toolkit

Adapted from Whats it Really Worth to You? 5 Tips for Measuring Social Media Campaigns, published in Forbes.com.

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Social media next practices


If a best practice is focused on what has developed and evolved in recent years to bring us to the state of how we do things today, then next practice is all about whats coming during 2012 and over the next few years. Listen for actionable insights in the words of these opinion leaders as they talk about the evolution of best practices.

Brian Solis
Brian Solis is principal at Altimeter Group, a research-based advisory rm. Solis is globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders and published authors in new media. A digital analyst, sociologist, and futurist, Solis has studied and inuenced the effects of emerging media on business, marketing, publishing, and culture. His book, Engage, is regarded as the industry reference guide for businesses to build and measure success on the social Web. His latest book is The End of Business As Usual. He blogs at www.briansolis.com. You can also follow him on Twitter @briansolis, Facebook or Google+.

 What do you think is the most important thing small and midsize businesses should do in 2012 in order to make the most of social media to support their objectives? Will this be the same thing 23 years out? Play audio from Brian Solis.

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Social media next practices


Philip Sheldrake
Philip Sheldrake is a chartered engineer, founding partner of Meanwhile, founding partner of Inuence Crowd, main board director of Intellect and board director of 6UK. His expertise spans business strategy, IT and Web strategy, engineering and technology consultancy, public relations and social Web analytics. He wrote The Business of Inuence Transforming Marketing and PR in the Digital Age (Wiley 2011) and the digital marketing chapter of The Marketing Century, a book celebrating the centenary year of the Chartered Institute of Marketing.

 What do you see as the role of PR in a digital age, looking to 2012 and the following 23 years? Play audio from Philip Sheldrake.

Jason Falls
Jason Falls is an author, speaker and CEO, the latter for Social Media Explorer, which is not only an internationally recognized blog, but also a digital marketing education and information products company. He is co-author of the book No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide to Social Media Marketing. He can be found online at SocialMediaExplorer.com or on Twitter @JasonFalls.

 What do you see as a major trend in social media marketing for the B2B marketer in 2012? Play audio from Jason Falls.

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Social media next practices


Letha Wicker
Letha Wicker has been driving B2B and B2C conversation for more than 15 years. She currently manages the Facebook page for Dell SMB.

What is best practice when using Facebook to engage with your customers? Play audio from Letha Wicker.

Katie Paine

What are the key trends in social media measurement in 2012 and over the next few years? Play audio from Katie Paine.

Katie Delahaye Paine is the founder of KDPaine & Partners LLC, a New Hampshirebased research consultancy. She is the author of Measure What Matters, Online Tools for Understanding Customers, Social Media, Engagement, and Key Relationships and popular textbook, Measuring Public Relationships. She is also the publisher of the rst blog and the rst newsletter (The Measurement Standard) dedicated entirely to measurement and accountability. Prior to launching KDPaine & Partners in 2002, Paine was the founder and president of The Delahaye Group, which she sold to Medialink Worldwide, Inc., in 1999. Ch4-18

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Social Media Toolkit


Guide to how small and medium businesses can make the most of social media

#dellsmb
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Ch.5 Practical advice: getting started with social networks


Using Twitter Ch5-03 Using Facebook Ch5-12 Using LinkedIn for business Ch5-23 Engaging with circles on Google+ Ch5-29

Please note the following about your use of the Social Media Toolkit. This Social Media Toolkit does not cover all social media channels and networks. Instead it focuses on the essential ones for small and medium-size businesses seeking effective engagement with their stakeholders via social media. While we have researched and used publicly available information available at the time of preparing this content (January 2012), we would point out that social media tools and channels and information change, services will evolve and, in some cases or circumstances, cease to be available or continue availability in a form or manner different to how this material portrays them. All information you see in this publication is provided as is, with no warranty or guarantee of accuracy. While we have taken care in our research when preparing this content, it is your responsibility to satisfy yourself of any regulatory, legal or other issues that should be addressed in or prior to your use of social media. Dell cannot and does not take responsibility for how you use the information presented here. Finally, note that the information in this publication does not reect the opinion, business policy, practice or any other aspect of business activity of Dell Corporation or its employees, unless otherwise stated. For more information about the Social Media Toolkit, and for additional and updated content, please visit http://www.dell.co.uk/business/socialmedia. Copyright 2012 Dell Corporation. Except where noted otherwise, content in this publication is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

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Using Twitter
This chapter focuses on the best practices for getting your business acclimated to social media with advice on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+.

What is it?
Founded in 2006, Twitter was originally used by early adopters as a simple and informal way of answering the question: What are you doing? Today, Twitter is a sophisticated social tool boasting over 100 million users worldwide in September 2011.1

Essential reading
1. How to customize your Twitter design Advice from Twitter on making your presence on Twitter personal to you. 2. How to create a custom Twitter background A step-by-step guide from HubSpot on creating your own custom background. Includes a video tutorial. 3. Twitter for business Published by Twitter, this Web guide is a foundational reference that is packed full of advice, case studies, and tips and tricks on using Twitter effectively.

Plan and objectives dened Listen Understand Twitter etiquette Complete account prole Brand prole

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Your rst tweet

Infographic Labs

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Twitter elements
If youve never seen a Twitter page before, take a look at the Dell SMB team page below. Lets look at the major elements that form a Twitter page: 1. Prole: Bio information about the owner of the account. Together with a photo or other relevant image, this is an essential element because it lets others know a little about you. Its also important in the decision-making process when deciding whether to follow someone or not. 3. Lists: Individual Twitter accounts can be added to lists of Twitter accounts that other people create and curate, usually built around a certain topic. This also shows the lists the account subscribes to. Lists give you a strong sense of the community and interests surrounding a particular account. 2. Following: This element shows who DellSMBnews is following, as well as DellSMBnewss followers. When you click on each link, you can see every Twitter handle. Overall, it gives you a good sense of the community surrounding a particular Twitter account. 4. Timeline: The conversation, collectively known as tweets. This is the reverse chronological view of DellSMBnewss tweets, as well as those made by others referencing DellSMBnews. In this way, you can track and join in conversations if you wish.

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Twitter on mobile
Twitter looks good on your smartphone as well (as these examples from an Android device show), making it easy to use and interact with Twitter wherever you are.

There are many things you can do with Twitter other than write 140-character posts. For example, Twitter is a great listening tool, enabling you to pay attention to topics and people of interest in this social channel. And sometimes youll see a tweet that you just have to share. Twitters retweet feature helps you quickly share that tweet with all your followers. The message will then be marked with the retweet icon or preceded by the letters RT. It will also carry the original tweeters username at the beginning of the tweet, as this example shows. RT your colleagues for added company exposure and relevancy in your tweets.

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Setting up your Twitter account


Although the process is simple, its worth spending a little time setting up your account to get it right from the outset. To get started, go to twitter.com. Add your name, email address and a password in the New to Twitter? box, and click Sign up for Twitter.

Once youve set up your account, you can begin building your prole in a more effective way. To give you an idea, lets look at the settings of a sample Dell account.

Upload a picture or other professional image that will be your avatar the visual representation of you on Twitter.

Add a brief bio. Include a link to a website your LinkedIn, Facebook or Google+ profile, or an external blog you write. This link enables others to verify you an important element in building trusted relationships online.

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Twitter branding
Decide whether you want to change the design, colors and background image to match your companys branding on the Design tab in Settings.

Once you decide on your page design, youre set. You can start tweeting and engaging with your customers. But before you do, we recommend you explore some good advice and howtos that you will nd helpful in using Twitter effectively.

Public or private?
There are two types of Twitter accounts: public, open to the online world; and private, where your content known as protected tweets can be seen only by those you have granted access. If you intend to use Twitter as a means of openly engaging with others online and sharing comments, opinion and links, then a public account is your obvious choice. If you wish to engage only with a small group of people, for instance, where you manually approve each request to follow you, and where your tweets dont appear in Twitter Search results, then private would be your choice.
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The point is, you do have a choice. For more information, see the Twitter Help page About Public and Protected Tweets.

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Setting up Twitter dos your and Twitter donts account


There is no right or wrong way to use Twitter. But there is a more effective way, from a business perspective. If youre using the service to build your brand and business, here are best practice tips from Twitter to build your following, reputation and customers trust:

1. Share. Share photos and behind-thescenes info about your business. Even better, give a glimpse of developing projects and events.

2. Listen. Regularly monitor the comments about your company, brand and products. 3. Ask. Ask your followers questions to glean valuable insights and show you are listening. 5. Reward. Tweet updates about special offers, discounts and time-sensitive deals. 7. Champion your stakeholders. Retweet and reply publicly to great tweets posted by your followers and customers.

4. Respond. Respond to compliments and feedback in real time. 6. Demonstrate wider leadership and know-how. Reference articles and links about the bigger picture as it relates to your business.

8. Establish the right voice. Twitter users tend to prefer a direct, genuine and, of course, a likable tone from your business, but think about your voice as you tweet. How do you want your business to appear to the Twitter community?

You can nd more useful tips and advice in 50 Power Twitter Tips by social media expert and author Chris Brogan. Read the article or watch the video.

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The vocabulary of Twitter


Although many terms are used on Twitter, Tweet, @ and DM are the three most common. Use this concise guide of some common Twitter expressions and denitions to help you understand what to use and when.

Twitter - The name of the service, as in Im logging in to my Twitter account.

Tweet - A short text message of up to 140 characters that you type and post. It may just be text, but it can also contain links to content outside of Twitter (e.g., photos, blog posts) as well as links to other tweets and users.

Tweeter - An individual who uses Twitter and posts tweets.

Twitter handle - An informal term for a users Twitter account. For example, @DellSmbUK.

Tweet chat - An online conversation in which a group of people all tweet about
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a topic using a specific hashtag. By following the hashtag, you can follow and participate in (or just listen to) the conversation.

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The vocabulary of Twitter


Common Twitter expressions and denitions.

@ - The universal at symbol has different meanings on Twitter: Used to identify the name of a Twitter account (e.g., @DellSMBnews) Used when you wish to publicly reply to a specic tweeter When @ is used in a reply, the reply will always begin with @username (insert the username of the person you are replying to). Anyones tweet that is a reply to you will show up in your @Mentions tab on your homepage. (@Replies are considered @Mentions.)

# - People use the hashtag symbol (#) before relevant keywords in their tweets to categorize those tweets in a Twitter Search. Some hashtags may be promoted through paid media and will appear with the text Promoted under them. Clicking on a hashtag in any message shows you all other tweets in that category and displays them all in a single view. For instance, searching for the hashtag #dellcap will show all tweets that include that hashtag. (See also tweet chat on the previous page.)

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The vocabulary of Twitter


Common Twitter expressions and denitions.

RT - Short for retweet, this is how you share a tweet with your community: 1. Click the Retweet icon on any tweet on the Twitter website and the tweet is immediately retweeted. 2. If you use an external program such as TweetDeck to interact with Twitter, you can edit the retweet before its posted. The tweet is preceded by RT, and you can add any additional comment if the character count total permits.

DM - Short for direct message, a DM is a tweet that goes privately to the tweeter named in your message. Instead of the @ preface, though, you must start your message with the letters DM (without the quotes). You must be following a user to DM them.

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Connecting on Facebook
What is it?
Although Facebook started in 2004 as an informal online networking site for U.S. college students, the community today comprises people from every walk of life, 75% of whom are outside the U.S. Increasingly, businesses and brands are developing presences on Facebook as an effective means of engaging with fans and others, especially since the network is often the primary place online where those fans are found. But the real power of Facebook? The trust factor. Facebook users are more likely to like and buy the things their friends buy, listen to the music they listen to, and engage in the same activities they engage in.

Essential reading
Plan and objectives dened Listen Understand Facebook etiquette Complete account prole Brand prole Your rst Facebook post 2. Facebook 101 for business: your complete guide Published by SocialMediaExaminer.com, this guide is designed to help you understand what Facebook can do for your business and lead you through a step-by-step process for getting started. 1. Facebook for business Published by Facebook, this comprehensive Web-based guide will help you learn how to grow your business with Facebooks powerful marketing tools.

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Superlatives abound about Facebook

Facebook is the largest social networking site in the world. As of January 2012, it had more than 845 million active users and is projected to have 1 billion by August 2012.

Facebook says half of those active users log in every day.

If Facebook were a country, it would be the third largest in the world.

350 million users


access Facebook through a mobile device. Those users are twice as active as other users.

170
average number of friends per user.

90
pieces of content each month.

30 billion
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pieces of content shared by Facebook users each month.

This chart was built with statistics from allfacebook.com, insidefacebook.com, facebook.com, internetworld.com and Erik Qualman.

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Superlatives abound about Facebook


Theyre your friends, family, co-workers. At some point in your life, they meant enough to you that you went to the trouble of nding them on Facebook or accepting their friend requests. Youre connected to these people, and they inuence you (and vice versa) because of that connection.

It is the prospect of this network the implications of the ease with which you can stay in touch with hundreds or thousands of people that has captured the imagination and interest of businesses, evangelists, advertisers and activists. Since early 2011, users have had the ability to make live voice calls via Facebook Chat, allowing them to chat with others from all over the world. This free feature (available only in the U.S. at present) lets the user add voice to the current Facebook Chat as well as leave voice messages within the site. In mid-2011, Facebook launched its video-calling services using SkypeTM as its technology partner.

Facebook is constantly evolving. It has expanded from the Web to mobile devices through applications, mobileformatted sites and location-based networking, allowing users to check in at shops and restaurants and update their statuses and photos on the go. The reason Facebook, like all forms of media, evolves is because it must. Every day, new entrepreneurs explore the social space looking to invent new innovative offerings. Because of this, competition for your attention is relentless, whether the focus is personal or business, and companies are looking for an edge on the competition.

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Getting started with Facebook

Your account To join Facebook, all you need is your name and an email address. When you join the service, use your real name, not an alias. Facebook is vigilant about identifying and removing what it regards as fake accounts. Do not create a personal profile for your business. Profiles are for people; pages are for businesses. Facebook has built signicant functionality specically for businesses, and all this functionality is only available for pages.

Page vs. Groups There is a difference between a Facebook Fan Page and a Group Page: Pages allow real organizations, businesses, celebrities and brands to communicate broadly with people who like them. Groups provide a closed space for small groups of people to communicate about shared interests. Groups can be created by anyone. Fan pages (called pages) are pages you like, while group pages (called groups) are pages you Join. At Dell, we prefer to create pages because these permit more open engagement and community-building opportunities than groups do. (Groups also have size limitations that pages dont.) Unlike groups, anyone can like a page to become connected with it and get updates posted to his/her News Feed. There is no limit to how many people can like a page. Anyone can start a Facebook page or group. If you start a page for your business, Facebook will verify the authenticity of the page ownership. Anyone can start a group about anything, regardless of his/her relationship to the subject matter.

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How to create a Facebook Fan Page


1. To begin, you must already have a Facebook account. If you dont, you can easily set one up with your personal email account, if you have one. (Fan Pages keep your personal account information private, just as they do for any other person liking your page). You can also set up the account with your business email account. Go to www.facebook.com and ll out the form on the homepage to set up a new account. 2. Once youve set up your Facebook account, go to www.facebook.com and log in to your prole with your username and password. 3. Go to www.facebook.com/pages/create.php. 4. Choose an appropriate category from the drop-down list of choices, e.g., Computers/ Technology, Consulting/Business Services or Internet/Software. For Name of Page, insert the name of your business. 5. Click on the Create Page button. 6. Add initial descriptive content. Complete the information page, for instance, with a description of your company and what your business is about. Then add your House Rules.

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How to create a Facebook Fan Page


7. Start adding community content to your Page. Here are some ideas to help you build it: Avoid sending too many updates to your fans. Too many updates may cause your fans to unlike your page. Highlight new Facebook features when and if they are added. Talk specifically about how to use new features and ask others to share their experiences with the new features. Mention when your primary website is updated with new content, an upcoming event, etc. Add links to connect visitors to your business website and your accounts on other social sites (e.g., Twitter and YouTube). Like other business, e.g., Dell and Dell Partner Facebook Fan Pages as well as third-party fan pages that have topics similar to your page. Monitor comments on your wall daily and respond to those posts that warrant it. Encourage two-way communication. Delete comments that include personal attacks, vulgarity or racial slurs, or that violate your pages House Rules (see separate guidance text). But dont delete comments simply because they are critical rather, respond on the wall or message the individual directly with additional information. Ask staff and co-workers to Share or Post to your Facebook page. Ensure their comments also follow the House Rules. Include a link to your fan page in your email signature. Include your social media information in promotional materials.

How to Create a Facebook Business Page HubSpots step-by-step guide to creating and managing business pages on Facebook.

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Elements of a successful Facebook Fan Page


Consider the Dell Social Media for Business Facebook Fan Page shown below. Think about the look and feel of your fan page. Put your design team to work. Have them design the perfect prole picture for your page that reects the combined personality of your particular business and location, and your brand. Keep in mind most fans of your page will interact with it from their own news feeds. Your prole image should be clear and identiable in its smallest form.

Not enough can be said about how much people judge your company by its online appearance when it comes to online engagement. The look of your Facebook presence extends beyond the profile image. The Share Preview is the content people see on their news feeds when someone shares an article or page he/she "likes" with his/her friends. The text on this preview should be compelling and the image enticing. The application Facebook uses to generate these often pulls from the description metatag of your site into Facebook. You should optimize this metadata for sharing on Facebook and also add Facebook Share and Like buttons to your own website so you have a high level of integration and cohesion between your website and your Facebook presence.

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Connecting on Facebook
Landing pages for fans vs. non-fans
Facebook has made it possible to customize the content served to your fans versus what new users encounter. For instance, many businesses have enabled their fan pages so that when you visit for the rst time, youll be redirected to an [Action] tab that lets you sign up for email updates and additional external content. Once you become a fan of the page, youre redirected to its news feed so you can see the latest updates about the organization. This level of customization is very appealing to most Facebook users. It can improve your rate of likes while ensuring your existing fans have the best experience possible.

How you get there can be as important as the destination


If you have at least 100 fans, you can get a unique address for your fan page. This means that instead of this: http://www.facebook.com/pages/the-longname-you-chose/the-id-facebook-gave-you You can have this: http://www.facebook.com/xyzcompany Thats far easier for people to remember. Plus, it adds to your communitys overall Facebook presence and online brand identity for all your community-related pages. To set up your unique address, visit www.facebook.com/ username/.

Networking with other platforms


Leverage the traffic to your website and push it to your fan page by connecting both places. On your website, share connections with all your social presences. Make it as easy as possible for your fans to nd you online and give them the opportunity to express their enjoyment of your presence or simplify the process through which they learn about what youre up to.

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Its all about Facebook content


Do you have a schedule set up for regularly sharing content? Do you have someone engaged in searching the Web for news and information that might be relevant to your fans? Create a calendar for content updates. This way, youll have something to say on a regular basis and wont be forgotten by your fans. A calendar also helps you track insights like click-through rates. For instance, if you see a spike in traffic to your website, you can compare it to your calendar to see what content is working for you. Your content should be interesting and engaging. Look for things that are easily consumable, like videos, since youre more likely to get shares out of them. If you want to take a bold approach aimed at community-building, focus on user-generated content and leverage your fan base for photos, videos, reviews and commentary.

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Facebook is constantly evolving


At the end of March 2012, a big change will take place on Facebook as all business pages will be using the new Timeline feature that Facebook announced in 2011. Key benets: Brand your Page Add a unique cover photo and showcase your most important news on your Page timeline. Highlight what matters Pin a new post to the top of your Page each week so people notice whats important. Manage everything in one place See and respond to your recent activity and private messages right from the top of your Page.  For full details and tools to help you make the most of the new features for business, visit Introducing New Facebook Pages and the related Help Sections.

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Facebook tips
The adage keep it simple goes a long way. With that in mind, here are six ways for small businesses to maximize their Facebook presences with minimum resources, prepared by All Facebook: The Unofficial Facebook Resource:

1. Manage expectations. Set realistic goals for your approach to social media and you wont be disappointed. Dont expect to get thousands of fans within your rst month, but think more along the lines of a two- or three-digit number. Then if you hit something larger than you originally anticipated, youll be pleasantly surprised and that will give you momentum. 3. Ask. Ask your followers questions to glean valuable insights and show you are listening. 5. Create a page, not a prole. Dont open a second account on the social network to make a prole for your business. Not only does that go against Facebooks rules, but it also moves you away from the people who are already on your friend list. These are the rst people you want to invite to become fans of your businesss page. 7. Encourage check-ins. Wherever your business operates, it counts as a place on Facebook. Check in at your workplace every day you are there, even if youre operating out of a home office. This will put your companys name into peoples news feeds every time you punch in.

2. Learn as much as you can. Take notes based on your experiences with Facebooks pages and other business services at the very least, write down questions about things you dont understand so you can make a note to look them up later. Youll nd just about anything youre curious to know within the sites official help center. Make a habit of reading as much as you can on this part of the site, without overdoing it. 4. Make time. Unless you can find an intern willing to plan your media campaigns for free, cultivating a Facebook presence doesnt have to be a full-time job or something that eats up all your free time. Try to set aside an hour a day to work on your businesss page, post updates and communicate directly with customers and fans. 6. Have one-on-one conversations. Send a thank-you message right after someone clicks like on your page, and make a point of responding to messages and wall posts within 24 hours. Pay careful attention to whatever fans tell you on your page, and try to respond to their needs.

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Using LinkedIn for business


What is it?
LinkedIn is a business-related social networking site. Launched in 2003, it is mainly used for professional networking. In November 2011, LinkedIn reported it had over 135 million registered users in more than 200 countries. LinkedIn counts executives from all 2011 Fortune 500 companies as members, and more than 2 million companies of all sizes have LinkedIn Company Pages. The social network represents a valuable demographic for marketers, with an affluent and inuential membership. LinkedIn Company Pages Company pages are a companys prole of record on LinkedIn and a powerful way to speak to millions of professionals through word-of-mouth recommendations and trusted testimonials. For LinkedIn members, company pages are a great way to research companies youre interested in. You can follow them to stay updated, see what kind of people work there, and even review the products and services you use. For companies, company pages present an opportunity to reveal the human side of your company. They provide a peek at the individuals behind your brand and highlight how members use your products. Your company page offers tools to bring your brand to life.

Essential reading
1. Company pages frequently asked questions Published by LinkedIn. 2. Guide to your company page Download PDF how-to, published by LinkedIn. 3. Groupsfrequently asked questions Download PDF how-to, published by LinkedIn.
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How to set up a LinkedIn Company Page

1. Log in to your account on LinkedIn, click on the Companies link on the menu and select Add a Company. 2. Complete the details requested to add your company name and email address. Note the verication text you have to check to indicate your agreement (and see also LinkedIns more detailed Requirements to Add or Edit Company Pages), and then click Continue. 3. Follow the rest of the LinkedIn wizards setup procedure to add a company description, location information, a logo and more. 4. Once youve completed LinkedIns initial steps, your company profile will be visible to the public.

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How to set up a LinkedIn Company Page


Your company page will present information in tabbed sections:

Company status updates Engage and message your followers and potential customers.

Analytics tab - Learn about your followers.

Overview tab Introduce your company to professionals.

Products and services tab Build your showcase of recommendations.

A basic company page is free of charge as a benefit of your LinkedIn membership. LinkedIn also offers premium (paid-for) company pages known as Custom Company Profiles that offer you additional features, including adding videos, interactive polls and several customization options for recruiting. These pages are likely to appeal to larger companies in particular. For an example, see the screenshot of the Dell career tab on its enhanced company page above.

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How to set up a LinkedIn Group


LinkedIn Groups provide a place for professionals in the same industry or with similar interests to share content and nd answers. Other options include posting and viewing jobs, making business contacts, and establishing themselves as industry experts. Unlike Company Pages, anyone can create a LinkedIn Group. Think of a LinkedIn Group as similar to Facebook Fan Pages a key benet of both is building community. You can start a new group by lling out the elds on the Create a Group page. Youll be the owner and manager of any group you create, but you can also assign other members to be managers or moderators. To create a group, the steps are simple: 1. Click Groups in the menu at the top of your homepage. From the drop-down list, select and click Create a Group. 2. Complete the elds on the setup page. A red asterisk means the information is required. 3. As the final step, choose whether you want to create an open group or a membersonly group.

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LinkedIn tips
Venture capitalist, blogger, author and former Apple evangelist Guy Kawasaki offers 7 ways to use LinkedIn. They include: 1. Acquire new customers through online recommendations and word-of-mouth. Satised customers are the best source of new customers. Increase your word-of-mouth referrals by asking your happy clients to write you a recommendation, which will be published on your LinkedIn profile and broadcast to their entire LinkedIn network. 2. Keep in touch with people who care most about your business. Sites like LinkedIn help keep your business alive in the minds of the people who care most about your business. LinkedIn is effective for two reasons: the business intent of LinkedIn users and fewer status updates, which means your business stays top of mind. Tip: You can also increase the impact of your status updates by syncing your LinkedIn and Twitter accounts. 3. Build your industry network online and in person. Search LinkedIns Groups Directory to find industry associations and networks to take part in. For example, if youre in the event planning or wedding industry, there are over 530 groups. In addition, LinkedIn also publicizes popular events in your industry by calling out local events that your connections are attending. Imagine being able to nd industry events that your prospective clients are attending. 4. Keep your friends close and your competition closer.
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Over 150,000 companies have a company profile on LinkedIn, the public profile for companies. These pages surface key stats on companies; recent hires as well as movers and shakers. Not only do company proles give you unique insight into your competition, they also give you an opportunity to stumble upon potential hires by browsing through company pages.

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LinkedIn tips
5. Get answers to tough business questions with a little help from your real friends. Small business owners deal with challenging questions on a slew of topics each day. LinkedIn Answers and Groups let you find answers to those vexing questions quickly by tapping into the wisdom of your network. (LinkedIn tells me there are over 200 different categories on Answers, including one dedicated just to small business and over 2,000 groups on small business-related topics.) Wondering whether your recent office purchase is tax deductible? Check out hundreds of questions on related topics here.

6. Network with peers in your industry for repeat business referrals. LinkedIn Groups is a powerful medium to find peers in your respective industries to network with and nd complimentary businesses to share referrals with. For example, mortgage brokers can nd real estate agents to partner with on relevant groups, and as most small businesses know, these partners are your best source of referrals that can turn into repeat business. With over 2,000 groups dedicated to small business topics, youre sure to nd a relevant group to network.

7. Convince potential customers of your expertise by sharing unique blog content. Small businesses smart enough to create unique content on their expertise (either with a blog or Twitter account) should link to it from their LinkedIn profiles. Or take it one step further by promoting featured blog content to LinkedIn members on the site (e.g., with small text ads). You can specify exactly who will see your adsexecutives or VPsand include a link to your prole so they know whos behind this content.

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Source: http://blog.linkedin.com/2010/04/12/linkedin-small-business-tips/.

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Engaging with circles on Google+


What is it?
Google+ (pronounced and written as Google Plus, often abbreviated as G+) is a social networking and identity service launched publicly by Google in September 2011. In December 2011 just three months after its public launch it was reported that Google+ had more than 60 million registered users. Although Google hasnt stated so itself, Google+ is widely regarded as a direct competitor of Facebook. In the broadest sense, it is. As online social networking services, both enable their respective users to build and interact with other people on the services who, for example, share interests and/or activities, and build communities. Google+ integrates its existing social networking services such as Google Profiles and the now-discontinued Google Buzz, and introduces new services such as Circles and Hangouts. Like Facebook, LinkedIn and other online social networks, Google+ is available as a website and on mobile devices.

Essential reading
1. Google+ your business Download PDF guide published by Google. 2. Google+ pagesconnect with all the things you care about Blog post by Google announcing Pages. 3. The pros & cons of Google+ for small business Analysis by Mashable.

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For an easy-to-understand visual overview of Google+, see The Google+ Start-Up Guide 2.0 by Saidur Hossain. See also A quick look at Google+ by Google.

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Google+ for business


For small- to medium-sized businesses, Google+ offers some compelling benets. Three specic elements of the service help promote your business and engage with customers and other people of interest: Google+ Circles is the foundational element of your engagement with others on Google+. Circles lets you organize people that follow you on Google+ into groups called Circles. You could have circles for friends, co-workers, customers, business partners or whatever label you wish. One big advantage of this segmented approach to managing your connections is the control it gives you over which group can see what content of yours. For instance, you could share a new product feature only with current customers and news of a forthcoming event at which youre speaking with inuencers and reporters you know. You can choose multiple circles as well. Google+ Circles also provides you with control over what you see, rather than the content rehose (known as the Stream) thats typical when seeing everything from everyone. Instead, you can focus on specic circles of people to see only what the people in those circles are talking about. You can also decide to customize your personal prole information for your circles. For example, your contact details, location and relationship information would be visible to your friends circle, while your employment history and education would be visible to your business partner circle. One additional business benefit of using Google+ is that Google indexes Google+ posts. They do not index private Facebook posts or Twitter hashtags.

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Google+ for business

Google+ Pages: Announced in November 2011, Google+ Pages can showcase your business and get your brand in front of Google+ users. Google+ Pages provide businesses, products, brands and organizations with a public identity and presence on Google+. Pages are similar to profiles, but they do have some key differences, most notably, all information is public by default. You can also have multiple administrators for pages (see the details of all the differences). You can add pages to one of your circles. Theres a new built-in circle called Following that you can use to follow pages. The circle is used to automatically follow pages if you enable that option.

Google+ Hangouts are a great new way to conduct a live video call or conference call online in real time with co-workers, business partners or friends, or anyone you care to chat with. Your webcam and Google+ are all you need. You can invite up to 10 people, including yourself, and keep the meeting going for hours without cost the service itself is free. When you enter a hangout, youll see the current participants, broken down according to who is in your circles and who isnt. Hangouts are created by one person, but everyone in the hangout shares the ability to invite others. Each hangout has a specific URL. That URL can be shared as a link to invite others. However, only Google+ users are able to join.

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Getting started with business on Google+


4 Steps to success
Step 1: Join Google+ If you havent yet set up a prole in your own name, do this now. You cannot add to circles, create pages or participate in hangouts unless you have a Google+ profile. 1. Go to https://plus.google.com/ and click the Sign in button to join Google+ with your Google Account then follow the instructions. 2. Check your Google+ Profile information, update/edit as appropriate. (If youre already a Google+ user, skip Step 1.)

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Getting started with business on Google+


Step 2: Create a Google+ Circle and add people 1. Click the Circles link in the menu at the top of your Google+ screen. You can also easily create a circle using the Google+ mobile app. 2. Select the people you want to include in your circle. You can select more than one person at a time by either clicking on more than one name tile or by highlighting multiple tiles using your cursor. 3. Drag and drop them to the blank circle that says Drop here to create a new circle. 4. If you dont have anyone to add to your circles yet, try using the Find people tab for people suggestions. 5. To name your circle, click Create circle. A pop-up box will appear for you to edit the circle name. Circle names are visible only to you. You can put the same person into as many circles as you like.

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Getting started with business on Google+


Step 3: Create a Google+ page 1. In your stream, click the link on the right side of your screen to get started. 2. Pick the category of the Google+ page you want to create. Currently, you can choose from ve categories: -Local Business or Place -Product or Brand -Company, Institution or Organization -Arts, Entertainment or Sport -Other 3. Complete the concise form and click Create. 4. Once youve selected your pages category, you can start customizing its public prole: adding your prole photo and a tagline (10 words that best describe your page). 5. After you have added these items and clicked on Continue, you will be asked to spread the word about your new page through your personal Google+ profile. If youre not ready to do that yet, click Finish to be taken to your new page.

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15 Google+ tips for small- and medium-sized businesses


Learn from these tips for increasing your brand on Google+ from Inc. magazine:

1. Use your real name when you register. This creates an authentic presence on the service; investors can look you up by name, and customers want to know its really you. Later on, you can create a business page thats less personal.

4. Post occasional coupons and specials. That way, you can see if people are engaging with your posts. Be careful about how often you post specials or you may raise the ire of the Google+ team, who discourage blatant promotion.

7. Dont stop using Facebook. There is a lot of cross-pollination between the social networks. When you follow someone on Facebook or they follow you, check Google+ to see if they are using that service and follow them there.

2. Create Google+ Circles in a logical fashion. Business partners, employees, friends, investors. That way, as you start using the service, you can keep people organized. You can then choose only a select group to view a new post. 3. Engage with other business professionals in an authentic way. Read what they post, make comments and follow their links. When you follow links, comment on them so that everyone knows you read the article.

5. Send private messages to people who look interesting. You can just type the message, then remove the public circle and add just one name.

8. Go ahead and think big. When Michael Dell makes a post, feel free to post a comment and see if he replies. You can even send a direct post.

6. Check your notications on the upper right side of the screen. Look for the red notication alert. You can see who is following you, any new comments, and whether those you follow are following you back.

9. Dont be afraid of negative attention. Posting a counterargument, especially when it is something you feel strongly about, can generate some buzz. When you do, be ready to support your position with facts and welldeveloped opinions.
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15 Google+ tips for small- and medium-sized businesses


Learn from these tips for increasing your brand on Google+ from Inc. magazine:

10. Make sure you have entered detailed information about yourself and add some humor. There's a section in your prole for adding something unique about yourself. Include a recent photo that's bright and colorful.

13. Try holding your own hangout. Pick a topic that is related to your business if you run an ice-cream shop, try holding a hangout on the cost of supplies or retail trends.

11. Use the Sparks feature to track trending topics. Just click Sparks and add a search term. Track these topics and re-post the most engaging stories.

14. Set aside Google+ time each day. Make comments and post new entries, but also search for people to follow. When someone follows you, its polite to send a quick thank-you to acknowledge their interest.

12. Make use of the +1 feature that is now cropping up on many websites, including Inc.com. When you see a story you like, click +1 so that everyone knows you read the story and liked it. This increases engagement with like-minded users.

15. Stay focused on the task at hand, which is to increase brand awareness. It takes time. You might not see engagement levels rise in just one day or a week, but track how many people comment on your posts over a month.
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Source: http://www.inc.com/articles/201109/can-google-plus-help-your-business.html.

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