Small Business Tip Tuesday: 2012 – No Better Time to Get Social

by Ken Mueller on January 3, 2012 · 10 comments

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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?

 

 Small Business Tip Tuesday: 2012   No Better Time to Get Social
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10 comments
Mark_Harai
Mark_Harai

I couldn't agree more with you on this post Ken.

We are smack dead in the middle of a social web revolution. Every life and business will be effected in some way and at some point in the not so distant future.

Business owners who are over-worked and believe they have no time need to wake up to this fact; anything worthwhile in life and business requires that you find the time - and this is one of those times.

Happy New Year Ken - looking forward to seeing what you have to share in 2012!

_marketingrx
_marketingrx

I absolutely agree with you Ken. One of the biggest challenges is to help business owners understand the power of social media and how it's not really FREE. I made an analogy recently about Social media compared to Radio advertising. With Radio, people think they are buying the airtime. But they really aren't. They are buying the sales persons time and strategy, the writers time and ideas, the producer, the engineers, etc. The airtime is actually free. And I wouldn't recommend anyone doing all this themselves. It's just like Social Media. It's not really FREE, it's a FREE platform, but you need to invest either bunch of time or money to make it work for you. They are inversely proportionate. Spend more of one to save more of the other.

Moving advertising budget around to get better results is key!

The other great point you make is explaining VALUE to business owners. A confused mind always says NO! So helping them understand and see the Results they can achieve is the biggest hurdle and opportunity. Just had a conversation yesterday and at the beginning of the meeting the woman said "I don't want to be on Twitter!" and was quite adamant. By the end of our chat, she said, "Okay, so we'll be tweaking our FB and rolling out Twitter and LinkedIn Then?" AWESOME!

Thank you for the time you took writing this great article! I don't know why/how I didn't find you sooner! I think the original link came from @stevebarnesusa

Happy new Year to you too! Kimberly Allison

KenMueller
KenMueller moderator

@Mark_Harai And that's the point I keep hammering home to people: if in fact you believe something is worth it, you will MAKE time for it, and allocate the funds. I've spoken to quite a few business owners who, in effect, say "I get it. I believe it works. I just don't have the time now. I'll get to it....whenever". And they will never get to it.

Thanks for stopping by, Mark!

KenMueller
KenMueller moderator

@_marketingrx@stevebarnesusa Well, I don't know Steve, but thanks to both of you.

There's nothing better than sitting with a client and explaining things to them and seeing the light bulb go on over their head. And then watching them get more excited.

And, as a person who worked in radio for about 30 years, I love your radio analogy!

_marketingrx
_marketingrx

@KenMueller You worked in Radio? Doing what? I myself worked in Television for 10 years as a Writer/ producer/ Director/ On Air Personality and then moved into Radio and worked there in Advertising Sales for 6 years. Just recently started my own modern marketing Firm.

KenMueller
KenMueller moderator

@_marketingrx I was on-air, primarily news and some sports, and then later on producing some shows as well as marketing. I also spent 13 years in the middle of that as the Radio Curator at the Museum of Television & Radio in NYC (now the Paley Media Center)

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