SCORE Small Business Blog

Go Social in 30 Minutes or Less
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Most small business owners understand and accept that social media marketing hasn’t merely “arrived,” but has become a powerful force for engaging customers and prospects. Yet, many simply haven’t gotten started.

If you haven’t made the dive into social media yet, I understand. It sounds complicated, time-consuming, and fraught with danger. How does it work? How does it help my business? What if I mess up and write something foolish? The reality is, social media marketing does not have to be complicated. It’s really fairly simple, and you can impact your business by spending as little as 10 to 15 minutes per day, 2 to 3 days per week.

The following are the major challenges a small business faces when going social. My goal is to minimize all of them:

I don’t have enough time.

It takes about eight seconds to type a sentence, and even one sentence can be powerful. Your goal is to incite your followers to comment on your content, thus creating new content on your behalf. Don’t post stuff just to post stuff, only post when you have something you think will resonate with your audience. Good social content passes 2 tests: Will they want to share with their friends? Are they likely to comment on it?

Which social media platform(s) should I be on?

You’ve heard of Facebook and Twitter, but there are currently more than 1000 social media platforms and more are added every day. “Niche” social media sites, those devoted to a particular interest, are becoming more and more powerful. How can you possibly stay current on them? You don’t have to. As long as you’ve created a social presence and let the world know you’ve gone social by participating in one or 2 of the major platforms (like Facebook or Twitter), your followers will keep you current. They’ll let you know if you’re missing out on something important.

I’m not a writer.

The goal of social media marketing is to put a human voice on your business. You can (and should) write in a conversational style. Speak to your customers online the same way you would speak to them in person. Content? Answer the questions your customers ask you every day. Post a link to content you find online that you think would be valuable to your followers.

I’m never going to have a million followers.

Social media is about engagement. Having more followers than you can engage with may miss the point. What’s more valuable, a large number of followers who aren’t interested in you, or a small number who are (and are willing and ready to become advocates on your behalf)?

Bonus: Go Social in Less Than Five Minutes!

  1. Register for one or two of the major social media platforms, like Facebook or Twitter. They’re free, so it won’t cost you anything. More importantly, you need to grab your name or business name before someone else takes them. Have you tried to buy a dot.com recently?
  2. Follow me on Twitter. My “handle” is my name: @roncates (I had to settle for my real name because my street name, gangsta666, was already taken).
  3. Need starter content? Feel free to copy and paste:Sharing a great article on the SCORE Success Blog by @roncates – “Go Social in 30 Minutes or Less” – It worked for me! http://blog.score.org/2011/ron-cates/go-social-in-30-minutes-or-less/
Ron CatesDirector of New Market Development, Constant Contact
Ron has developed a broad range of solutions for marketing professionals, small businesses, and nonprofit organizations; helping strengthen their customer and donor relationships.
www.constantcontact.com | @roncates | More from Ron

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Discussion (1) Comment


  1. Herby FabiusVisitor

    Great article- I can totally relate because I use to think that social media marketing wasn’t that important. I thought the only way it could be beneficial is if I had millions of followers. but recently stated using Twitter to promote and I must say it does make a difference. Thanks

 

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