Social Media Has Changed Your Small Business Marketing Plan. Ready or Not.

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by Melissa Stewart

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Comcast Small Business, but all the opinions are my own.

=> Curious about how other businesses are using social media?

=> Wondering which platforms work best?

=> Does the term “influencer marketing” boggle your mind?

You’re not alone. Most small businesses owners want to increase their social media impact but worry about the time and money they’ll have to invest. They know they need to integrate social media outreach into the overall marketing plan but they don’t have a Fortune 500 marketing budget. The challenge they face in figuring out how to achieve those goals in the shortest amount of time, and with often limited resources, can seem overwhelming.

I’ve been an early adapter on some platforms (I’m a little Twitter obsessed) but even I can’t keep up with everything! I’m pretty good with Facebook, average with Instagram and Pinterest, but totally out of my element when it comes to video or my kid’s favorite, Snapchat.

How about some facts to get us started.

According to Social Media Examiner, 92% of the small business owners they surveyed agreed with the statement “social media marketing is important for my business” but did not know if their efforts were working (i.e. how to measure the ROI of social media marketing).

How does you small business stack up against the Fortune 500?

The top 3 social media platforms used by the Inc 500 are:

  • 93% of the Inc. 500 have a LinkedIn account
  • 82% of the Inc. 500 have a Facebook presence
  • 79% of the Inc. 500 have a Twitter profile

And according to Heidi Cohen’s article based on info from UMass Dartmouth’s 2015 Inc. 500 research findings, 67% of small businesses don’t have a written social media plan!

You NEED a plan!

I tweet that a lot and it’s true!

“If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.” 
Alice and the Cheshire Cat from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland

 

SMBs must develop a social media strategy that includes related content, promotion and budget and it must be integrated into the rest of the marketing plan. If you

What actions can be included in your plan to increase the ROI?

  • Go visual. When you can, get photographs and videos of your employees and your customers.
  • Focus on relationship marketing.
  • Include a call-to-action with an offer readers can’t refuse.
  • Invest every marketing dollar wisely, taking risks on less-crowded platforms can pay off.
  • Provide customer focused content to support prospects and customers.
  • Give it time + keep testing. Most SMBs have been using social media marketing for 2 years of less, not enough time for an accurate measurement.

Need help? The Comcast Business Community page is a great resource. Whether you’re a small business, medium business, or solopreneur, you’ll find information to help your business grow.

Here are some links to get you started:

So much to learn and so little time! We’d love to hear from you.

  1. Has Social Media changed the way you do business as a small business owner?
  2. What were your initial thoughts of social media in the business world? Did you embrace it? Fight it?
  3. Do you think it is possible for a small business to survive without social media?

Leave your answers and tips in the comments below!

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One Reply to “Social Media Has Changed Your Small Business Marketing Plan. Ready or Not.”

  1. Lori Gosselin

    Hi Melissa,
    Thanks for all the info and links here. I’m really just getting started on social media marketing [Read: I don’t yet know what the heck I’m doing!] But I’m getting a feel for the waters. Measuring is always my biggest challenge.
    Seems to me that social media marketing is the big Game where blogging itself was the training. That’s a relief because I’ve practiced a LOT!
    Nice to connect with fellow Triberr bloggers to learn learn learn!
    Lori

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