Saturday, June 5, 2010

How Can Small Businesses Master Social Media?

Mastering Social Media

Google and other search engines are recognizing a SocialOmmerce shift and they are trying to catch better the attention of their users in traying to make their offerings more social with new tools like Google Wiki, Google Wave and Google Buzz.

As we no longer search for the news but as it finds us, there is a need for small businesses to master the new mass media, the mass social media where attention, recommendations, connections, repuation and trust are key components.

There is a shift in advertisement spendings from traditional mass media to social mass media! According to the data from the Newspaper Association of America, national advertisement sales from print media have fallen dramatically:
  • 2006: $46,611 | -1.7%
  • 2007: $42,209 | -9.4%
  • 2008: $34,740 | -17.7%
  • 2009: $24,821 | -28.6%

Businesses have to change their marketing and advertisment accordingly.

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Small Business Trends summarizes how small businesses can master social media in Mastering Social Media
Social media remains one of the most hotly debated ideas in the business world today. While proponents argue that use of social media ranging from Facebook to Twitter to blogs and beyond gives small businesses an outsized advantage allowing them both to market and to leverage resources on an equal par with larger competitors, detractors say that social media can be a terrible “time sink” taking resources from more important aspects of running a business and that its impact is overstated. In this Small Business Trends roundup, we look at the challenges and rewards of using social media effectively in your small business:


Who’s got the time? Small business owner and blogger Pat Henry is spent. After business classes, work, a small business he runs on the side and some time for rest and recreation, he’s finding that what started as a commitment to blogging has become a chore. The same with the rest of his social media efforts. Like anything, social media takes time. Make sure the investment is worth it and be sure you are measuring what you are getting in return. Small Business Community

When the honeymoon is over. Just like a marriage or good long-term customer service, using social media to engage your readers, including potential customers, clients and partners, is about being in it for the long haul. Margaret Durand, development director at Passion for Creative, has just returned from her own honeymoon, (Congratulations, Margaret!) and has some tips for keeping the zest alive in any relationship. Why not apply them to your social media efforts? Bloggertone

Parenthood and social media marketing. And, hey, while we’re comparing various life experiences to the properties of social media, here’s another more direct tie from Tamar Weinberg (six ties actually), all of them also drawn from a very recent life experience, specifically becoming a mother. No need to wonder how to deal with this alien thing called social media. Like many other aspects of your business, it’s really about who you are already. Techipedia


Social media marketing is a lead generator. For any who doubt the value of social media beyond the rather touchy feely and difficult to qualify function of “building relationships” and “building community”, entrepreneur Bill Rice argues there is a hard value to social media as a lead generator. In fact, he lists it among the five important online lead generators including Pay Per Click and other techniques. Lead Buying

Using social media for your next hire. Remember that social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn aren’t simply a good tool for marketing your company, product or service to potential customers and clients. They can also be a great place to locate potential talent for your small business, so great in fact, that experts suggest your next hire may be located through a social media site. Here are some points to consider. National Federation of Independent Business

How to build a brand with social media. Whether you are a small to medium sized business with a full staff of employees, a mom and pop with some part-timers and a small but loyal pool of customers or a one-person business operating on a shoestring from your kitchen table, Aliza Sherman insists social media is a great way to establish who you are, what you do and what you stand for. The key is knowing how to set the right tone. Creative Freelancer Conference Blog


A whole new kind of social media for your small business. If you haven’t yet heard of or used Foursquare for your small business, you will soon. Consultant Ryan Taft is a HUGE advocate of this new platform which lets customers tell friends what favorite local business they are patronizing and offers many other interesting ways for restaurants, bars and cafes to interact with their regulars. Read more from Ryan at the link above. Catalyst Marketers

Not using Twitter yet? There are plenty of reasons you should start. Don’t listen to the crowd insisting it won’t have an impact on your business. The audience on Twitter is large and growing and the service is free to use. More importantly, there are some potential negatives to not “Tweeting.” Want more proof? Check out these five reasons you should get started with Twitter for your small business today. National Federation of Independent Business


So how exactly does this social media thing work? Brian Rice attended a social media summit recently focused on marketing and was kind enough to share this overview. But frankly, the presentations suggest there are still more questions than answers. And most likely using social media effectively for your business will be something you’ll need to work out for yourself. B2C Marketing Insider

Want to know how to master social media? Heidi’s got the idea. Heidi is a self-proclaimed “groupie” at A sister site to Small Business Trends, BizSugar is also a social media platform where small business owners can network and share important tips and information. The site also has a system allowing members to vote on each others’ submissions, and Heidi wrote this detailed post to her fellow members about what it will take to get her attention. Heidimeister’s Blog
Is there a global, seismic trend to user-generated content that will change the way we're doing business?

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