It’s 2012 and while today is no different from yesterday, and this week is no different from last week, we sometimes see a new year as a fresh start and a time to reevaluate our goals, particularly in our businesses.
I’ve talked to a number of small business owners, some of whom are clients, and many of them are coming off of a rough 2011, and thinking about how they can turn things around. For some, it’s a change in product strategy, while for others it might include a few nips and tucks on the budget. None of them wants to see a reduction in employees via layoffs, so they are trying to find something…anything…that will allow them to cut expenses and increase revenue. Unfortunately, those two things don’t go hand in hand very often.
It is for this reason that I’m hopeful. I believe that many of these businesses, who thought they were going to see a turnaround in 2011, and didn’t, will now begin to reevaluate where they are spending their marketing dollars. And I’ve spoken to many who have avoided Social Media because for them it’s just one more expense and one more thing to put on an already very full plate.
But that’s the wrong way to look at it.
Perhaps 2012 is the year that will include a robust Social Media presence in your overall business plan.
Don’t think of it as an added budget item. Don’t think of it as just one more thing to take up your time. That’s not necessarily the case.
What if I told you that using Social Media (properly) could actually save you money and free up some of your time? Maybe you need to take a good, hard look at your existing budget. Do you know the ROI of many of your activities? Are there some that can be cut or even eliminated?
Now take a look at your daily routine. Are there activities you can eliminate? Or can Social Media help streamline some aspects of your business, and free you and your employees up to take more important tasks?
This may seem counter-intuitive, but it is possible. And that’s one of my goals for the blog this year (as well as the book I’m writing with Marijean Jaggers): to use this platform to help small business owners and managers better understand how this all can work for them. Not that I haven’t written about that; I have. But I’m going to make a more conscious effort to focus on the things that small businesses need to know, both as they navigate this rapidly changing field, and as they make the decision as to how Social Media fits into what they are already doing.
This is your year. Take the time to acquaint yourself with the tools of Social Media, and take your offline customer experience mindset and move it online as well. I’m willing to bet that if you buy into this — not just “give it a whirl”– and make a long-term commitment, you’ll be surprised with the results.
And even if you’ve already made the commitment, is there more that you should be doing? Is Social Media that “extra thing” that you’re doing, or is it fully integrated into all that you do, both online and offline? Are you using it merely as a marketing tool, or have you found uses for it that transcend the mere delivery of brand messages?
Perhaps you’ll be entering the world of Social Media for the first time, or perhaps you’ll start blogging for the first time. Either way, now is a great time to take a look at where you are and consider the possibilities
Are you ready to make 2012 your year? Do you understand how some sort of Social Media presence might benefit your business? What fears or objections are holding you back?
- The anti-prediction of 2012 social media predictions (businessesgrow.com)
- 12 Bloggers You Really Should Read in 2012 (dannybrown.me)
- The Culture of Social Media without the Platforms; Mind = Blown (marijeanjaggers.com)
- Make Your Business Better in 2012 (smallbiztrends.com)