Thursday, November 1, 2012

Small Businesses and Social Media

Is six or more hours per week an appropriate amount of time for a business to spend using social media?

If there’s never enough of something for a small business, it’s time, and so to learn that these entrepreneurs are spending upwards of an hour a day on social media is encouraging news.

One caveat: consistency is important. That is, it’s better to spend an hour every day Facebooking and tweeting than it is to do so for two hours every other day.

Why do you think small-business owners focus so much on Facebook and Twitter and seem to be ignoring LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest?

To a small business owner focused obsessively on the bottom line, social media is still somewhat of a risk. As such, it’s far more assuring to go with an established network—one about which a major Hollywood movie was made—than with an upstart that revolves around a bulletin board. If you know nothing else about Facebook, you know it boasts a billion users. That’s an extremely compelling data point—even if only an infinitesimal fraction of that base are potential customers for you.

Finding and posting content is what takes businesspeople the longest. Is that where they should be focusing most of their energy?

Absolutely. The best way to build an audience and engage people is through content that’s compelling and original. Creating such content—whether that entails crafting an email subject line that’s irresistible, finding the perfect picture for your Facebook post, or A/B testing your AdWords—is laborious.

Social media budgets are increasing, in general. What does that indicate to you?

We’re now past the point where a business could simply slap the Twitter bird on its website and its CEO could tell friends that his firm was active in social media. That social media budgets are increasing is an overdue recognition of the fact that to do anything right requires an investment of time and money.

Addendum (11/2/2012): Success!

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