Small Business Social Media: Up for the Challenge?

social media challengeSmall business owners as we know wear a lot of hats each day to effectively run their business and household.  We’ve all been there where we get a before or after hours call and we are trying to juggle the client call while keeping a watchful eye on the kids as we know a soon as the phone rings they are up to no good, breakfast or dinner on the stove all while listening attentively to the call.  Now add social media efforts to the mix.  Finding the time is only have the battle. The other half is the commitment to learn and engage.  In a recent blog post, Chris Brogan of chrisbrogan.com puts small businesses up to the challenge:

“5 Things Small Business Owners Should Do Today Online”

1. Start a blog – I can’t think of any simpler website technology to start and master, and there are cheap and free platforms readily available. Why a blog? Because they’re easy to create, because they’re easy to update, because they encourage repeat visits, and because you can use them in many flexible ways. Need a good website address (URL)? Pick a name out at Ajaxwhois.com, which lets you search many variations at the same time. Then, click through to buy the domain at GoDaddy.com, and then decide if you want to buy hosting there, or from another site. The company Bloghost.me, run by my friend Andy Quayle, offers $10/year hosting for WordPress blogs. I think that’s pretty reasonable. You?

2. Start listening – People are talking about you. Find out where they are and who they are. When you’re done with that, start finding new business opportunities. People tweeting or blogging about being in your neck of the woods? Reach out, if it makes sense. Free advice on how to grow bigger ears.

3. Try Twitter OR Facebook – Let’s not rush things. Facebook has many more users, but it’s a bit harder to find customers, prospects, partners and colleagues. Twitter is easier to use and faster to connect with people, but there are far fewer users on there today. I’ll let you choose. If you go with Facebook, make a personal account under your own name, and then start a fan page for your business.

4. Get the word out – If you’re going to spend time building these social sites, let’s presume that you want more people to contact you and interact with you through them. Print business cards with the company name, and/or the request for people to join your fan page or follow you on Twitter. Extra points if you give them a social-media-tool-only discount of some kind.

5. Try moving the needle – now lets really get crazy. See if you can fill the place up with social-media minded folks. Okay, this won’t work for every business, but don’t be too quick to count out the idea. Let’s try inviting them to a store-only special event, or let’s give them a discount code. You know, the stuff you already know how to do. Any difference in the results? See if you can do some kind of really special one-day-only push, and what that brings to you.

The commitment to social media especially for a small businesses is not one that should be taken lightly.  Certainly there will be days where your efforts are less than other days however to remain competitive and build relationships you have to have a presence that is maintained.  Take a minute to see what your competitors are doing, think about how you can leverage your brand by participating in social media marketing by exposing your brand to the communities.  If your competitors have not started or are not utilizing social media, become the leader in social media marketing.  Let them have to catch up.

Up for the challenge?

Does not sound so easy?  Need help creating your profile or ideas for blogs? Kherize5 can help get by providing the social media training that you need to get you started.

photo credit: dbking