I am always interested in knowing how small business owners promote themselves and was shocked when I recently came across a study by Hiscox Insurance. (Hiscox provides insurance for small business owners.)
They found that only 12% of small businesses described social media promotion as "a must" and nearly 50% of respondents aren't using social media at all!
Of those that DID use social media:
- 19% are using Facebook
- 15% are using LinkedIn
- 4% are using Twitter
Of those that DID NOT use social media:
- 24% said they don't use social media because they just don't have the time and
- 14% said they wouldn't even know where to start!
Does that sound familiar?
Why is social media marketing so important? Social media is unique because of the friend-to-friend nature of the message. You are able to have a conversation with your customers and potential customers - they can tell you personally what they like and dislike, and when you can make it right for them they are ready to purchase!
How should you get started?
Start any way you can... just START! If you absolutely can't figure out how to create a Facebook page for your business, consider "hiring" a college intern for the summer that can set up social media for you. Many interns are unpaid and will work for you just to get the experience.
If your business doesn't have a website and lacks the resources, you can use a site like this one, Blogger, to create an online presence that doesn't cost anything!
Finally, one of the biggest and newest social media platforms is Pinterest. If you are a hair salon, create a Pinterest account and feature different haircuts for women, men, and kids. (I DON'T have a salon, but check this out! pinterest.com/tahlm/hair-styles-short-shorter-shortest/) It's easy to set up and is absolutely free. If you are a hardware store, link to You Tube videos on DIY projects. If you have a landscaping company, you can easily find beautiful photos to pin of landscape projects. Google LOVES Pinterest and your pages will show up on a Google search!
What are you doing in social media for your small business? I'd love to hear from you!photo credit: Rosaura Ochoa via photopin cc