“Social Media for Small Businesses.”
If you are using social media to gain clients in your small business, believe it or not you are still in the minority.
I’m currently working with a lovely direct marketer over in Manchester, we’re collaborating and putting together a business online marketing download – more about that soon (I’m really excited, it will be great!). However, he “doesn’t do social media.”
Small businesses whom I have recently worked with don’t seem to do social media either. When I ask if they’re members of any social networks or want to include a blog, I get the look and, “Ohhh, no no. Social media isn’t for us.”
I really shouldn’t be so surprised, we in the UK are a bit slow off the mark compared to other countries when it comes to using social media for business in general. We’re also the least likely to be impressed by audio/video presentations on a company’s social profile, (I can understand that, give me a pdf download any day!)
Globally,between half and three quarters of businesses responding to the Regus survey last year use social media.
Given that it is estimated that 88% of the UK population is connected in one form or another to a social networking site, what exactly is the UK’s problem with using social media for small businesses?
Well, based totally on my own experiences so far, I think it’s fear holding small businesses back.
Not particularly of social networks in general, since many of us use them in our personal lives. But a fear of change, a fear of getting it wrong.
The only way to get it totally wrong is to not use social media in our businesses at all.
The worldwide web is changing. Search engines are already putting more emphasis on social markers. In the not so distant future I do believe search will become social based, it’s only a matter of time.
- Last week Google released its own social networking hub Google+ to an invitation only testing group.
- Facebook has grown to the point that if its 750Million members were all in one country, it would be the second largest country in the world.
- It’s no wonder Twitter occasionally croaks with a massive growth, from 65million tweets this time last year to a 200million tweets at the end of June 2011. That’s tweets per day!
- LinkedIn continues to grow with a new member every second.
- Foursquare reached its 10million members milestone and is rapidly making its way across the Atlantic. If you haven’t heard of it yet, you will do soon.
These are just the big players, there are hundreds if not thousands of social networking sites, from country based to sector and interest based sites. It’s easy to be overwhelmed. Remember, your business does not need to be on every social network site you can find.
Social media is all about connecting and building relationships.
It’s about being human. People do business with people and I believe that small businesses have the edge there. In general small businesses aren’t faceless, social media is where you can really excel.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on why British businesses seem slow to use social media in their marketing mix. Does your business use it? Share your opinions.