Why Not Use Social Media for Your Business

There has never been a time where technology is as available to small businesses as it is for large corporations. There are many tools that help level the ability to compete in today’s business environment. Social media is one of them, though not the only tools that can help you. But I am only speaking about social media in this blog post. There are accounting tools, legal tools, CRM systems, marketing automation tools, project management tools, online communication tools and many others that are available to both large and small companies. Why wouldn’t you take advantage of available technologies to help you compete with the big guys (and even other small businesses)?

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In the article featured in this blog about social media, one particular sentence really stood out to me. Here is the article and here is the sentence that caught my eye.

How Not Using Social Media Can Hurt Your Business
http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/243905

“Not having the right social media channels for your customers to reach out to you is the 1995 equivalent of not having a phone line,” notes Cassandra Hayes at SocialBro.com.

It’s really true. This truly is the equivalent of not having a phone line back in the 90s. Can you ever imagine not giving a phone number to potential customers? Of course not!

not having social mediaSocial media is not free, like many people think, because it does take a tremendous amount of human resources in planning and incorporating strategy, brand awareness, proper audience, engagement and implementation regularly. Often I hear that social media is not a proper channel for B2B businesses. For sure, there are different uses and implementation for B2B in comparison to B2C but B2B businesses are made up of people and people do research online more so now than ever. Research is a job responsibility to make good decisions and a great online presence is key if you want to continue to gain new customers.

Picking out just a few of the points made in this article (although I think all the points made are good ones), here are some quick thoughts:

  • If I bring my business on social media, this will give people an avenue to criticize my business – This is a very naïve way to think. All this means if you are not “fluent” in social media and how it works, you are living in an “ignorance is bliss” world. You merely don’t know if you are being criticized, however you are allowing only one side of the story to be told (by the criticizing customer), not answering their concerns and allowing your competitors to answer their concerns for you.
  • You are a thought leader in your industry but no one knows it – There is no better way to build your industry expert status than broadcasting it loudly and often through blogs, website and social media channels.
  • You have a new product or service launching – What better way than to broadcast it through blogs, a press release, website and social media channels.
  • You can research your competitors more easily – By understanding how social media works and being an active participant, you can watch your competitors. And they know you are NOT doing some basic things by having a social media presence. This makes it much easier for them to differentiate themselves from you and others.
  • Recruiting quality employees is harder than ever these days – I have a client that is going to start “upping” their minimal social media presence as a means for recruiting a certain age group of employee that is missing in their current stable of employees and engage some of the younger staff members who have expressed an interest in being active on social media for their company. Prospective quality employees want to know their new company is not a dinosaur and understands what it takes to do business today.

Think of social media as your modern day digital word-of-mouth channel. Traditional word-of-mouth marketing is reaching one person who reaches a couple of people who reach a few people who now reach many people. Digital word-of-mouth marketing start out at the reaching many people stage…and then it grows from there.

Think of social media as a current day tool which is vital in building your online presence and digital footprint. Think of the advantage of starting at the point of reaching many people at one time vs. the onesies/twosies that you reach without social media.

 

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Please contact Anna Brice at Pinnacle Peak Marketing, Scottsdale AZ about Marketing for Small/Medium Business.

Email: anna@pinnaclepeakmarketing.com
Phone: 480-661-0292
Website: http://pinnaclepeakmarketing.com

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It’s That Time of Year Again – Summer Interns Directing the Social Media Program of Many Businesses

interns_wanted_bannerEvery year at this time companies, often small businesses or owners that do not understand social media themselves, hand over the reins to their social media program to their intern. After all, if you are twenty-something, you must be a social media expert. At least that seems to be the thought process along with the money you can save because they are far less expensive than a business professional with experience in the work world.

And if you look at some company social pages, you may notice a large, dormant period of time with no social media activity…about the same amount of time that the intern has been gone and back to school.

It’s easy to forget that there is so much more to social media than simply posting and “doing social media”. Your brand is connected to these efforts and that often gets lost in all this.

Things to consider when you are thinking about assigning an intern to direct your social media program: 

  • Social_Media_StrategyAn intern is looking to learn from you and other employees when they take on this internship. This is their first “real” job. If you cannot answer questions on social media or do not understand it yourself, the intern should not be the keeper of the social media program keys.
  • Have you fully trained the intern on your brand, in its entirety, from beginning to end? If not, the intern should not be the keeper of the social media program keys.
  • Do you have a social media plan already designed/created by experienced marketers or experienced employees in your company, in which the implementation tasks are clearly defined? If not, the intern should not be the keeper of the social media program keys.
  • Do you have a defined social media policy, clearly stating what can and cannot be done in order to follow your brand guidelines? If not, the intern should not be the keeper of the social media program keys.
  • Have you defined the qualifications of a perfect social media manager to be – 1.) They are young, 2.) They have a lot of friends/followers/connections, and 3.) They know how to post? If these are your key reasons for their complete qualification, the intern should not be the keeper of the social media program keys.  
  • Do they understand the complete marketing plan, business plan and all the business goals of the company overall and how this segment of the marketing plan will contribute to the goals? If they do not have any way of knowing these things, the intern should not be the keeper of the social media program keys.
  • Would you ask your intern to be the head person in charge of your sales program, lead generation program, PR program, business plan, brand development and the lead in meeting with clients? If the answer is not no to all of these questions, the intern should not be the keeper of the social media program keys.

your brand online reputation managementTake the opportunity to learn the technology and the “how to” aspects of social media from your intern, while you have the chance. Take the time to review the company goals and plans and work on the strategy of your social media program together. But do not merely hand over the reins and say “run with it”.

Your brand is much more valuable than that and your intern deserves a great learning experience.

Here are some good articles on the subject:

http://www.business2community.com/social-media/why-putting-the-intern-in-charge-of-social-media-is-a-recipe-for-disaster-0476536

http://tishgrier.com/2012/04/13/would-you-put-your-kids-in-charge-of-your-companys-social-media-program/

http://blog.socialmediahq.com/social-media-interns-3-steps-to-a-successful-intern-program/

http://www.web-strategist.com/blog/2009/07/21/how-to-use-interns-in-your-social-programs/

http://www.customerthink.com/blog/should_an_intern_be_handling_your_social_media

Please contact Anna Brice at Pinnacle Peak Marketing, Scottsdale AZ about Marketing for Small/Medium Business.

Email: anna@pinnaclepeakmarketing.com
Phone: 480-661-0292
Website: http://pinnaclepeakmarketing.com