Small Business and Social Media

By on January 31, 2011

Social media is gaining ground – but what does that mean for the average small business owner? Can you really use social media platforms to leverage your brand, boost your online credibility and make more sales?

social media card

Courtesy of socialpeel.com

Many small business owners believe ‘no’ is the answer. But they couldn’t be more wrong! Social media is the most powerful communication tool since the television, and it will continue to revolutionize small business practices as the months go on.

The problem is, small business owners don’t truly understand social media – and where there is confusion, there’s always frustration and eventually, abandonment. That’s why many small business owners will miss out on the opportunity to expand their businesses dramatically with the help of social media marketing.

Like the television, those that jump on the bandwagon now will be the ones that make the most money. Facebook almost gets more traffic than Google – and experts are saying social media is a temporary ‘fad’ – ha!

Let’s take a look at why your small business should pay attention to social media.

Widespread Coverage

Platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn attract millions and millions of people every day. A small business looking for a cost effective way to market their business, product or service, should see social media for the gift that it is. Budget for a comprehensive social media campaign, and you’ll see results faster than advertising on any other platform – on or offline.

Marketing Control

One of the best things about social media, is that a small business owner can launch a social media strategy on any budget. Because it’s so easy to control, you can limit or expand your marketing pursuits on a weekly basis if necessary. That means you never receive unwanted bills, or spend beyond your means on the Internet. Everything from advertising, to content development is easy to cost out with social media.

Personalizing Your Business

Remember that time you visited your friends clothing shop, and bought a ton of clothes – just because you wanted to support them? Social media done right, usually leads to a similar result.

Businesses are becoming more personal, as consumers expect a human voice to go with an online brand. For large businesses this is incredibly hard, but for small businesses – it’s easy. Turn your business into a social one, where communication runs both ways, and watch how your reputation and bottom line grow.

The Long Haul

When most small business owners hear about social media, they get excited at the financial possibilities it might create for them. They soon become disillusioned however, as after 5 months of constant Tweeting, Facebooking and blogging – they still haven’t made any money.

So they quit. Social media is a long term strategy, which means there needs to be plan in place to make it work, and a system of measurement to tell if it is working. Those that don’t give up will see the greatest rewards. According to the Small Business Success Index, 45% of small businesses expect to see profit from social media within 12 months.

Small business has the most to gain from a solid social media strategy. Start putting yours together today, or speak to a professional who can help you leverage your brand online. Do it ASAP and be a pioneer in your field.

Should small businesses do their own social media campaigns?
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About John Souza

John Souza is founder and chief strategist of SMMU and Social Media Impact, and is a bestselling business author. He won the 2011 Tech Marketing Awards ‘Social Media Marketer of the Year’ and most recently the About.com Reader’s Choice Award for Best Online Education Site. John has appeared on The Michael Gerber Show, and his business has been honored at the Mashable Awards, Forbes Business Awards and The Stevie Awards.
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