August 31, 2012

Thinking Small for Big Sales: 3 Social Sites to Boost Your Biz

No doubt you’re using Facebook and Twitter to build your following in an attempt to find as many customers as possible, and that’s great. But what you may not have considered in the world of social media are the smaller social networking sites as a way of targeting people who already share certain interests with you.

Susan Newman
Susan Newman of Susan Newman Design, Inc. uses a great metaphor to explain the idea: Facebook and Twitter are global, while these smaller sites are more like your neighborhood, and she’s got the perfect virtual hangouts that any New York business gal should know about.

Social Media Examiner. The Social Media Examiner is a blog website that posts news articles and tutorials about social media, business and blogging (among other topics), and in a section called The Networking Groups, features a discussion board that covers three categories: small business, Facebook, and blogging.

“It’s a great site, because they got people interested in social media all together, then expanded it so that we could all help each other and answer each other’s questions,” says Newman.

Members can also sign up for the site’s daily newsletters, which offer the latest news on social media. “I get alerts every day,” says Newman, “and they’ve taught me quite a bit of what I’ve learned about social networking.

“Of course, if you’re knowledgeable about something, the discussion boards give you an opportunity to help others, as well," she adds. “It's a terrific niche community where the answers you get are really relevant and truly helpful."

The Social Buzz Club.  Newman says the Social Buzz Club has been “really unbelievable” in terms of how much exposure it has gotten her on the web.

While it’s a site that charges for its membership (after a free trial), there are different levels of participation to fit anyone’s budget, and Newman says any level is bound to increase your visibility on the internet.

The Social Buzz Club works by members reposting one another’s blog links on Facebook, Twitter, or wherever you specify you’d like to be promoted.  The set-up is simple: You feed your blog link into the stream, check off its subject category, then wait to see how many people repost it for you. Each member commits to reposting a certain number of times each month, and Newman says it’s incredibly helpful to see which of her blog posts get the most reposts.

“What’s great is that as soon as I go into my dashboard,” she says, “I can see which posts were shared how many times, and that’s valuable information for me, to see which posts are resonating. I had one post that was shared just once, while another was reposted 26 times.”

When a member has tens of thousands of followers on their Facebook page, for example, and they repost your blog link, that’s incredible exposure.

“It’s amazing how much this site has exploded my visibility on the web,” Newman says.

(A link to the Social Buzz Club is on Newman’s site, If you decide to sign up for it, kindly consider joining from that link, as it will earn Newman some well-deserved points for all she’s done for the New York Etsy Team. Help her out!)

Savor the Success. Like the Social Buzz Club, Savor the Success has a free trial, but the monthly membership fee, at $50, is a bit steep. However, Newman says the work one can get through the group can often cover the monthly cash outlay.

Savor the Success is a global group of women entrepreneurs, who work in just about all fields; they’re artists, chefs, businesswomen, designers, you name it. (Newman is a member of the New York chapter.) The site's two best features, says Newman, are first, its monthly meeting, which features a guest speaker, then breaks the attendees up into groups of six or seven. During that time, each woman gets to talk for seven or eight minutes about what she does, or she can ask for advice or feedback on some new venture.

The second advantage is access to the group’s web site, and its astounding media lists that cover just about any and all fields…entertainment, jewelry, home décor, business, plus many more.

“They have at least six media lists that get updated every year, and members get to download one per month,” Newman says, noting that for most, just one media list will be applicable to what the member does. “You also get full access to the web site, where you can interact with other members, and find all kinds of video resources as well.”

Newman notes that Savor the Success is a very tight community, which means that each woman knows what everyone else is doing. That, in turn, means that everyone is recommending one another for potential business.

“We also get to post our news, which goes out in a daily email,” she says, “and we can upload our banners, which appear at the top of these emails on a rotating basis. There’s just constant interaction within the group.”

Aside from the free trial, there are also free memberships available, which limits how much access you have to the group's activities and web site. It does, however, allow you to post your profile.

Newman also recommends two other sites: Ozoshare, for Etsy merchants who sell eco-friendly products, and Tumblr, a blog site that is heavy on imagery, and is growing at one of the fastest rates on the internet. More on these sites will appear in a future essay.

Until next time!
Mary Ann

The Brooks Ring
The Shop: MaryAnnFarley


persuede said...

Great resources! Very timely article for those of us in back-2-school mode.

pauletta brooks said...

Thanks for advising on all these great resources!

Anton said...

I personally like Social Media Examiner very much. It always publishes quality and very useful articles.