Social Media for Small Business


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Presentation for the 2009-01-29 meeting of the Vermont SBDC.

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Social Media for Small Business

  1. 1. SOCIAL MEDIA for small business
  2. 2. WHAT ARE WE DOING? • What is social networking and social media? • How is social media relevant? • What could using social media look like for your business?
  3. 3. OUR PHILOSOPHY OF BUSINESS is based on mutually • Business beneficial relationships. • People buy a product/service. They get value.You get value. • The sum of the experience is greater than its parts.
  4. 4. Relationships are business. Relationships build business.
  6. 6. A DEFINITION “Social media [is] primarily Internet- and mobile-based tools for sharing and discussing information among human beings.” quot;Social media.quot; Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 28 Jan 2009, 12:33 UTC. 28 Jan 2009 < index.php?title=Social_media&oldid=266954169>.
  7. 7. SOCIAL VS OTHER MEDIA • The big difference: infrastructure cost (and tools) • Traditional/industrial media (newspapers, television, radio): require capital to create and publish content/information • Socialmedia: relatively inexpensive, wide-reaching, user-driven; taps into the social network to which you already belong
  8. 8. CHARACTERISTICS • Reach: Anyone can reach an audience (from local to global). • Accessibility: Anyone can afford to participate. • Usability: It's easy. • Recency: It's immediate.
  9. 9. (A FEW) EXAMPLES • Bloging (TypePad, WordPress, Blogger) • Mirco-blogging (Twitter) • Social networking (Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Ning) • Email, chat, forums, boards • RSS, podcasts • Photo & video sharing (Flickr, YouTube) • Wiki (Wikipedia) • Geolocation (Dopplr) • Collaboration/sharing (Google Apps, SlideShare)
  10. 10. ONLINE RELATIONSHIPS beyond dating
  11. 11. RELATIONSHIPS ONLINE Why the web is different: There can be direct relationships that are not mediated by anyone else. (No editors.) • People can connect with you in multiple ways (email/chat, blogs, website, friending/following). • And it's a [more than] two-way street. People talk about you, not just to you.
  12. 12. YOUR RELATIONSHIPS • Social media makes tangible your existing relationships. • Youneed to determine: • your role • your groups and communities • your level of interaction • your expectations
  13. 13. Social networking is changing how individuals communicate. Social media is changing how businesses do business.
  14. 14. WHO ARE YOU TALKING TO? • Look at your groups: • customers (existing and potential) • employees (existing and potential) • community stakeholders • vendors, partners, competitors, colleagues, friends and family • Where are the overlaps? • Social media is public • Groups determine relevance and convention (folksonomy)
  15. 15. WHO IS TALKING FOR YOUR BUSINESS? • Social media blurs the lines between the individual and the business. (“brandividualism”: company brand versus individual’s brand) • Requirements: • Authentic voice • Ability to speak for the organization • Internal information • Internal influence
  16. 16. TALKING TO VS TALKING WITH “Much as we may have assumed that web-based social networks were a way to talk ‘with’ masses of customers, it turns out they are instead a better way to talk ‘to’ those customers.” Andrea Learned
  17. 17. YOU + SOCIAL MEDIA are you a match?
  18. 18. MAKE CONVERSATION • What do you have to say? You have a story—tell it. Be relevant and interesting. You have knowledge—share it. Give it away. • What do you have to hear? Others have things to say—be an active listener. Respond to questions, ideas and concerns.
  19. 19. HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU HAVE TO SPARE? • It takes time. • to read, write, and respond • to analyze, assess and measure • to build relationships, make connections and follow paths • 1-2 hours per day to start • Demand can grow exponentially.
  20. 20. Be realistic!
  21. 21. SHOW ME THE MONEY • How does your online engagement build relationships? • How do those relationships transfer into sales, memberships, loyalty, strength? • How much does engaging cost you? • How much does it earn you?
  22. 22. Do the math.
  23. 23. HOW DO YOU DECIDE? • Yourtime investment should be in proportion to: • your business type • your customer type • Your investment needs to be ongoing and incremental. • Questionsfor you: • Do you have the time? • Do you have the resources? • What will you give up to do this? • Can you give up control?
  24. 24. WHAT NOW?
  25. 25. RESOURCES • HereComes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations, Clay Shirky • “Social Media Is Not a Life Raft,” Chris Brogan • “Making Sense of Social Media for Your Business,” VerticalResponse • Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us, Seth Godin • “Twitter To Go: How one local coffee shop used Twitter to double their clientele. What’s YOUR story?,” Blog of Mr. Tweet
  26. 26. #vtsbdc Twitter hashtag: #vtsbdc
  27. 27. QUESTIONS? Jason Pelletier • Email/Chat/VoIP: • Twitter: @jason_pelletier Liz Schlegel • Email/Chat/VoIP: • Twitter: @lizschlegel social-media-for-small-business-presentation