Top of Mind: 7 Social Media Musts

As part of 2013 National Small Business Week, the U.S. Small Business Administration hosted Google+ Hangouts with various experts to discuss topics relevant to entrepreneurs and small business owners getting started. In this webinar, social media experts from Twitter, Constant Contact and Google+ shared their tips for social marketing success.

1. Ask Questions and Invite to the Conversation “One thing that’s important to remember across all of the networks is that you’re having a conversation. You’re not trying to shout at your customers; you’re trying to engage them. Make sure you’re inviting folks to the conversation. Make sure you’re asking questions and you’re not just talking all about yourself.”  

―Erica Ayotte, Constant Contact, Sr. Manager Social Media Marketing

2. Humanize Your Brand “You want to make sure to humanize your brand and your voice. Customers don’t want to be pushed promotions all the time. They want to listen and to have a conversation about things they’re interested in.”

―Christine Tseng, Twitter, Head of SMB Marketing  

3. Ask How They Heard About You “A simple Where did you hear about us?…is a really nice way to get a feedback loop to figure out where people are hearing about you and where you can start estimating. That’s a really important other way to get that idea of referral traffic and where people are coming from for you.”

―Ria Tobaccowala, Google+, Marketing  

4. Convert Social Media Popularity to Email Lists “By tying email into your social media strategy is one way to monetize what your social media efforts are doing for you. If you think about how social media works, you’re essentially renting space. You’re renting space on Facebook, you’re renting space on Twitter. It’s awesome, main street, big picture window space. But at the end of the day, the assets that you own are your website and your email list. I think it’s really important, for example, if you were to run a social campaign via Twitter or Facebook or even another channel, you can trade their email address for an offer. That’s one way to make sure that you own those contacts and can market to them later.”

―Erica Ayotte, Constant Contact, Sr. Manager Social Media Marketing  

5. Quality Over Quantity “It’s all about quality over quantity. Rather than have 5,000 followers who may not be of good quality, what you want is that one great follower who will help you spread your message.”

―Christine Tseng, Twitter, Head of SMB Marketing

6. Think In Video for Vine “Vine is the six second video platform that really seems to be catching on and a lot of brands are starting to use it. It is a great impactful way visually to convey a lot of information through a very small package.”

―Aaron Strout, W20 Group, Managing Director  

7. Spy on Other Brands as an Individual “It is important to have your own personal profiles as well to do some experimenting on. Play around on it as an individual, as a consumer first. Get accustomed to the platform, spy on some other brands, see what they’re doing. And then figure out how you can take those learnings and incorporate them into what you’re doing for your business profile.”

―Erica Ayotte, Constant Contact, Sr. Manager Social Media Marketing

Want more? Check out another “Top of Mind” Small Business Week Google+ Hangout on


Jessica Krampe is the digital managing editor for A graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism, Jessica has worked for news, entertainment, business and lifestyle publications. Outside of the daily grind, she enjoys happy hours, live music and traveling.

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