Is Your Business Too Small To Utilize Social Media?

May 5, 2011

Every company, regardless of size, is tackling the question of what role social media should play in their business communications strategy.

There are plenty of success stories around already of how social media is a cost-effective communications tool…both for sales and marketing as well as customer communication.  It seems like a no-brainer then that most if not all companies should have at least some social media presence in this day and age, right?

Well not according to Jeffery Pilcher at The Financial Brand. In a blog post today, Pilcher argues against small to mid-size companies utilizing social media. Granted, Pilcher was talking directly about financial institutions, but his logic, it would seem, would be extended out to all small businesses because he doesn’t make any argument that is specific to the banking or financial industry.

Pilcher’s take on social media is that it is a tool to monitor when people are speaking about you so that you can adequately respond and engage them.  However, he argues that the number of mentions of small to mid-size companies is negligible and therefore a social media  strategy is a waste of time and resources.

If that was all social media was useful for, I may agree with his assertions.  However, Mr. Pilcher is leaving out a HUGE opportunity in his assessment of the benefits of social media.  He speaks of using social media as a solely REactive medium.  Listening for people to talk about you and going out and engaging them and answering their questions.  That is important but that isn’t the only business-use for social media.

How about the PROactive side of the equation?  That is completely ignored in his analysis.  Now, after spending 15 years in financial services I am aware that there are strict regulations on marketing in that business and so for Pilcher’s audience there are additional hurdles to anticipate before proactively using social media, but they are not insurmountable–and for most other businesses they are non-existent.

Social media should be a two-pronged strategy.  Yes, listen…listen first before you speak, always! But you should also initiate via social media.  It is a viable avenue for communicating to your existing clientele about new products and resources; about educating them on better ways to do things and to gain greater benefits from your products; or just to keep their relationship with your business top of mind by letting them know that you appreciate them and their relationship with your company.

What is wrong, for example with a small bank passing along a news item about new banking or tax laws to their followers?  That is important and timely information that, while maybe not the sexiest story in the land, may have real value to their everyday lives.  That is just one simple example of a proactive use for social media.  There are hundreds more.

Lastly, garnering a solid, proactive relationship with your clients creates a strong bond between you and your clients and a client that is happy with the relationship that they have with a company is extremely likely to tell their friends about their experiences with that company.  Thus, the Raving Fans (affiliate link) principle–have your clients so happy with their experiences with your company that they start telling their friends about you and what a great job you do; thus doing your marketing for you.

How are you as a small business utilizing social media? Are you being only reactive?


Market Your Service Business via Twitter

May 2, 2011

Do you use Twitter to market your service business? Have you also embraced location-based services such as Four Square?

A lot of service-based businesses work out of their trucks so they don’t have a store front location from which to offer a special on Four Square. Well here’s a way to do something similar plus get you some extra word of mouth for your twitter account and business.

Tweet your location through Four Square as you go about your travels during the day and tweet out a message similar to this:

“We are at Fisher Blvd in Toms River doing an installation. If you see our service truck, tweet a picture of it with the messge  ‘I found @TomsSerivceCompany’ and you will receive a 20% discount off of our service fee.”

This kills two birds with one stone.  You are advertising your business by offering a discount for people who spot you (thus leveraging the marketing dollars you spent to letter your truck!) plus you have people tweeting out your company’s Twitter name and spreading the word to their followers.

What do you think? Would that work for your business?  Will your friends keep an eye out for your check-ins?

Peter Shankman’s 7 tips for generating revenue with Social Media

April 26, 2011

Peter Shankman hits the nail on the head again! Here is a quick list from him of 7 ideas small businesses can employ to generate $$$REVENUE$$$$ today by using social media. It is simple and easy–a true no brainer.

In the spirit of Peter giving away the advice that people pay him for, if you like this idea but feel you aren’t creative enough to come up with an idea that is tailored to your industry, leave a comment or email me ( and I will sit down with you for an hour-long brainstorming session on what we can come up with together to tailor this idea to your business.

What do you think? Easy right??

How to Find Customers on Social Media

April 8, 2011

Here is a good basic introduction from Entrepreneur Magazine on how to utlize Social Media to find customers.

This is something that I often discuss with my clients and this summary is a great jumping off point for a much more in-depth discussion about how to effectively manager your time on social media and to whom you are going to attempt to get you message.

How to Find Customers on Social Media.

What are your thoughts? Is does this make sense to you as a starting point?

Morgan Spurlock’s TED Talk

April 6, 2011

Morgan Spurlock gave a very compelling TED Talk about branding, marketing transparency and his upcoming documentary about this topic: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold

Business Card Exchange @ Jackson Crossing

March 31, 2011

I just returned from a great networking event at The Hall At Jackson Crossing.

It was a good time and I met with a lot of great small business owners.  It was well attended and really well organized.  I’d like to thank Frank from Cardinale Enterprises for facilitating the event.

If your coming here because you met me at the event, thank you for checking out my site! Leave amcomment here to let me know what you thought about the event? Was it time well spent for you? What was the best connection that you made? And who did you find to be the most effective networker?  We can all use another great connector in our list of contacts.

Brian Solis’ Best Practices for Social Media

March 31, 2011

Social media expert, Brian Solis (@BrianSolis) posted a comprehensive list of the 25 best practices that businesses should use as a framework for their social media policies.  This is essential, as he points out, for every business regardless of its size to have in place to ensure that their spokepeople and associates all clearly understand the role of social media for the business and manage the risks of sharing company information in the social space.

I strongly recommend that you take the time to check out Brian’s post and begin thinking about establishing a social media policy for your company.

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