Small Business Saturday is on November 30th and so it’s been on my mind lately. I love supporting my own neighborhood coffee shop, bookstore, restaurant, nail salon etc. And often, when I think about how I can help a small independent store survive and thrive in this economy, naturally, my thoughts turn to social media, which is my passion as well as it is my profession.
And so I meet the owner, shop keeper and we get to talking. There are those who embrace social media, there are those who are open to experimenting with it, and then there are those who are simply unconvinced about its value. What I’d really like to tell them is this:
Dear Small Business:
As a small biz owner, you have your hands full running your business. I know. I understand. You probably do not have time to understand social media, let alone, maintain a presence on the ever-growing social media channels.
Different businesses work differently on these channels. Perhaps Facebook rather than Twitter is a more effective marketing tool for your business. Perhaps Pinterest will lead more fans to your website than Facebook. The list goes on.
Let’s say you do have these pages set up, you’re probably frustrated that you don’t have enough fans or followers. But do numbers really matter? Yes, but not in the way you think. More fans do not necessarily translate to more engagement, or more importantly to more sales. More often than not, a smaller more devoted fan following is better. A smaller targeted audience can impact your business more than a large following with an unengaged audience.
In the end, you’ll have to admit that a social media presence is essential to any business striving for success in our increasingly digital world. And while the channels may be free of charge, it takes time, strategic planning and effort to make them work for you.
According to this Get Satisfaction infographic, it’s not enough for small businesses to solely use social media for their immediate marketing needs. It shows how small businesses need to integrate social media into their business strategies and discover the benefit of social media beyond marketing. Click on the image to enlarge.