Social Media Meets Small Business

Even if you know nothing about the Internet, your small business could depend on how quickly you learn your way around the social media scene. The role it can play in your immediate and ongoing success is pivotal. Your customers are already looking for you on sites such as Twitter and Facebook. Are you there to answer them? If the answer is no, you should have attended the Social Media Answers to Your Small Business Questions event that I spoke at on Monday.

It seems as though everyone is a member of one social media site or another these days. Each of those bajillions of people is a current or potential customer. Every one of them buys goods and services. Increasingly, they are turning to their favorite sites (Twitter, Facebook, etc) to get the information they need on whatever it is you’re selling. Why would you want them to find your competitor instead of your company?

The message I brought to this event is that you cannot be afraid to just dive right in when it comes to having a social media presence. You may feel as though you “don’t know where to start.” There is nowhere better than at the beginning. Establishing a presence and saying hello will go a long way toward getting your name – and your brand – out there.

@melissatizon is the Communications Director for Swedish Medical Center, a nonprofit health system serving the Seattle area. The event was held on their campus, and she was kind enough to tweet out some of the more important points of my talk.

  • A great example of small local biz on social media is @poopertrooper
  • Where do you start in social media? Just start somewhere.
  • A mobile device is not just phone. It’s a gateway to content.
  • Business owners who are not paying attention to the conversation on social media are doing themselves a disservice.
  • Small biz owners may think they don’t have time for social media. But how much time do they have for their customers?
  • Small businesses: If you’re not getting started in social media, you’re letting customers slip through your fingers.
  • Show up higher on Google: Think about keywords you use to search in Google & build those words into your tweets.
  • Give your community the tools to talk about your brand.
  • On social media what’s more important than claiming to be an expert? Having experience.

During the presentation, I demonstrated how quickly can populate Google with your updates. At 9:32pm, I sent out a test tweet through Ping. At 10:12pm, I showed off the search results. Pretty impressive, eh? It’s something you really need to be thinking about. You will find no easier (and faster!) way to get your business into Google than by making good use of social media.

Thank you to Melissa and the entire team at Swedish for having me and hosting this fantastic event. I believe that several people – noobs and experts alike – walked away with renewed enthusiasm and outlooks. At the end of the day, that’s what keeps driving us forward.