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local marketing strategies small business

Alignable – The Social Network for Small Businesses

“Small Business Stacey” discusses why word-of-mouth marketing is very powerful, especially when it comes to local marketing. In this podcast, learn about Alignable – the online social media platform where small and local business owners network and connect. If you like our episode please subscribe or leave us a comment.

Episode Transcript

http://smallbizmarketingspecialist.com/show7

Stacey: Hi. I’m “Small Business Stacey.”

Dave: I’m “Digital Dave.”

Stacey: Where marketing …

Dave: Meets technology.

Stacey: Social media. Everyone knows what it is. There’s Facebook, there’s Pinterest, there’s Twitter, there’s LinkedIn. They all serve different audiences. When you go to Facebook, it’s more … What do you use Facebook for Dave?

Dave: I guess to chat with my friends, maybe.

Stacey: Right, it’s for friends and family. Where as, what would you use Twitter for?

Dave: For maybe some instant news or something like that, if I wanted to keep up with what was going on in the world, or if there was some big event happening and I wanted to keep up with it.

Stacey: Exactly. You’ve got 140 characters or less, and it’s a great way to find out what’s going on right now. These social media platforms, they serve different audiences, and people use them in different ways. For the small business owner, or the person on main street, where do they go for social media, and how can they use it to build their business? Well that’s what we’re going to talk about today.

Welcome to Alignable. That’s what we’re going to talk about today, because Alignable is thee social network, and this is my own tagline that I came up with but, “Alignable is the place where small business owners go to get big.”

Dave: Stacey, I get it. I think it’s really important that for small business, one of the things that is hard to find in some of these other social networks is people that are like yourselves, other small business owners. If I were a small business owner, tell me why Alignable is a better place for me to spend my time social networking.

Stacey: That’s a great question Dave. When we opened up this segment we talked about all those different social media platforms. Usually small business owners will tend to think that LinkedIn is their go to place because that’s where the business owners hangout. What small business owners always are saying about LinkedIn is, “Yeah, you can join the groups, and ask questions. What happens is, the only people answering are the people who want to sell you stuff, and it tends to be really spammy.” Then on the other side, it’s almost like it’s so professional, and it’s really hard to connect with people.

What it doesn’t do is allow you to meet your small business owner next door, or down the street so that you can connect, and partner, and share promotions. That’s what Alignable does.

Dave: That’s outstanding. That’s really good for small businesses to have somewhere, where they can go to have like minded individuals like themselves to share their experiences, and even their resources in some cases. Tell me on Alignable, when you’re on the network itself, I mean as a user what are you doing? How are you interacting with the other people?

Stacey: Let me give you an example of how a small business owner can use Alignable to connect with other small business owners, and grow their business. In our coffee and smoothie business, I was able to connect with a hotel manager in my area. He reached out to me, and through connecting through Alignable, we met, we talked about how we could co-promote each others businesses. He is now promoting our catering services to their clientele. It was a contact that I never would have met otherwise, were it not for the Alignable community.

Another great example of how you could do this. Let’s say you’re in a small shopping area, or on main street. There’s a hair salon, and there is a clothing boutique. Those two business owners could connect on Alignable, and one of two things. They could share their promotions to each others network, because you can share your promotions out to your social media, Facebook, and Twitter, and other social media that you use, so you can co-promote other peoples events. You could actually co-partner to do events. For example, the hair salon could partner with the clothing boutique, where they come together and they have an event so that a woman who could get her hair and her nails done, also has a unique shopping experience where she can find the perfect outfit to wear to work, or for a hot date out.

That’s a great opportunity for these small business owners on main street to connect, and collaborate, and share promotions while also getting the message out to the community. Let me give … Maybe we’ll help everybody here to give a demonstration of how Alignable works. Would that help?

Dave: Yeah, I think that’s a great idea Stacey. Why don’t you go ahead and show them on the platform itself, maybe how you would go in and interact with other people?

Stacey: Okay. I’m going to give you a short demonstration of Alignable. When you go to Alignable.com, and once you setup an account, you’ll just login and enter the site. Basically like many other social media platforms, when you login you’ll see a timeline. Alignable is about connecting with local businesses in your area. The way that my timeline is setup, it shows me businesses that are nearby that I may want to invite to be part of Alignable. It shows me businesses that are recommended by others in my community. Main street insights is an area that talks about hot topics that are being discussed about business.

There’s a lot in the feed here. What I want to do is jump over to my profile. When you first join Alignable you’re going to want to setup your profile, because people will check you out online. As you can see I’ve setup my profile here. I have 110 connections, and 37 people or businesses have already recommended me. I have a little bit about myself, I have the opportunity to share upcoming events and promotions, which can be great for you as a small business. I can showcase my products and services, and people can learn ore about those.

When you first join Alignable, make sure that you setup your profile. Next I’m going to jump over to the business section. In this area it shows you people in your network. You can see here, I have some businesses that have reached out to me that want to connect. I’m going to go and visit their profile, and learn more about them, and see if they would be a good connection for me. Then down in this section are really sort of like my core referral network. We … I help these businesses, they help me. Basically we recommend each other. These are, these will be the businesses that you really want to partner with. You can message them, you can view their profile, and then as you scroll further down, these are other people in my network. I can always reach out to them, and build those relationships over time.

There’s also a section where there’s a directory. You can search for businesses and connect with businesses in your area. You can search within 10 miles. These are the cities that are very close to where I’m located. I could click and find the businesses in those areas, and start reaching out, and connecting with those businesses. What I really like about Alignable is the promote section. When you have a promotion or an event that you want to get out to the community, and you post it on Alignable, your network will automatically be notified of that. You can very easily add one, and then people in your network can help you promote it as well.

When you click on discover, you can also then see other peoples promotions. You can like it, you can share it on Facebook, tweet it out. This is a great way for small business owners to really help each other out in sharing their promotions. Then there’s also the referral flier, where other businesses are sort of showing things that may be going on. You can just really see what is happening in your area.

Another section that I really like about Alignable, this is actually my favorite section, is ask and learn. You can ask a question pretty much about anything, and you will get real feedback. Not people trying to sell you stuff, but small business owners really sharing their time and expertise to help. For example, somebody here is asking a question, “How do you find customers for your business?”

A pretty common question, right? You can see it’s already had 390 views, 32 people liked it, but this is what’s key. 26 people have already commented on that. There is a lot of engagement, and feedback, and input. People really help each other out.

Now for me, I’m particularly interested in things that have to do with marketing. As you can see over here, you can ask and learn in any of these areas. Engineering, IT, operations, administration, human resources, and on, and on, and on. If you have a question, then post it in ask and learn.

As you can see, Alignable is a great place for small business owners to network, and build up their base of people to share promotions with, and get to know the small business owners in your community. I hope that you’ll reach out and connect with me on Alignable, Small Business Stacey.

Dave: Stacey, that was cool, that was awesome. I can understand now why small businesses could really use Alignable to help grow their business, and really partner and work with other small businesses. I guess probably one of the things our users are probably going to want to know, is, “Okay, this sounds really good. Great place for me to go network and meet other small business owners, and share experiences, and co-promote. What does it cost?”

Stacey: You’ll love this answer. Four letters, F-R-E-E.

 

Dave: Wow.
Stacey: Free. It’s absolutely free to join Alignable. Just go to Alignable, A-L-I-G-N-A-B-L-E dot com. I want to sort of throw in a little disclaimer here. Dave and I have no affiliation with Alignable whatsoever, but we are so passionate about it because we see the value of how this social media platform is really helping small business owners on main street and beyond. Go to Alignable.com. You can actually connect with me there, I’m on there as Small Biz Stacey, your small biz marketing specialist. I would love to connect with you on Alignable.

Dave: That’s awesome. Alignable, thank you for the T-shirts, we appreciate it.

Stacey: Yeah, thanks Alignable.

Dave: All right, we’ll see you next time.

Stacey: Thanks Digital Dave. This is Small Business Stacey, your Small Biz Marketing Specialist. Here to help your business grow to seven figures and more, by helping you become a #SmallBizMarketingWiz

Speaker 3: This podcast was brought to you by Small Business Stacey, the small biz marketing specialist. Want to grow your business more in the next 30 days, than you have in the past 3 months? Get your free marketing plan at SmallBizMarketingSpecialist.com. That’s Small B-I-Z Marketing Specialist dot com.

 

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