Social Media For Mompreneurs – An Interview With Laura Roeder
Is there something different about social media for mompreneurs? I set out to find out.
When I started seeing her on all my favorite blogs, like ProBlogger, Copyblogger and The Launch Coach, I knew there must be something special about her.
She’s a social media marketing expert who teaches small businesses how to create their own fame and claim their brand online. She is the creator of the Creating Fame Classroom and Your Backstage Pass to Twitter.
She’s Laura Roeder, social media sage and starlet, and now she’s here to teach us mogul moms how to harness the power of social media to build our mom-owned business.
TMM: Mom entrepreneurs are an amazing bunch of women who juggle running a business and raising a family. They’re tight on time, usually short on cash and trying to DIY as much as they can – building buzz, getting media coverage, designing a marketing strategy, finding customers and gulp, actually making some money. How can social media help them do those things?
LR: I think social media is great for mom entrepreneurs for one big reason- it’s FREE! It’s the only channel that I know of where you can achieve everything you mentioned – building a business, gaining media coverage, marketing, getting customers – all for free. Also, at its core, social media is just talking to people – something that comes easily to most women.
I think the highest value in social media is creating and cultivating relationships. I’ve been able to connect with some incredibly successful mentors via social media who’ve given me invaluable strategic advice – I NEVER would have met them if not for Twitter.
Social media is also incredibly useful for what I call “Hey, I’m alive!” – reminding your audience that you and your business exist so that you stay top-of-mind for referrals.
What are some features and benefits of the social media heavyweights -Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, email marketing and blogging – that can help a mom entrepreneur choose which one (or two) is best for her business and her customer? Would a mom who is a clothing designer choose a different social media strategy than one who is a freelance graphic designer? Why or why not?
The main thing you need to remember when designing a social media strategy for mompreneurs is to go where your audience already lives. So if you market to senior citizens, they are probably not on Twitter. HOWEVER, a lot of valuable partners like vendors, media contacts, and just mastermind buddies, might be on Twitter. So it’s all about figuring out where the different segments of who you want to reach are already living online. Your senior citizens might be posting in a forum, or they might actually be on Facebook sharing pics of their grandkids.
As far as how to figure out where your audience lives online its just about Googling and exploring. Most people make this way too complicated – for example, if the freelance graphic designer serves alot of virtual assistants she should just hop on Google and start exploring the search results for virtual assistant. Then she can search Twitter and Facebook for that term and see what’s going on there. It is definitely a mix of art and science – there’s research involved but there’s also a good amount of “hanging out” online and seeing where you fit.
When it comes to social media, mom entrepreneurs like to cover all their bases – they Twitter, create a Facebook fan page, get on LinkedIn, start a blog and send out an email newsletter – and dilute their marketing efforts in the process. Is this a mistake? Should they go deep rather than wide when it comes to social media?
It really depends on the business but in general, yes, this can be a mistake if your time becomes too diluted and segmented. For example – let’s say you’re producing a podcast, newsletter, blog and video show. But because you’re doing so much each one only gets updated once a quarter or so. You’d be MUCH better off picking the one that you’re best at and creating it every single week.
You need to make it easy for people to talk about you – it’s easy to say “check out her blog, it’s awesome”. If you’re giving people too many choices they can’t figure out where to send their referrals.
However, when it comes to social networks it’s fine to have profiles on many different sites. You might want to use a tool like ping.fm to easily update them all. The one caveat is that when you’re on a space people WILL contact you there, and as your business grows people will start contacting you for customer support in all kinds of crazy places. So if you have a profile on say, Visual CV, and a customer sends you a message there that you never see, that reflects poorly on you. So keep that in mind.
TMM: When mompreneurs create a Facebook fan page, an email newsletter, or blog, is it important for them to explain the benefits and value of joining instead of just hanging out a sign-up box on their site? If people know exactly what they’ll get by joining, does this increase the likelihood they’ll join?
LR: Spelling out clear benefits will GREATLY increase the odds of someone joining you – whether it is a blog subscription, becoming a fan on Facebook or giving you their email address.
The other important point to keep in mind is you can’t just tell people once – you need to remind them over and over again. So reminders about following you on Twitter, reading your blog, becoming your fan on Facebook, and everything else need to be repeated over and over again in your communication. It will feel like overkill to you but believe me, that’s what it takes. You can’t send out one email once and expect people to take action. They’re busy – remind them to make it easy for them.
TMM: Tell us how a mom entrepreneur can use a Facebook fan page to build business, customer retention and brand loyalty.
LR: This is a big question! The short answer is that you need to create a space where people want to spend time. Too many people over complicate this – you don’t need to get super innovative or reinvent the wheel. Inviting participation via questions, sharing media and updates, and offering discounts and specials are all good methods.
TMM: Quick – tell us your flat-out favorite social media site and why.
LR: Twitter, Twitter, and more Twitter! I LOVE Twitter because it’s fast, easy, and leveraged. Many people say that Twitter is a waste of time but writing one 140-character message that goes out to thousands of people who have actively made a choice to hear from me sounds like a pretty good use of time to me!
The other thing that makes Twitter different from other social networks is that Twitter culture is all about meeting new people.
Many people use Facebook and LinkedIn only to connect with those they already know. On Twitter, it’s totally normal to follow and jump into conversations with people you’ve never met before.
As a business owner, you need to constantly be putting yourself in front of new eyeballs so Twitter is incredibly useful for that.
TMM: Have any social media ninja moves you can share with us? You know, quick & easy ways that mom entrepreneurs can use social media to establish authority, build buzz, find customers, nurture community and create kwan?
LR: I actually share a “social media ninja move” every single week in my free newsletter and online community called The Dash, so anyone who wants to learn more should definitely jump on that.
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- Social Media For Mompreneurs – An Interview With Laura Roeder - November 29, 2009