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Thread: Social Media as a Marketing Tool

  1. #41
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    Yeah, you may not find exactly the kind of people you're hoping to find. Your industry probably isn't at the cutting edge of technology and many in the industry probably aren't using social media. There might not be one or two sites devoted to what you'd ideally want.

    However, I just search "antiques forum" in Google and see quite a few results. Probably more of your customers than fellow business owners, but I would think there are going to be some business owners there as well.

    You may want to think of your customers and peers as two different groups. Your customers are likely using social media of some sort. Maybe not something specific to antiques, but they're likely using social media in general.

    You may need to see your peers not specifically as antique dealers, but rather as business owners. Some of us are here. We are your peers even if we don't share the same industry.
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    oh definitely....and thats why i like it here.... its very refreshing and expanding to hear you all..we have lots in common.... and i think my views could apply to all kinds of business too......
    .of course i always love to hear from aaron who has a store!!!
    antique sites are a lot about whats my thing worth.....
    im knee deep in christmas right now....coming to a peak on nov 7....i need to talk about store displays with someone ..
    ann
    ann at greenoak www.greenoakantiques.com

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    That's where separating customers from peers works. Some, myself included, think forums are part of social media. I guess they're social media 1.0. You can come here and connect with others like Aaron who has a store and while you don't sell the same products you can still help each other.

    Extending into other forms of social media here's a site called bizSugar that's geared toward social news and voting. I can't claim to know much about it, since I only recently heard about it myself, but the content is geared toward business. It may lean toward the online side of things in some degree simply because online marketers are the ones who are the early adopters of these sites. Still the articles will be about business and many of the people who submit and vote on content will be small business owners.

    How can use that to your advantage?

    Look through the site and get a feel for the kind of content that the community there likes. Look toward your own business and see if you can write an article about your business that the community of the site might enjoy and find helpful.

    Spend time voting for or against the articles submitted. Build a profile for yourself on the site to help brand yourself, your site, your business. Take advantage of any networking features the site has to get to know some of the other members of the community.

    Do you have to do the above? Not at all. There are many roads to success. Social media is only one of those ways, but it's becoming an increasingly more important way as more and more people are spending time interacting with various sites. If you can maintain a presence on a few of those sites you stand a chance of gaining new customers, links into your site, branding, general visibility, and even new friends
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    Here's a suggestion for you Ann. You could start your own storeowner community site, but then you'd have to get into the technicalities or hire someone to do it for you, and then build traffic.

    Better suggestion is to find a more general business site, or a site that caters to various bricks-and-mortar businesses, and carve out your own clique. With a bit of luck and encouragement, you might even get the webmaster to create a forum on their board devoted to your subjects.

    Inc Talk is one such - Inc Talk Business Forum - Start and Grow Your Business

    Of course, Small-Business-Forum.net is a general business forum and only leanig towards the tchnical side of things because it is a new site started by techies.

    Whichever approach you take will still require promotion on your part. Start e-mailing all your countrparts in other cities - the people you would like to commune with - and invite them to join the forum of your choice. Tell them who you are, what you do, why you want to communicate with them and what you and they can gain from talking with similar business owners on a regular basis. IOW, form your own little clique on someone else's board.

    I'm sure the organizers of Small-Business-Forum.net would welcome the opportunity to expand their membership and offer help to you to do that.

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    nice idea ...but im way to busy...and way too , well what do you call it, to want to be a moderator..
    ..ive looked at inc..but not that part.....thanks for that link....
    biz sugar...sounds interesting too.....thanks...
    im not a manager, or vice pres, or climbing the corporate ladder, rather an owner....i think i must be in a pretty small group online anyway....lots of the ones i know are guys who dont even surf the internet and never heard of blogs...especially the ones id like to hear from, the ones with more than a couple of years under their belts......... thats probably lots the problem.... ...
    its good here...and we all have customers and suppliers ..in some form...
    ann at greenoak www.greenoakantiques.com

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    I don't think we lean toward the technical because the forum was started by techies. If you look at the forums here with the most threads and posts you'll notice the most active ones are the non technical ones. If there's any kind of tech leaning it's because the more technical people here are more active.

    If you want more non technical business talk start more threads that are geared toward what you want to talk about. It's the community that will determine what conversations are taking place. If the topics you'd like to see discussed aren't happening then start those conversations.

    We're basically the same community that was on the old SBF a few months back and no one ever thought it was too techie there. All we did was add a couple more places where people with tech leanings could talk, because all the tech threads were lumped into one forum there. That hardly makes this forum techie. And again if you want to see conversations on a topic just start the conversation.
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    sorry, i didnt mean to sound critical .......i dont find anything wrong here....and real glad to be part of it....i think other stores would get lots of great info on here.... ...
    ....i would come here first to get feedback on any interenet parts of our business, and the other parts too...... its good , since even for me a whole lot of business comes thru the internet..and i want to push out into the internet more....and really apppreciate your feedback.....
    .i dont think i would start a thread on here about my main problem for tomorrow...what furniture layouts to put where for the best christmas displays.....
    i found some great retail links thru that sugar site...
    ann
    ann at greenoak www.greenoakantiques.com

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    Ann I didn't take anything you said as being critical.

    I'm glad the bizSugar site led you to some good info. I haven't had a chance to look through their site, but I had come across is not long ago and thought it might be worth posting here.
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