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CDG has developed tools to help you incorporate social media into your marketing strategy.

Take your website and marketing strategies to the world with CDG's help.

Stand out from the crowdCapacity — especially to plan and execute effective marketing strategies — is a big challenge for every small business. At CDG we know often your in-house capacity is limited by time and budget. But on this page are ten marketing partnerships you can consider or ask CDG to consider for your website. When it comes to using social marketing in today's rapidly moving social network, you must outline your goals and be clear on how you want to, and how you can, leverage these tools in your marketing effort.

The Social Media world is our most rapidly changing challenge, both as individuals and as a website design company. Creative Design Group must spend hours weekly researching what is new, what is going to be new and what just got old. This research makes your website and your marketing possibilities endless. From facebook to twitter, there are constant reminders of what is going on in the world around you so your business needs to be a part of that conversation. Below are ten important marketing tools via social media that your website may or may not need! We've offered a bit of information with each or follow the link to find out more.

1. Facebook www.facebook.com

Facebook offers exceptional, low cost marketing opportunities for small business. Facebook now has over 300 million users, and while that seems like an outrageous number for small businesses to be targeting, Facebook offers a very powerful platform on which to build a presence. If you're not already active on Facebook, you should get started right away.

2. Twitter www.twitter.com

Twitter has grown tremendously over the past year. For some small businesses, it offers an incredible marketing platform. BusinessWeek's recent profile of 20 ways businesses use Twitter might give you some ideas about how you can leverage Twitter for your business. If you haven't signed up on Twitter yet, you should sign up today and reserve an account in the name of your business. While you might ultimately tweet in your own name, you'll want to have the option to tweet from a business account. More importantly, you don' want your competitors to register your business name.

3. Company Blog www.blogger.com

Although there's more attention focused today on social networks than on company blogs, blogs continue to offer great value for small businesses. At a minimum, you should consider reserving a domain name for your blog — if you don't already have a custom domain for your business.

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Short and sweet are Tweets
   
LinkedIN - social network for professionals
Powerful marketing channels for small businesses

4. LinkedIn www.linkedin.com

LinkedIn is a business oriented social network for professionals, and it's huge, with nearly 50 million users from over 200 countries. Once again, you'll want to at least reserve your business name (or your personal name) so that others can't use it. Similar to the way you might start exploring Facebook and Twitter, you should look around on LinkedIn to see how your competitors are using the service. You might also look up your customers and connect with them.

5. Participate On Other Blogs

It might seem counter-intuitive for you to spend your valuable time by participating in discussions on other people's blogs, but the payoff can be very valuable. Remember that it takes time to build a reputation and establish your credibility, and you can't always expect everyone to come to you. Sometimes, you have to go out and build your own credibility and reputation. Identify 2-3 blogs in your industry, or those that focus on small business, and get into the habit of regularly reading the content and participating in the discussions. Whenever you can, try to add value by sharing a personal story about what has/has not worked for you. Get to know the writers — they'll be valuable contacts for you.

6. Mobile Social Networks and other Local Strategies

Yelp is a combination city-guide, friend finder, and competitive game. It allows users to "check in" by cell phone at a local venue and announce this via other social networks such as Twitter. Basic Strategy: Yelp, Foursquare, and other mobile social networks can be powerful marketing channels for small businesses. You should at the very least register accounts on the popular services and get to know them. If you have a restaurant or a retail store, for example, you'll want to get to know Yelp pretty well.

   

7. Comments and Conversations About Your Company

Whether or not you are a party to the conversations, people will talk about your company. How do you monitor and, when appropriate, join those discussions? There are five simple steps you can take today to begin paying attention to conversations about your business. First, set up Google Alerts. Google Alerts are free email updates from Google search results about any topic you're interested in tracking. For example, we track, among other alerts, the names of our competitors, the name of our company, and certain other terms we believe are important to my business. Anytime Google adds something to its index that mentions our company or the other terms we're tracking, we receive an immediate email notification with a link to that item.

8. Multimedia www.youtube.com

Multimedia (video, photos, audio) is a bit more complicated for many small businesses to execute, but can provide excellent social media marketing opportunities. Basic Strategy: You Tube has been constantly evolving and adding features that make it an attractive social site for small businesses. Although you don't have to produce videos to participate on YouTube, you should consider whether simple videos can help your marketing efforts. For example, if you're already posting videos to your blog, you can upload them to YouTube to reach a broader audience, and embed the video content in your blog posts.

9. Maintain Brand Consistency

We've discussed only a small handful of social networks. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of others, and new ones spring up every day. That means that your customers will have many different ways to find you. But they won't find you if your brand is scattered across social networks using different usernames and profiles.

10. Leverage Combinations of Social Media Tools

Let's take a look at some strategies for making sure that your brand is consistent across social networks. One of the best ways for small businesses to leverage social media marketing is to use various social networks in combination with each other. At a minimum, you should do several things today to cross-market through the various social networks you're most likely already using. You will need to connect your Twitter account to Facebook so that your tweets will appear in your public updates on Facebook. This will let you leverage your time on Twitter to also update your Facebook fans.

Reach a bigger audience with multimedia
 
Don't let all the Social Media swarm on you. CDG can help!

Conclusion
Social media marketing can be a phenomenal channel for small businesses but you may need the expertise of Creative Design Group to incorporate these into your website. Give us a call today to get started!

Creative Design Group
205 W Laclede
Malden, MO 63863
573.276.6648 :: info@4cdg.com

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