Social Media for Small Businesses

A journalist sent me these questions … and here are my answers

  1. Please explain the importance of social media for a startup/small business and the different its different benefits.
  • Social media can help startups engage with customers for sales/marketing, providing support, even marketing research as well as co-creation.
  • When it comes to advertising/marketing, how can the social media help a company cut down on marketing budgets? Can we assign a cost matrix to this and establish how much a business can save on marketing costs by using the social media?
    • It would depend on the product/service, but for social media marketing and operations have to work together. Having a great product which people would like to talk about is critical for businesses to be cool on social media. If that is the case then influencers of the target audience can be reached out via social media – and asking for reviews (on blogs etc) would help in creating visibility that would have more credibility than traditional advertising
  • Can social media marketing be a substitute for traditional or online marketing?  Or is it just an option when a business does not have a substantial marketing budget?
    • Well, I’d say traditional marketing focuses on “reach” whereas social media marketing if done well can result in “richness of conversations”. A business needs both. However for a startup which wants to build a passionate user base who in turn would generate positive word of mouth marketing, this is the way to go
  • How does startup or a small business build its social media strategy from scratch? Please mention the starting steps.
    • First thing it needs to decide on the social object it wants to have conversations around. A social object can be a “feature” of the product or a “benefit” or something totally unrelated like a “cause”. Then it needs a content strategy around that social object. The focus should be to engage potential advocates with the content and then to become a platform for that community. Then it needs to hire or designate a person who will act as a community engagement manager – focusing on both content and community.
  • When it comes to social media sites, which are the ones that are must for a startup to be on? Please list down a few strategies once a business has made a start. ( we would like to use them as a graphic) 
    • For B2C businesses, Facebook and Twitter are the places they need to be. For B2B, Linkedin and Twitter makes more sense. Some to-dos are:

    About Gautam

    Gautam is a HR professional interested in how emerging technologies are impacting work, careers and organizations.

    Posted on May 12, 2011, in blogging. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Social Media for Small Businesses.

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