5 Ways To Introduce Social Media To Small Businesses

written by aext on March 24, 2010 in Social Media and Freelance & Business with 31 comments

The Power that Social Media provides its amazing, it can enhance a Business Online Strategy. Owners and managers of Small Business are listening so much about Twitter and Facebook. However not many know how Social Media will help their business. Getting your gears ready before starting the Social Media Strategy conversation with a prospect client, its only the first step to evangelize its benefits.

Only a few business owners and managers that I have worked for/with, know the benefits of having an extended online relationship with their customers through social media.

It hasn’t been easy to approach prospect clients about social media. The most recent approach I have taken is this: in addition to the web development introduction (where I propose the CMS to use), I add a list about social media and its importance for a solid online presence. It looks pretty much like this:

Social media is an important factor in your online strategy for solid results. Everything that is shared on the internet plays a big roll on how social engines like Google, Yahoo and others rank their search results. It’s time to take control of the outcomes and tap into social media by enabling social tools on your business’ website and interacting with your users.

  • “Your customers and rivals are figuring blogs out. Our advice: Catch up…or catch you later” – Business Week
  • “Social Media Will Change Your Business” – Business Week
  • “Facebook, has 200,000,000 – number of active users” – The Future Buzz
  • “Facebook, 100 – number of friends the average user has” – The Future Buzz
  • “10,432,575,000 – number of Tweets to date” – gigatweet
  • “Twitter tweets: 600 per second” – Search Engine Land
  • “133,000,000 – number of blogs indexed by Technorati since 2002” – The Future Buzz
  • “346,000,000 – number of people globally who read blogs” ComScore

Everyone that works in the daily operations of a small business, are busy wearing many hats trying to thrive. There is always very limited time to accomplish the many tasks of the daily operation; however, there is good news about social media!

Managers and owners that understand the importance of a strong online presence definitely develop a healthier communication with patrons. This communication doesn’t stop there, it creates many, many (many) opportunities.

There are innumerable reasons why social media is imperative for owners and managers of small business. Here are five factors that are relevant for the inclusion of social media and an effective and simple way to approach business with the importance of social media adoption in a website development strategy.

1. Extended business relationship

If someone asks a clerk in a store a question, that clerk most likely promptly gives an adequate answer, as close as possible to a solution of that person’s needs. In conversational media, it’s similar. In most cases this interaction may involve people that are interested in specific business. They inquire about offers, or have questions or comments about goods or services. Social media let managers and owners jump into the conversation, and build relationships with existing or new patrons.

2. Extended way of communication

Your communication can create, clarify, refer, lead. Due to the two way nature of social media, it creates a better understanding of what people are saying about your business.

3. Extended way of referrals

Whether or not you are active in the online presence of your business, Social Media is creating referrals. Sources like Yelp, Twitter, Facebook, and specialty blogs are becoming the easiest ways people share their opinions with friends and strangers. Plus, these services offer solutions for business to engage in communication, helping you manage comments and opinions of your business.

4. Extended brand awareness

Social media offers you more control over your brand. People have a perception of your business, and this can depend strongly on what you say. A business can give insight about their business helping others understand why they should choose them over someone else.

5. Extended way of sharing an opinion

Don’t let a brand be moved by the flow. Interact, participate, share, discover…! There are many social sites where people are sharing their opinions about your business. There is always room for everyone in the social media field. Participate and engage with those interested in your industry.

In a recent conversation with Sadao Nelson, a wine consultant for Restaurants in San Francisco and Manager of COCO500 Restaurant, he mentioned that social media has not taken a big deal of his time. Responding to Yelp, Twitter, and Facebook comments takes only a few dedicated daily minutes and the job’s done!

Sadao also happens to be the former manager of The Corner Restaurant. In the early days he created an online profiles on social media sites for The Corner and it has turned excellent results on Google and Yahoo, which for 1 year old restaurant is very impressive.

Back to your clients…

As important as it is a well established online strategy for business websites, it’s definitely not easy to explain to owners and managers the benefit of adopting social media. This approach can easily create an early introduction to prepare your client for a deep talk. As a freelancer you will be in the need to explain its benefits. Get ready. Research. Prepare you talk. And make the most out of that talk. In most cases you may be the first person your prospect clients have heard about social media for businesses from.