Larry BraunerThere are two common reasons that you and your business might not be ready yet to take advantage of social media marketing.

It’s possible that you do not yet have a suitable website or blog site to be the hub of your social media marketing and to convert your traffic. Darren Rowse, the author of 31 Days to Build a Better Blog, in his video, How I Use Social Media to Promote My Blogs, explains why you’d want one:

It’s also possible that you haven’t yet created even a rough social media and web marketing plan to work with.

You’ll need to outline your marketing objectives, of course. You’ll also need to specify to whom you’re marketing and determine which subject areas are appropriate to discuss.

Then, you’ll plan a course of action that encompasses your websites, content and social sites prior to launching your social media marketing campaign.

Are you ready for social media marketing?

Larry BraunerSocial media and other types of media revolve around the findability and value of their content.

You could use a newspaper to wrap fish or fragile belongings (ideal), a book as a paperweight (sad), a radio or television program as white noise (even sadder) or a blog to switch to, so that the boss won’t catch you playing FarmVille at work (hopefully not my readers).

Kidding aside, media are published so that their content will be consumed, and social media marketing can only succeed if its content is findable, and if the people finding that content repeatedly consume it.

Am I stating simply the obvious? Perhaps, but consider for a minute the large number of web sites with little traffic and blogs with little traction. Do you not agree that my concern is somewhat justified?

Value and findability of content to and by stakeholders are prerequisites for social media marketing success, and the optimization of each must be at the top of our social media marketing content lists.

Larry BraunerI started this blog, because I wanted to refocus the content of Online Social Networking on social and business networking, yet I still wanted to discuss other topics, such as New York business events, small businesssearch and social media.

Now that I’ve launched two new business networking sites, and both have blogging capabilities, I’m setting up a New York business blog on one site and a small business blog on the other.

In case this post has sounded so far like an Abbot and Costello routine, here’s a simpler breakdown:

You might be wondering whether this article is merely a shameless plug for my new sites. Fortunately for me, there is a takeaway. ;-)

Although we might hope to build a web presence one time and then coast along, adding a blog post here and a social bookmark there, this online strategy isn’t at all feasible. Over time the world, technology and we too change substantially. These changes need to find expression in our web initiatives.

Therefore, since real world and corresponding social media changes are inevitable, we must expect them, accommodate them.. and grow with them.

We must grow with the flow. :-P

Larry BraunerI very much enjoyed an informative morning at the The Search and Social Leadership Forum, hosted by the Business Development Institute and NYU.

Veronica Fielding, CEO of Digital Brand Expressions, forum sponsor, treated us to a fast-moving overview of the direction digital marketing is taking.

Veronica Fielding Discusses Findability ConvergenceVeronica discussed findability, which as I understand it refers to the ability of a brand and all its associated content to be discovered and interacted with by people. She identified three key forms of findability and likened them to three forms of investment, underscoring their value and illustrating their complementary nature:

  1. Search Engine Marketing – Paid search results. Like cash, it’s instantly available.
  2. Search Engine Optimization – Organic search results. Like bonds, they’re for the long term.
  3. Social Media – Blogs and social media sites. Like the stock market, it’s volatile.

Veronica showcased companies successfully combining all three findability channels to build their web presence. We need use all three forms of outreach and to foster increased interaction and synergy between them. This is findability convergence.

Watch for more in the near future about this event and about the other excellent presenters:

Much thanks to Steve Etzler, Maria Feola and the BDI team for making today’s Search and Social Leadership Forum a big success.

There’s still space available for the next BDI event, Social Convergence and the Enterprise at NYU Midtown on July 21.

One final note: In case you’re new to this blog, we’ve reached the place where readers generally subscribe or leave me a comment. ;-)

Larry BraunerIn The 4 Elements of Social Media Monetization, I advised that you “take stock of your social media assets and monetize them with suitable products or services.”

Following my own advice, I recognized that my combined expertise, influence and traffic are nearly a perfect fit for marketing business networking sites, groups and events, something that I’ve in fact thought about in passing before.

While my other blog, Online Social Networking, dominates searches related to online networking, it also ranks very high in the search engines for business networking keyword phrases and therefore receives ample business networking traffic, as well.

Considering the business networking traffic potential of my blog, my social media marketing expertise and my increasing online influence, promoting business networking sites, groups and events on the Internet is a sensible way for me to leverage my web presence and the experience that came with building it.

Contact me to learn more about my new business networking marketing and branding service can help you.

Larry BraunerKnow a business that’s hesitating to dive into social media marketing or the web?

I want to share with you a little gem I found in Learning by analogy, an article by Seth Godin, author of the new and very popular Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?

By the time there is a case study in your specific industry, it’s going to be way too late for you to catch up.

When a novel opportunity arises, you can’t afford to wait for others to explain it to you. You must seize it and leverage your experience and knowledge from past situations to plod your way through the new one, formidable as it might seem.

Otherwise, your competitors will, and you’ll find yourself behind the curve, unable to catch up. What if in past years your company had been one of the few left that had no phone, copy machine, fax, word processing, computer or email? Try to imagine that.

Getting back to marketing, how will the Yellow Pages help once people no longer let their “fingers do the walking through” them or newspapers, once they are no longer “fit to print?”

That time is very much upon us.  Look around you. Even the Yellow Pages, newspapers and magazines are scrambling to build their presences on the web.

Yes, the time for social media marketing and the web is now — ready or not!

Larry BraunerThe Internet and social media marketing are helping small business owners to level the playing field and compete more favorably with their larger counterparts.

To compete online, a business needs to invest in developing, optimizing and promoting websites. Online advertising costs money and, as I wrote earlier this week, Social Media Marketing is NOT Free either.

However, the cost and risk associated with doing business online are tiny compared with those of running a brick and mortar business, such as a Macy’s or an H&R Block.

Building an offline presence like that of Macy’s or H&R Block could stretch the resources of many large businesses. On the other hand, building a powerful online presence using social media marketing and search should be affordable, even for small businesses.

Offline, less is more, but online, bigger is er — bigger. There’s no limit to how large you can build your web presence.

Now, one little favor — forget the Super Bowl ad you were intending to place for your small business and make the check payable to yours truly. You can expect a stronger return on your investment. ;-)