We have all heard the jaw dropping statistics on the massive proliferation of social media. 800 million Facebook users, millions of tweets per day, Facebook would be the fourth largest country… By now you should know that social media is not only here to stay, it is a crucial part of any marketing strategy. And small, local businesses in particular have a tremendous amount to gain on social media platforms. The 2011 Social Media Marketing Industry Report showed that when using social media, small businesses are twice as likely to discover qualified leads over other business types.
[pullquote style=”right”]Small businesses are twice as likely to discover qualified leads over other business types.[/pullquote]
Word-of-mouth marketing builds local business
Local businesses have always thrived using word-of-mouth marketing and generating referrals from happy customers. So it’s not hard to understand why using social media’s power to amplify word-of-mouth marketing messages is a must for small businesses. However, social media has had slower adoption in local small businesses mainly due to lack of resources, hurdles with technical know-how, or uncertainties about effective usage or social media ROI. I’ve also heard business owners say that they tried social media marketing and it was a waste of time.
The biggest mistake in social media marketing
The biggest mistake many small businesses make when implementing a social media marketing campaign is not having a strategy or plan. The “if we build it they will come” mentality is ineffective and will leave you bewildered and coming up with mistaken ideas like “social media marketing just doesn’t work in my industry” or “there is no advantage of using social media in my market”. Putting up a Facebook fan page and then waiting for users to appear is the same as making jewelry and then trying to sell it out of your front yard hoping that the right customer strolls by. Unfortunately this is what many small businesses do and then they declare that social media marketing doesn’t work.
When hearing other people’s negative experiences with social media marketing, please keep these questions in mind:
- Did they have a robust social media strategy and implementation plan?
- Was it aligned with their business objectives?
- Did they stay committed to their plan long enough to build meaningful relationships with their community?
Failing to plan is planning to fail
As a wise man once said, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” Don’t let another business’s lack of social media planning sabotage your social media success! Don’t miss your opportunity to meaningfully connect with your customers. Develop a social media marketing strategy and leverage the social media platforms to achieve your business goals.
So, has hearing other’s negative opinions about social media marketing impacted you and your success? Please share your experiences.