How Small Businesses Can Get Big Results from Social Media

For small business owners, the new world order of social media can seem intimidating, if not confusing, but that is no excuse not to explore it. When Social Media can offer very powerful marketing tools that are often extremely affordable, and in many cases FREE, how can you afford not to? We here at WOMbeat! have built social media into our overall strategy, and the payoffs have been tremendous from day one.

What is Social Media?

When people hear the term ‘Social Media’, visions of teenagers locked in bedrooms on MySpace sharing photos or gossiping in chat rooms often come to mind. However, dig a little deeper and you will find that social media is actually something based in fundamentals that are near and dear to the hearts of all small business owners. Social Media is nothing more than a term to describe the new technology that allows people to build and maintain relationships. For business owners, this means that social media can be an important tool for helping you build and maintain relationships with your customers!

Too Busy for Social Media – Really?

Often, when I speak with business owners about Social Media as part of their overall marketing strategy, I often hear things like this: “I don’t have time”, “It is just for kids and families”, and “I don’t know if there would really be any ROI for my business.” So if you have ever had any of these thoughts, you are not alone. However, what could produce more ROI than a free or nearly free marketing tool that helps you stay top-of-mind with your best customers and helps you attract their friends as new customers? Driving repeat business and attracting new business should be something that excites any business owner. And, if your other tactics are not producing the results you want, perhaps making the time is the best answer.

Practical Examples of Social Media for Small Business

So where do you start? How? I always think that seeing some real-life examples is helpful. Please note that I am not recommending that every business needs to engage in all of these tactics, but I think understanding what each of these mediums can offer – as well as what they require – is a good first step in your evaluation.

  1. LinkedIn is probably the best know social network for professionals. On it, you setup a profile that mimics your professional resume. Then you start connecting with other LinkedIn users by identifying some as “1st degree contacts”. The value of building your list of “1st degree contacts” has many purposes but mainly (1) to build your professional reputation by association, (2) to ask these contacts to post personal recommendations for you online, and (3) to have the ability to see their contacts list and ask for introductions. However, WOMbeat!’s founders have gotten the most value out of LinkedIn by joining and becoming active in a variety of professional groups on the site, because LinkedIn Groups allow us to become connected with other people that we might not have otherwise become connected with. In our case, we have found more users for the WOMbeat! website and expanded our name recognition…all for FREE! (Feel free to check out my LinkedIn profile and some of the LinkedIn groups I am active in:
  2. Facebook and MySpace are the two most popular social networks for personal use, but they are also becoming quite main stream for business as well – particularly Facebook. (Yes, there are some business owners finding great success on MySpace, but my personal experience is much heavier with Facebook.) Like LinkedIn, you will need to setup a profile on either of these sites, but these profiles are typically more of a reflection of your personality and the ‘true you’. Likewise, on both of these sites you start connecting with other users by identifying them as “friends”. However, with Facebook, I suggest establishing either a Facebook page or group for your business. The value of building your own Facebook page or group is mainly (1) to build up an online ‘fan base’ that other users who are friends of your fans or members can see, (2) to stay top-of-mind with your fan base, and (3) to have the ability to easily send messages to your fan base that their friends can see. Thus, Facebook pages and groups allow you to tap into one of the richest sources of potential new customers - the friends of your customers and fans…for FREE. (Feel free to check out our WOMbeat! page – and be sure to become one of our fans too!:
  3. Blogging has been around for several years, with over one million blogs on the web today. Since many of you reading this article probably know what a blog is, let me focus on the question: “Should you start your own blog for your business?” Let me be honest, maintaining a blog for your business will require a serious time commitment because you will need to post a new article every couple of weeks, if not weekly or even daily. Plus, you will get more bang for your blog if you post comments on other blogs with links back to your blog – which again will increase the time commitment required. However, the payback can be tremendous. WOMbeat! maintains a couple of blogs (and you can have more than one too), but let me tell you about my favorite example. There is a men’s clothing store owner here in South Tampa who maintains a blog of upcoming events and how men should dress for these events. His blog site has now become THE place where people want their local event posted, and he is seeing tremendous traffic to his blog for event planners and attendees. Ultimately, his blogging has a direct impact on driving new and repeat customers into his retail store…for “nearly” FREE. (Feel free to check out our WOMbeat! blogs!: and


Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
This question is for preventing automated spam submissions.