Social Media for Small Businesses: a Blessing in Disguise or a Bad Little Gremlin?Posted by Antonia
Use and prevalence of social media is growing, but is it growing into an uncontrollable tumor or is it developing in a structured and strategic way, bringing profits to new businesses? Well, it depends on the company. According to the Small Business Success Index Report for 2010 published by the University of Maryland, it looks as though many businesses are cottoning onto the trend: 73% of small businesses surveyed have a page on a social media site like Facebook or LinkedIn, 65% post status updates regularly and 51% use market analytics provided by social media sites. Many companies sited that social media helped to attract new customers, stay engaged with current ones and spread the geographic sphere of the company. In fact, 45% claimed that social media efforts would be reflected in their bottom line. On the other hand, people also admitted that social media took up much more time than anticipated and opened the lines for public criticism of the company’s products/services. Because social media is a new tool, it must be used carefully and strategically. There is no use in simply signing up to multiple accounts because everyone else is doing it. In fact, doing so could actually be detrimental to your business. Creating a flurry of posts in the excitement of novelty and trendiness, then realizing how much time it takes to upkeep and subsequently dropping the ball, not only closes the doors with the lights on to your clients, but also shows inconsistency in business strategies. So, learn about the tools first and assess which ones are best suited to your business before you make the jump. Ensure that you have time to maintain your accounts and that the right people are posting to and moderating your accounts, otherwise one fine day when you decide to check the status of your accounts, you may discover that a monster has emerged.