How Social Media Can Help Small Businesses.

Posted on December 10th 2012

How Social Media Can Help Small Businesses.

One of the biggest misconceptions about social media strategy is that only the big brands and enterprise organizations can afford success. The impression is that bigger businesses have unlimited resources, people and budgets to execute on all new ideas, which to me in my opinion is simply not true. 

The truth is that small businesses possess an enormous advantage over big businesses; the ability to recognize and adapt to new opportunities much faster, with far less investment, and with a greater capacity to learn and improve at will. At the root of the problem, today’s social media programs start with the technology in mind and not the solution in mind. Many businesses jump into establishing their online presence via various social media platforms out there without thinking through opportunities or understanding customer expectations and experiences.

Listed below are 5 Ways to Develop a Strategic Social Media Presence that can help businesses to survive in this multifaceted digital environment:

1. Listen & Search

  • Take some time to search Google, Yelp, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, Google+ for related keywords and geographies to your business.
  • Capture  and observe the trends, insights, themes, activity, and the players that matter to you
  • Document the Who, What, When, Why, How, and to What Extent – it’s the only way to work toward ROI Prioritize network
  • Recognize patterns and behavior
  • Most importantly, don't forget to pay attention to what people are saying or sharing


2. Define Your Online Brand

  • Ask yourself, What do you want people to see and appreciate about your brand? Take a step back to think about the value you can add based on who you are and the expertise or the unique service or solution that only you can provide
  • Define why you are different than your competition
  • Design the professional brand and the persona you would like to convey online
  • Portray your brand, persona and the experience in your profiles

3. Develop a Social Media Strategy

  • Make your presence matter
  • Have a vision for how you will use social media to build relationships, a community around your value proposition, and how social media will enable your strategy
  • Describe what social media success will look like to you few years down the line
  • Customize your presence, goals, and what success looks like in each network
  • Create an editorial program that reinforces your value, your business, and your goals within each network
  • Curate relevant and interesting content that reflects your professional and personal interests that will enable you to grab consumers attention and help in solidifying your brand presence

4. Build and Invest in Your Community

  • Participate and earn affinity to become a trusted resource
  • Share insights in the communities that matter to your business and reach beyond the friends, fans, and followers you already have
  • Identify and talk to local online influencers who can help you spread your expertise and value
  • Ask and answer questions in your communities and across other vibrant communities hosted by others
  • Maintain a valuable and timely presence

5. Learn

  • Remember, it is a learning process as it will enable you to stay relevant as technology and behavior evolves
  • Learn from everything to improve experiences and your overall strategy
  • Ask your community what they’re looking for and how you can better help
  • Monitor activity using social media listening tools around you and in your areas of focus to stay on top of trends, themes, and needs

Thank you for reading this article. Please feel free to pass this onto whom it may seem value to.

Sid Gandotra

Sid Gandotra

SEO professional with solid experience in developing SEO campaigns, analytics, search engine rankings, monitoring, keyword research, social media optimization, pay-per-click and link building. A clear communicator with a background in marketing, I have a passion for optimizing websites to achieve business goals and a talent for improving organic search engine rankings with my creative approach and thorough research and analysis.

SEO Procedure:

Carry out a Website Audit
Perform Competitor Analysis
Develop Key Phrases Identification (Keyword Selection)
Analyze Meta Tagging
Develop Content Optimization Steps
Assess Link Building Opportunities
Local Search Engine Submission
Perform Video Optimization
Social Media Optimization
Establish Online Reputation Management
Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Campaign Management
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Comments

Using social media is a great way to help your business grow.  Before creating your social media marketing plan, do an assessment of your competition and find a way to show how you stand out from them.  Become involved with online communities to show that you are aware of what is going on and continually update and change your social media profiles once you create them.

Hi Sid, yes, listen and reach by using the right tool - Google Alert and Google Reader. :)

Its the best article to learn.One of our social media goals was to find an online service that will solve our problem by pulling all of this information together to build a single online identity. Think of it as an ‘eBusiness Card’ that will inform your visitors about you within a short summary and also link them to every network that person is connected to online.Thanks

 Good article on Social Media. There is a White Paper on how businesses can connect with customers better through social media "Utilizing social CRM to enhance your business relationships "it offers good information on Social Crm, readers will find it very useful @ bit.ly/UDUptM