In his AdAge.com article “Why Big Brands Are Dominating Social Media,” Brian Sheehan raises valid points, saying although we always talk about social media tools being free to use, they do take tons of time to manage, and, as the saying goes, time is money. While Pepsi or Ford or other big brands don’t have to necessarily pay a ton of money for social media tools, they are able to pay a ton of money to employees who manage the conversations taking place through the tools.
It would seem big business brands have outdone small businesses again. While this may be true for right now, small businesses don’t have to sit back while big businesses have all the fun.
Instead, small businesses can have just as much success, if not more success, on social media by thinking on a smaller, local community level and adding a dab of creativity.
- Take advantage of the gloomy job outlook. You may not be able to afford a new full-time or part-time marketer to help you manage social media, but I bet even the smallest towns could find a few business, marketing or communications college students or young people interested in gaining professional experience with the tools to build their resumes. Throw them $20 a week and they’ll be even happier.
- Use social media management tools like HootSuite or TweetDeck. These tools make it easier to follow conversations involving your business. My favorite is HootSuite, which uses a web log-in interface (no download needed, like TweetDeck) and allows you to schedule tweets, LinkedIn info and Facebook status updates ahead of time. Tools like these and others can save you a ton of time.
- Recruit your current network of friends and family. People who care about you want to see you succeed. When starting or working to build your social media presence, don’t start with huge, lofty goals as Sheehan explains. Instead, start with your own network of family and friends. Use social media to keep them updated on the business, always keeping in mind that they have friends you don’t know. Communicating through current friends has tons of potential.