Making Social Media Work For Your Small Business

Social media can be an effective promotional tool for any small business.
The secret is finding the right combination of internal resources and external talent.
Few companies are equipped to drive social media efforts alone. Those that try often run up against a wall of mounting experience and limited internal resources. That is not to say having an internal leader driving the social media efforts can’t work.
Take for example Muscle Egg, a North Dakota company offering consumers an enriched egg white product. The company was not satisfied with its social media partner and hired Joe Gonzalez to come in-house and direct their efforts.
In three years, Gonzalez has totally revamped Muscle Egg’s social media effort delivering robust returns to their promotional efforts.
But for every Muscle Egg success story, there are numerous failures in this rapidly changing social media landscape.
Experts say small companies need to concentrate on their products and let the full-time devotees of the craft pound away at the social media landscape.
For those small businesses contemplating hiring or replacing their social media agency, here are some things to consider:

  1. Who is your audience?  In short, what group of people or businesses are most likely want or need your product or service.
  2. What social media avenues does this audience most use? Identifying the one or two or three top social media tracks is important to choosing how to reach them.
  3. What are the best ways of reaching this audience through these channels? Some agencies or groups are better than others and identifying them can lead to superior results.
  4. How much money can you devote to this effort? Having the resources to wage a skillful return often requires a commitment higher than originally contemplated.
  5. When is the timetable for results? Remember despite what others might say social media takes time to develop and deliver results.
  6. What are the deliverables you want and the agency can provide? Without clear, mutually agreed upon measureable goals, no effort can truly succeed.
  7. Are you comfortable with the people you will work with? Without mutual trust and comfort nothing will happen.
  8. Is the social media campaign compatible with other parts of the marketing effort? Social media is one component of the marketing effort. Insure it adds to the over marketing effort and not distract from it.
  9. Is the company building on the information social media provides? Social media is an interactive channel providing much information management needs to absorb, digest, and act upon in real time. Good agencies provide feedback to improve the product/service and the social media campaign.

Social media is one of the most effective promotional tools ever handed small businesses. It is up to management to make the most of it.

By JoAnn Laing