We recently had the opportunity to sit down with Steve Rubel, executive VP for Global Strategy and Insights with Edelman. Edelman is a global public relations firm, well known for being on the forefront of technological change. Click here for more info on Steve and Edelman.
In this video, Steve talks about the methods by which a small business can best promote itself using social media.
By definition, a small business does not have a large staff, least of all a dedicated marketing department. It may even be run by just a single entrepreneur. Given the large range of social media outlets, how do small businesses choose where to invest their time?
The first step in generating a social media plan is to think hard about your agenda; what do you hope to achieve through your interactions?
If your goal is to reach stakeholders (i.e. customers) directly, Steve suggests that it may be best to start small. Blog posts do not require regular upkeep, will reach new markets via Google searches, and will position your business as an expert in the field you write on.
Alternatively, you could go for a more direct approach by actively seeking out your targets. Most social networks offer analytical tools to businesses which can let you build a profile of how your target consumers use social media. Once you have built up their profile, you can then find a way to market directly to people using those networks.
Finally, if your social media objective is to generate ‘traditional’ media attention, twitter is becoming an increasingly powerful distribution tool. As mentioned earlier though, maintaining a regular twitter presence can become very time consuming.
Above all, it is important that you spend your time wisely, and don’t bite off more than you can chew. By spending time learning more about your target and crafting a plan, you can focus on a social media policy that creates the maximum return. Whatever that means to you.