If you are someone who is either running a small business or thinking of starting one up, I’d be willing to bet (if I was a betting man that is) that you’ve already given some serious thought to how you might use social media as part of your marketing.
- Why would you invest time and effort in social media?
- Which social media platform might you use?
In Closing - measure your return
Thanks Laura, for sharing some of your thoughts on social media marketing for small business.
Needless to say, it is a huge topic and we have only skimmed the surface here. It's all too easy to get seduced by social media and plunge into it just because it seems that everyone else is doing it. You can end up being quite active in social forums like LinkedIn, but unless you have some way to measure whether your business is gaining an actual return from your time investment, then you risk this having been simply "fluff" time
There have been small business owners that have invested considerable time and effort in creating competitions and rewards on their business Facebook pages as a means of attempting to enlist more fans and followers than their competition - but are failing to properly measure whether this is converting into a worthwhile increase in the their enquiries and sales.
One of the attractions of social media marketing for small business owners is that there are no material costs associated with setting up pages and profiles for your business on Facebook, Twittter and LinkedIn ..... But it is the cost of your time in maintaining them and keeping them fresh, relevant and enticing that needs to be monitored.
There is no doubt that increasing numbers of consumers are looking to their social media networks for guidance on the relative merits of a particular product, or restaurant, or service supplier. So you need to be able to leverage these influencing networks. But as with anything in your business, the key is to carefully plan, trial and then measure the results you are achieving. And if necessary, be willing to change or at least adjust your strategy.
© 2013. Brian Carroll is the founder of a small business called Performance Development, which is based in Melbourne Australia - specialising in management coaching and leadership skills training.