Is Social Media important for Small Business?
I just read on the Telegraph on-line that the majority of the FTSE100 business fail at social media. I think the issue is wider than just social media. The major problem is that most older businesses have yet to realise that they need to react to events far faster than they have had to in the past.
Previously larger businesses had a press office, who would say yes I will get back to you on this story or find someone to give you a quote. However, that is not enough now. A story damaging or enhancing to as company’s reputation may appear. The agile company will have the processes in place to:
- Monitor their on-line reputation 60*60*24*7*365
- Respond appropriately; ensuring that the appropriate people in the organisation are informed, and a considered approach taken
- Be ahead of the game; driving the story about their business, engaging with customers, monitoring what the competition are doing and saying.
So if big business can’t get it right where does this leave smaller businesses. Well most small business don’t have big reputations to defend. They still should be using be using social media to engage with their customers and enhance their reputations.
The advantage for the SMB is that you have don’t have to cut through all that corporate crap which most last corporations have entombed themselves in. You are a real person use it to your advantage use sites like Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Stumbleupon, Reddit and Digg to raise you profile and sell not just your business but genuinely engage with your customers. It is less expensive to keep an existing customer that to gain a new one.
A final thought whilst corporate social media, might appear polished and professional, for a small business the personal touch is often more appropriate. For example the owner of a Chambre d’Hote in Normandy, tweeting and posting about local events and activities might be appropriate. Social Media should not be considered a millstone for the small business but a small part of your daily activities.