There is a lot of hype about social media. From “Don’t care about social media” to “Social media is the next big thing,” all opinions are out there. I had the opportunity to attend Social Media Week events in New York from February 1-5. And I saw a lot of big – not small – businesses that use social media: NY Times, Time Magazine, CNN and such media companies. It totally makes sense for them to use social media. The question I have is, is social media for small businesses?
Social Media Takes a Lot of Time
The reason why I have this question is, it takes a lot of time (and resources) to be active on social media. So you want to make sure you get the Return on Investment [ROI] for your time and resources invested on it. For a small business, if you spend 2 hours a day on Twitter and Facebook, that is 25% of your day!
Does a florist have to be on Twitter?
Does every business should be on Twitter and Facebook and LinkedIn and maintain a blog? When does a small business get time to do anything else? Whether you need a social media strategy or not will depend on the following:
- Do you want to be known an expert in a certain field?
- Do your customers search for your products/services online?
- Does your business model depend on traffic on your website?
- Can you spend enough time to spend on social media?
Marketing Vs Sales
There’s confusion about how social media can help your business. If you expect immediate sales from social media, you will be disappointed. But what it can do are things like this:
- Enhance your brand; make your known for something
- Connect you with people
- Create relationships
- Bring traffic to your website
If you have this perspective, you will be able to use social media for the right reasons and save a lot of time!
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Chaitanya Sagar is the Founder and CEO of p2w2 (for PeopleToWorkWith), which helps small businesses outsource services like SEO, Link Building, business and financial planning, software, virtual assistance, and research. p2w2 focuses on building relationships with vendors so you can save time and focus on your business.