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Monday, July 2, 2012

For decades, small businesses have had to scratch and claw their way to be even a little competitive with their larger counterparts. Countless contracts have been lost to competitors due to marketing proposals that were less than stellar. Most small businesses never even got the chance to submit proposals. Even if they were the best fit for the client.

Those days are gone. Thanks to numerous effective social media networks, small businesses can market themselves against the best of them. Platforms such as Facebook, Linked In, and Twitter allow business owners to communicate with current and potential clients, and create a sense of community around their business. The little guy can now build on the “buy local” trend by highlighting (read: capitalize on) the fact that they are small and local. For once, it is working for them instead of against them!

Two of the most attractive features about most social media networks are cost and control; two things near and dear to the hearts of small business. The major (and most, if not all of the smaller) networks are free. Free to start, free to use, free to share, free, free, free. In addition, the Administrator of the networks for the business has 100% control over the content posted and interaction in and around the content. It is easy to set up notifications on email or smart phone to alert if there is activity on the account. Some businesses choose to limit or eliminate the option for others to post on their business pages.

You have three choices: You can work these networks yourself. You can hire your cousin’s sister-in-law’s new boyfriend who is in college to do it. Or you can hire a professional to manage the networks for you at a reasonable cost. Notice you do not have the choice to NOT do it.

850 million people on Facebook are not a fad. The train is leaving, time to get on board.

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