Is investing in social media marketing efforts worth it for a business strapped for cash? Yes, but only with a commitment to doing it the right way.
Since the first day brands and businesses entered the social media sphere, it seemed executives were calling to question the “value” of marketing themselves across social channels. While many large brands (with big budgets) have, in recent years, demonstrated great success stories of viral campaigns and engaged fans, many small businesses strapped for cash still seem to question if social media is really worth the time.
Recently, Facebook has made a big push to prove that investing time in Facebook is worth it for small businesses. By applying themselves to their Facebook page, small businesses can see success, Facebook claims. And we believe it too! Fanpage Toolkit has always been about providing service to the small business owner, so we’re glad to see Facebook making an effort to reach out and help as well. Take a look at the video below to get a brief overview on how you could be using Facebook to market your business.
So, how can social media investment become worthwhile for a small business low on cash? In an interview on Inc. with Dave Kerpen, Founder of Likeable Media, we’re given an excellent, and concrete example of how a small business could dedicate itself to using social media in a meaningful and valuable manner.
Jeff: Let’s get down to virtual brass tacks. Say I own a bike shop. Give me three concrete things I can do to start building a community that may also generate a return.
Dave: Great example! Here are three concrete things:
1) Start, always, with your current customers. Put up signs in your store offering 10% off to those who like you on Facebook. Your customers’ friends will notice and help generate more qualified fans.
2) Buy $100 in Facebook ads targeted to people in your town. Use Facebook’s targeting system to reach people who like “biking” or “bikes” or “riding bikes.” Drive them to like your page and not to your website.
3) Share great content with your fans: Pictures of people in bikes, a video of a cute kid learning how to ride a bike, a stat about how much healthier bikers are than non-bikers. Better yet, ask your customers and fans to share their best biking photos.
Then watch your leads and sales come in over time, all from just $100 and some of your time invested. Yes, it’s that easy–but only if it’s done right.
Think about how these suggestions apply to your own business. What could you do similarly to attract and engage customers both on and offline with your brand? Facebook is an amazingly powerful tool, with global reach. If you’re not taking advantage of this free tool at the disposal of your small business, you should be! What other free resource provides as much potential for networking, connecting, and growing a business following? Facebook is a powerful compliment to any small business’s marketing efforts
But, how else can you supplement social media marketing efforts to ensure they’re a valuable use of time for your small business? By using the right tools, of course!
There are tons of tools on the market to streamline the process and make your time spent with social media more efficient and worth while. Many assume that Facebook is all you need once you commit to marketing a business on social media. But, resources like Fanpage Toolkit were designed with the specific intent of enhancing the social media marketing power of Facebook. In addition to using Fanpage Toolkit for Facebook commerce, marketing, and promotions, we recommend that our subscribers also try out other tools to enhance their social media marketing, specifically for Twitter.
- HootSuite – As a great all-in-one scheduling and monitoring tool, HootSuite is a great complement to a small businesses Twitter marketing efforts. A free subscription lets users monitor Twitter feeds, and plan Tweets to be sent at a later time.
- Buffer App – Similar to HootSuite, Buffer lets users schedule posts to be sent out over Twitter at a later time. It integrates directly into browsers such as Google Chrome, though, so that any link one comes across on the internet can quickly and easily be added to your “Buffer queue” with the click of a button. This is great for times when you’re browsing and encounter something interesting, but don’t want to spam your followers with too many links.
For more great examples of small business success with Facebook, take a look at these case studies from Social Media Examiner and Tech Crunch. There are always going to be naysayers and those that don’t believe social media is worth investing any time or money. And, yes, half-heartedly committing to social media marketing is a waste of time and money for everyone involved. After all, no one wants to Like, Follow, or +1 a business page that is not committed to providing quality content or engagement over social media.
So, ask yourself, are you willing to commit time to engage, communicate, and create valuable content for potential small business customers? If so, then YES, investing in social media is worth your time!
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