MD11: 6 Steps to an Effective Social Media Strategy With Nellie Akalp
One sure way to sink your business online is by doing Social Media wrong. Things like over-promoting yourself, not knowing how to talk to your followers and a bunch of other mistakes can destroy your brands reputation very quickly.
Nellie Akalp is CEO of CorpNet, a company that provides legal services like submitting trademarks, registering corporations, etc. Nellie a very precise and specific approach that she uses for her Social Media strategies.
What I like the most of this interview is that Nellie does not calls herself a “Social Media Expert” and yet shares with us what works for her business and how you can replicate what she does.
Here’s Some of the Things You Will Learn:
– How Not to Sell on Social Media
– Avoid Self Promotion, Provide Value Instead
– Focus Your Efforts And Energies in a Hadfull of Social Networks
That’s a sneak peak of the value provided (see what I did there 🙂 in this episode.
I would love to hear from you and know what you thought of this interview. Drop me a line!
And well today we have a different episode than the last 10 that we’ve had. We have with us Nellie Akalp, who I met at New Media Expo in Las Vegas last week. And she is not a social media expert, she says that very clearly in the episode. But she has had a lot of success with social media, and different approaches that she uses with social media to create more business. And she shares that with us. Her successes and her approach to how she comes with such clever strategies that are customer driven, and that are meant to provide value to her audience, her customers, and her clients or prospects and followers. If you hear somewhat of a background and people talking in the background, that’s only because we’re right there on New Media Expo at the pavilion and people are walking around and we’re chatting live. So don’t worry about that is, I hope that’s not too annoying hopefully.
So what you’re going to learn here are 6 different tips that you can utilize when you’re crafting your social media plan for your small business, for your business in general. And how to implement each of these different tips that Nellie’s going to give us. Because a lot of people does social media very wrong. I see a lot of people spamming on Twitter. I see a lot of people putting YouTube videos up there without knowledge on how content has to be crafted. And we talked about YouTube videos on the last episode with Amy Schmittauer. But this time this is all about it’s all about the mindset that you have to take when you’re crafting your overall social media strategy. What you have to say to your followers, how are you going to create your messages? How to find rightful content etc.
We’re also doing a contest this week. As usual, you can head on over to rebelgrowth.com/nellie, and that’ll direct you to the guidelines that are going to be hosted at Nellie’s website. You’ll have another chance to win an awesome Smartduu theme. And today is March, no April – April 22nd. And Google recently rolled out their new algorithm, which basically means that they are taking into consideration websites that are mobile friendly, and they are discording websites that are not mobile friendly. So with a Smartduu theme, with all of my sites that are using a Smartduu theme – which are not all of them, because I do need to test other themes of course. I need to test my competition. Well the sites that are using my themes turned out to double – well not double, but really increase their traffic a lot. And my best guess is that it’s because of Google’s algorithm. Because it’s just such a huge coincidence that this morning I looked at my analytics, and it turns out all of my traffic’s using my themes got – there is a huge spike on traffic. So again, yeah, you can go head on over to rebelgrowth.com/nellie, and participate in a contest to win your lifetime membership to Smartduu.
Now let’s just jump on the interview with Nellie, shall we? Hello everyone, welcome back to the Money Diver Podcast. This is Borja Obeso again speaking. And today we’re located at New Media Expo. And I have with me Nellie Akalp from CorpNet, who is gonna talk about 6 strategies for social media that business owners, and small business owners and entrepreneurs should embrace. Hi Nellie, welcome to the show.
Nellie Akalp: Thank you for having me.
Borja: Yeah, so let’s go through a little about your business background, what’s your business about? How did it get started? And how do you embrace with social media, and how do you use social media with your business?
Nellie Akalp: Well I’m a small business expert and CEO and founder of CorpNet.com. CorpNet provides new and existing business owners with an effective, low cost method of starting a business online. Whether it be setting up yourself as a sole proprietorship, incorporating your business or forming an LLC. We provide the services in all 50 states, and we also offer compliance services and trademarks and copyright, filing and registration services to any new business owner who’d like to protect their assets.
Borja: Wonderful, wonderful. So let’s talk about how business owners should use Twitter – sorry social media. The way you use social media and 6 different tips that you can provide for people to do it correctly, right? Let’s start with your customer knows best. I mean, what is it all about?
Nellie Akalp: So I just wanna clarify for purposes of transparency that I’m not a social media expert, I’m a small business expert. So the tips and guidance that I’m gonna give here on this podcast is really merely my experience as a small business owner and entrepreneur. And how I utilize social media to build my brand, grow my business. And how to build my business organically. So the tips I’ll be giving here is basically what I’ve done that works for me, and with my company CorpNet as a small business owner.
So first up, I’d like to give out is – truly your customer knows best. And social media has little to really do with you as a small business owner. It’s all about your audience, customers, or whomever you’re trying to reach. And in my opinion, you truly have to know who your customer is, who your audience is, to be able to know what to market to them. And how to communicate with your audience. So in my opinion, social media starts with your clientele. And knowing who your clientele is, and knowing what problems they have, in order for you to provide a solution to them, and to assist them in helping them solve their problem.
Borja: Absolutely, yeah. And you have to know what questions they are asking. You have to know what are their problems, and how you can solve that using social media, and provide the answers that they’re looking for. So that you can embrace with them and engage with them. That’s definitely the way that I also do it. Now, let’s move on to social media – it isn’t necessarily free, right? That’s something that I consider it’s absolutely true, but let’s see if we collide on the same reasons for?
Nellie Akalp: So in my opinion, social media is attractive to small businesses because of it’s perceived price. Because you can set up new blog, fan page. You can set up an account on Twitter or Facebook or YouTube, and it’s practically for free. But what small business owners do not realize is that, your time that you spend going and setting up yourself on all of these different social mediums, it’s also money. And the time you spend marketing yourself on all of these different social mediums is also money. Your time is valuable, so as a small business owner, my opinion is that, instead of rushing to join any and every social media community out there – I prefer the slow and steady approach. Pick a few social mediums that in your opinion you’ve tested out, and you feel that it works for your community. And then, really focus on growing those social media handles, instead of rushing out and signing up for every social media platform there is.
For example, with our company, CorpNet, we are heavily involved in Facebook on our Facebook fan page, and growing our Facebook fan page by attracting more likes. So we focus heavily on Facebook and Twitter. I also have a ton of videos, so I market them through YouTube. And then we take a ton of pics and useful content that we’d like to share on Instagram and Google+. But again, in a nutshell, my suggestion is that your time is valuable. So this new marketing, in my opinion is far from free, because if you are spending a ton of time on different social mediums, and a ton of them – number 1, you’re not doing it effectively, and you’re not growing it effectively. My advice would be to focus on a few mediums and grow those effectively, and be productive with your time.
Borja: What would be your next step in all that?
Nellie Akalp: My next step for small business owners is, “Don’t measure success by following your accounts. Small business owners are so caught up by putting up a Facebook page or a Twitter page and checking their followers. Or on Instagram, is there – how many followers do I have? How many likes do I have? How many fans do I have? Starbucks for example has over 1.3 million followers on Twitter. You probably are not going to as a small business owner. But my advice is don’t get stuck on the number of followers you have. Rather, focus on building your social profiles organically. Because truly what you want is not numbers. You want people who are gonna come into your community, who are gonna like your page. Because they are truly going to share your content or talk about your products and services, and act as a medium to share what you offer – and what problems you’re gonna try to solve. And ultimately get you visitors to your site who are gonna purchase your products and services.
So in my opinion, be patient, it’s organic growth that matters. Things don’t and won’t happen overnight. You’ve gotta be patient with it. I’ve been a small business owner with CorpNet, which I started in 2009, at the birth of the social media age. And I’m still nowhere where I truly want to be, but I’m patient about it. And if you’re patient and consistent with your social media engagement, the pedals and the fruits of your efforts will turn into metals.
Borja: Yeah definitely, because a lot of people just waste time looking at numbers, looking at statistics, instead of focusing on what matters. So moving forward, what would provide?
Nellie Akalp: So my next tip for small business owners is – social media, in my opinion, there’s this complete myth about, “Well what is social media? What do I do? Do I go on Twitter or Facebook or Instagram and just post pictures of myself, of my products and services and just promote myself?” Absolutely not. Social media doesn’t equal self-promotion. I’ll be honest, my first experiment in social media wasn’t too successful. I spent all my time posting and tweeting about my company, our news and services. And the process became incredibly frustrating to me. Because I didn’t know much about what really social media was. And once I associated myself with experts in the industry, I soon realized that social media is completely not about self-promotion.
But it’s about engaging with clients, and sharing useful tips and content. And solutions to problems, for the audience that you’re trying to attract for your products and services. So I needed to focus on my customers and finding out what my customers’ needs are. And then, searching for what solutions I can provide to those client pain points. And that was the “ah ha” moment for me, when social media began clicking for me. Which was just putting out great content out there. The best content in my opinion is tip based content, like “5 tips to start a business online. 6 Tips to effectively market yourself as a small business owner.” And when I just started writing great content – useful, engaging content, and posted it, and tweeted about it, and shared about it on Facebook – I soon started realizing like, “Wow, this is my ‘ah ha’ moment with social media.”
People are actually reading this content, and they’re sharing it, and they’re liking it. And ultimately they would come and visit the website and purchase our products and services by helping us set up their LLC’s or corporations. So it’s just about being sincere, genuine, authentic and not self-promotional. But acting as a resource to clients, and trying to solve a problem that they’re having a problem or a pain point with.
Borja: Definitely, and because your name is out there, you’re providing all this value, people are gonna want to learn more about you, how it– Because you’re solving their problem, so they’re gonna look you up and search for you, and the promotions gonna come by itself. So what would you say is next?
Nellie Akalp: I would say in running a small business and trying to do your social media for your small business, yourself. Align yourself with some experts. Read some books, get on some blogs, social media blogs. Catering and really providing tools and tips and resources to small business owners. And really try to align yourself with some mentors and social media experts that can offer you some guidance as to how to make your content engaging, and how you should be interacting on your different social media handles.
And again, if you’re like me, where you’re a small business owner focused on running the operations of your business – and if you have a team that you have to manage daily. If you have the resources and the budget, align yourself with a social media manager, or a publicist that can help promote your business for you. For us it works, because I’m busy running my business and running the operations of my business. And my whole mantra and view is – delegate things that you’re not good at to others who are really good at it.
So for example, I have a social media manager, and a couple of interns who truly love social media. And they run the social media portion of my business. But I still, as a small business owner, have my own personal Twitter, Facebook, Instagram handle. Because I, myself as a small business owner, like to get out there and network and engage with my small business community.
Borja: Which is also a huge factor for personally branding and connecting your identity with your brand and your company. Now, moving forward, what would be your next tip?
Nellie Akalp: My next tip, again – in getting help. If you’ve decided that you truly want to utilize the services of a social media management company, or a social media manager or get some interns. Get that help, and relinquish that role to some other people. But always make sure, even if you’re delegating that you’re overlooking what’s happening. Because again, it’s your company, it’s your brand. And your reputation, in my opinion, is everything out there. Because it takes 1 person to truly ruin your reputation. So even if you’ve decided to relinquish that control over to somebody else, who you’d like to do your social media engagement for you. Delegate, but always supervise, and make sure you monitor what’s being published out there.
Borja: Okay Nellie, so we’ve come to the part of the show where I’m gonna ask you my signature question. Who is your company’s ideal customer, who is your avatar? And what do you do to serve this person?
Nellie Akalp: So my ideal customer is startups and entrepreneurs who are trying to start a business. Or entrepreneurs who have an existing business, and are trying to set up multiple businesses, or are trying to keep their business in compliance. And truly, the way we retain our clients and attract more clientele is by being authentic. Authenticity in my opinion is the key to success. And providing a service that’s powered by service is truly what’s gonna set you apart from all the other competition. And again, I’m living proof of that.
Borja: Well Nellie, I think we have provided a bomb of value to your listeners right now. And there’s no excuse to go out and have a lousy social media strategy. Thank you so much for coming on the show, I really appreciate that, and I’m sure my audience will want to hear from you in the future. Once again, would you mind telling where people can go and find out more about you?
Nellie Akalp: Absolutely. So you can visit us online at www.corpnet.com. If you’d like to send us an email, you can send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Or follow me on Twitter @corpnetnellie. Thank you.
Borja: Alright guys, I hope you enjoyed that interview with Nellie. I apologize for the background noise. Let me know what you thought of the interview using Twitter, the #moneydiver11. I’ll be really grateful for that. And again, you can head on over to rebelgrowth.com/episode11 to read all of the show notes, and see the resources that we have there for you and everything else. And thank you for taking some time of your life to listen to my voice and to hear what we have to say and share. Go out, implement, and report back to me.