Leah reports that 25% of small business owners said they plan to spend more on social networking in 2010, according to the Ad-ology Small Business Marketing Forecast.
In light of this trend, Leah addresses some myths. The first Myth that Leah sites addresses the point that some businesses feel that they should not be using Social Media because their customers are not on it. In addition to Leah’s points, we would say that market segmention needs to be considered here. All customers or ‘recommenders’ are someplace. An example would be an assisted living nursing home. Although a small percentage of those customers are online and browsing the Web, not all are not. And the people assisting those customers, such as their adult children, are definetly on the Web looking for guidance in some of the most important decisions that they can be making – the decision of the proper assisted living center for the loved one.
Further Market segmentation analysis also points out that not all customers are on all Social Networks. LinkedIn, in our experience, is excellent for B2B. Whereas, Facebook is great for B2C. This might be a simplification, but an example of why a business needs to develop a plan for their Social Media program.
Leah goes on to discuss the need to promote. This is so very true. A business that has compiled a good email list of prospects and customers will always have a faster start in their Social Media program. In addition to email blasts and newsletters, Promotion requires the need to register in online directories, like Technorati, and share with bookmark sites like Delicious and Digg. Promote is on of the major aspects of Social Media. As Leah points out, promote involves participating in all of the major Social Networks.
We feel that after a Social Media plan is developed, the execution involves five steps; Setup, Post, Promote, Participate, Measure. And we suggest that after the Setup, the remaining steps need to be done often.
So, Leah makes excellent points. We would also expound on the fact that Business Resilience is a great result of Social Media, as we have expressed in previous posts on our Web site. Resilience is maintained by Social Media being used to respond to pressures from competition, bad rumors, and other business issues, as again Leah sites in her article. But resilience is also at risk in the face of a natural or man-made disaster. Social Media’s multi-channel model can be invaluable in these cases.
Let us know if you would like to speak more about the how Social Media would benefit your business growth and resilience. We would love to go into some more detail pertinent to your needs. We love talking about this.