There is no denying marketing has changed. It can be scary and even a little intimidating. Traditional marketing does not generate the results that it used to. So what works now? Social media works! It’s a little different than traditional marketing as it isn’t the hard sell. Social media is about building relationships first. Caring for your customers and prospects and showing them your business is the leader in your industry.

I recently had the opportunity to chat with my good friend, Rachel Strella fromStrella Social Media. She answered a few questions for Guest Q&A. Rachel is here to talk about her new social media guide – A Small Business Owner’s Guide to Social Media. It’s a comprehensive guide that all small business owners need to own and it even comes complete with sample strategies.

Rachel, it’s great to be talking with someone who is also a social media manager. Can you tell me about your company, Strella Social Media?
Strella Social Media started in July 2010 as a company that worked one-on-one with business owners to show them the ropes of social media. I soon discovered that business owners felt they did not have the time or know-how to execute an effective presence on their own and often requested additional assistance with the efforts. Before long, a social media management company was born. Strella Social Media now focuses on developing social media strategies, social media coaching, and social media management for small business.

Business owners are not satisfied until they know their social media efforts are bringing in sales. What do you tell your customers about measuring ROI (Return on Investment) for social media?
It absolutely has to start with measurable goals. I’ve found that many business owners fail to realize their full social media potential because their goals are simplistic, misguided or unrealistic. Rather than setting a goal such as “get more money and more clients,” businesses need to dive deeper and identify specific targets that will lead to this end result. A few examples of measurable goals could include: increase website traffic, build loyalty among existing customers, establish credibility/authority, increase visibility or reach a specific new audience. Once you have identifiable goals set over a specific time period, it will be easier to track ROI.

How will A Small Business Owner’s Guide to Social Media help business owners?
I’ve seen countless small businesses fail to find their footing with social media simply because they don’t understand how it works or treat it like any other marketing they do. Social media is not one-way marketing, and you could even argue that it’s not really marketing. Social media is an ongoing, online conversation that you can leverage by knowing how to get the conversation started in the best way possible, and knowing how to respond to that conversation as it unfolds.

My mission with this guide is to provide small business owner’s with the tools and guidelines necessary to understand social media, select the best social media channels for their business, and create a game plan for success – regardless of where they’re at. By the end of this program, small businesses will not only understand the ‘why’ of social media, but they will also have a working model for the ‘how.’

How can business owners purchase A Small Business Owner’s Guide to Social Media?
Simply click here and select the PayPal button at the bottom of the screen. They’ll be promoted to enter their credit card or PayPal information. Once complete, you’ll receive the guide within a few hours.

I’ve noticed that some small business owners are unsure of how to communicate their social media audience. Can you offer any advice to business owners regarding this topic?
For businesses that have relied heavily on traditional media to market their products or services, this may be an area where they find themselves charting new territory. Traditional media is a one-way communication to the audience. Social media is a conversation with the audience. This shifts the power from the marketing outlet to the consumer, which is both a scary and unfamiliar new place.
My advice is to communicate with the audience – customers and prospects alike – as you would if they were entering your store or calling you on the phone. Social media is a unique opportunity to communicate with your audience and even improve customer service. My best advice is to rely heavily on providing strong content that will add value to their lives.

About Rachel Strella
Rachel Strella is the Owner of Strella Social Media, a company specializing in social media and brand management. Rachel is the developer of the 2011 training program, Social Media Manager Profits™, which offers step-by-step guidance on how to generate income while working from home! She is also a founding member and expert adviser for the Global Social Media Management Association™ (GSMMA).


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