Go ahead, Google the words “social media marketing” and you will see roughly 85 million results. Plug “social media marketing” into Amazon.com and you will get slapped with over 1400 entries, offering a slew of self-help books for the burgeoning entrepreneur or business marketing professional. With such an overwhelming array of “help” out there it is no wonder that small business owners have simply said “why would I want it?”
If this is you, then do not feel alone as only 24% of small businesses have a true social media identity. Note, however, that this number is up from 12% in 2009. This means that slowly your competitors are starting to come to game, and you should probably figure out if you want to make a fight out of it for the love of your clients!
The fundamental reason for using services such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and various blogging tools is purely self-serving, as you want to stay on the forefront of your clients’ minds, and at the top of their favorite techie device. There are numerous success stories available of small businesses that had the foresight to go where their competitors hadn’t yet.
Sprinkles Cupcakes out of Beverly Hills, CA has had tremendous success growing a distinct following utilizing Facebook and offering a free cupcake with a valid “password” of the day. This strategy has swollen their Facebook Fan base from about 7,000 in April 2009 to over 70,000 by November 2009. With so many followers on the social media highway it is clear to see that revenues are sure to follow.
If you are still wondering why electronic social media is so important, ask yourself: When was the last time that you didn’t just throw the most recent copy of the phonebook into the dumpster? Not that you just didn’t open it, but actually picked it up off the cement door step and walked directly to the dumpster, getting the most satisfaction out of hearing the loud “thump” that gave way when it crashed down (I apologize to those that recycle, let’s just pretend it was a recycling bin for you!).
Social Media is the new phone book, an extension of the traditional “word of mouth” advertising, and a whole new ball of wax all rolled into one. It can allow the small business owner an opportunity to jump ahead of 76% of the competition, have unlimited reach and frequency, at a minimal monetary cost.
The real question should not be “why would I want it?” but rather “why haven’t I started using it yet?”