You’ve got 3560 people following you on Twitter, 1450 fans on your Facebook page, and 763 connections on LinkedIn. That’s great for your ego, but what’s it doing for your bank account? Is social media a money-making machine or just a bunch of hype?
Social media is all the rage in small business circles. After all, social networking seems like a great way to get free advertising, instead of running ads that cost money. Wouldn’t it be nice to just occasionally tweet or put up some Facebook posts and watch the money roll in?
It’s not that easy! While some people are thrilled, others are putting in a lot of time and effort without any bottom-line results. There are millions of “Twitter Quitters” – many of them small business owners.
The truth is that social media marketing for small businesses can work. Or, it can be a colossal waste of time. Like every other part of your business, it doesn’t just happen, it takes work and strategy.
Remember, there are a ton of social networking sites that are industry or interest-specific. Do you sell auto parts? You’ll find sites for every make and many models of cars. Become an active participant, posting and responding to comments, and you may be able to develop a devoted clientele.
You need to figure social media into your overall business plan, and that’s why I’ve included a social media plan in the just-released new edition of Successful Business Plan: Secrets & Strategies. (http://www.planningshop.com/products/spb.asp)
With careful planning – and a commitment – social media can be an effective and affordable way to build your business.
American Express Open and SCORE have teamed up to bring you free one-on-one coaching, networking opportunities and resources. These nationwide events are designed to help you meet both small businesses challenges and opportunities.
Coaching: In-person, one-on-one business counseling from seasoned SCORE experts in managing through all types of business cycles.
Networking: Meeting and solution-swapping with 300-400 small business owners from your community.
Tools: An array of incisive workshops addressing key success areas such as financial planning and marketing in a difficult economy.
Advice: Practical tips from some of the region’s most prominent and successful business owners.
Resources: Lots of takeaways, including on-point guides and publications, premiums and special offers.
Inspiration: An exciting luncheon keynote address.
Find an event near you: