Many of my clients are reluctant to spend the time and effort it takes to post on many different Social Media sites, and I understand their hesitation. They are all wondering the same thing:

“If I put the time into posting on Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest, etc, will that get me customers?”

Fortune 500 Test

The article in WWD on Social Media’s Issue: Does It Drive Sales? addresses the need for large companies to show return on investment (ROI) for their social media efforts. Large companies tend to be active on “Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, YouTube with e-commerce, a blog and elaborate editorial content on their own digital flagships” (source WWD). This effort requires them to employ large teams of ‘social media experts’ to help them build content in effort to  build a brand and increase their following, but at the same time investors are asking if that’s worth the expense.

“Late last year, ComScore profiled the average spend at Target stores across the general population, compared to the average spend from Facebook fans and friends of fans. Research determined that fans of Target on Facebook were 97 percent more likely to spend at Target, and friends of fans were 51 percent more likely than the average population to spend at the retailer (the brand has over 18 million “likes”).” (source WWD)

Small Businesses Need to Keep Up

Small businesses are even more ROI conscious. They are the team and besides running their business they feel overwhelmed with the online requirements to stay competitive. I’m not suggesting that small businesses with their limited time and budget should go out and hire a team of experts to run their social media marketing (although if you can, it might not be a bad idea to get you ahead). However, small businesses need to realize the potential power of the ever more exploding social media.

Following Customer’s Likely Behavior

The lesson here is, that just like in real life, you are more likely to buy from someone you know or someone recommended by your friend, in the social media realm, those relationships work in much the same way. Having people be fans of your brand makes them 97% more likely to buy from your then if they were seeing you for the first time.

If you aspire to be as successful as the big brands, take a page from their marketing efforts and try to do as much of it as you can. Note that none of them resort to only doing social media, or only doing traditional marketing, or only having a website.  It’s a game of balance. Here are 3 things to get your started

  1. Create a Website – Develop a flagship presence where people can review you and your offerings
  2. Create a Blog – This is so you can educate us about your products or services, show off your knowledge and expertise, convince us why we should buy from you rather than your competitor
  3. Create Social Media presence – get the word out and start interacting. Pick one initially and learn the inner workings. Technical aspects may be different of the social media sites, but the ideas are virtually the same.

How has social media worked for your business? Do you use it as part of your strategy?

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