Social Media Advantages for Small Businesses

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December 7, 2009 – Most of the time it seems like large corporations have pretty big advantages over the little guy. They have the giant marketing budgets and ad campaigns that can go worldwide, as well as PR teams and agencies and consultants and specialists all working on media strategies, viral marketing etc. But being a small business certainly has advantages of its own, especially when it comes to social media marketing.

  1. Speed – One of the largest bonuses for small businesses and biggest thorns for large ones is speed. The more cooks you have in the kitchen, the longer it takes for anything to get done, and get done right. One guy has an idea that has to then get approved by a team, after approval it gets presented to a manager who then submits the proposal to the department heads and so on. For a large company to make a major change, even something as free and easy as starting a Twitter account, could take a year. When your company is just a few people, you can make that decision and start the next day. You could start that afternoon! Being small means a lot less meetings and a lot more doings! Take advantage of your size and start really interacting with social media, online video, and networking to get people talking about your brand.
  2. Personal Touch – Unlike large businesses that are just too busy being large to pay attention, as a small business owner, chances are you personally know many of your customers (especially the repeat ones!). This is a wonderful advantage in social media as people tend to friend and trust people they are familiar with. Look up the names of friends on Twitter, Facebook, etc. and ask them to friend your company’s profile. When they come into your store or order something online, tell them about your social media profiles and ask them to participate by posting pictures, reviews, videos, etc. You can create entire promotions around this concept.
  3. Trial and Error – When large companies make big mistakes, lots of people find out pretty quick. While we are not advising that you to go crazy with social media and start acting irresponsibly, being small does allow you to make more mistakes and perhaps take a few more risks than larger companies can afford. Always do your research first and make sure you are not violating any Internet etiquette, terms of use, or other major no-no’s, but use your position to push the boundaries a bit. You can try that wacky new promotion no one else has and it could be the next viral sensation. Or, if it isn’t working out the way you’d planned, you can always end it early and pretend it never happened.

You always want to represent the best parts of your company online, which also means taking advantage of opportunities that come your way. Owning a small business affords you so many options to really work, test, experiment, and create the best website and Online marketing strategies for your business. This includes social media! So go out there and start talking, and listening, and testing, and trying. You’ll get it, and remember, we’re here to help.

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