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Social Media Benefits for Small Business


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As more companies make the shift from traditional communication channels to new online and social mediums, there has been a noticeable increase in interest in public relations and social media …

As more companies make the shift from traditional communication channels to new online and social mediums, there has been a noticeable increase in interest in public relations and social media activities from small businesses.

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  • 1. Yasheaka Oakley 13 October 2012Master of Arts in Journalism & Mass Communications – Public Relations, Kent State University
  • 2. Social media is…Constantly considered a marketing tool, but is more accurately identified as a PR tool due to the emphasis on content development and two-way communicationA continuous conversation that occurs before, during, and after the transaction stage
  • 3. Social Media … it’s Everywhere!New trends in public Emphasis on: relations and marketing EngagementNew organizational Storytelling positions Legitimacy Social Media Managers Two-wayNew research on the Communication value of content Online relationship- development and curation building
  • 4. From Traditional to DigitalCompanies are shifting The Manta Survey shows away from traditional that small business owners communication and are putting an increased advertising channels emphasis on establishing Radio and promoting their Television businesses online Social Networks Press Releases Online Forums Innovative Websites
  • 5. “While major U.S. companies can afford across-the-board PR services & programs, small business budgets are small and will remain so.” - R. Otterbourg
  • 6. Are You Prepared to Respond?
  • 7. Research Shows…24% of American Internet users who have contacted a brand on social media expect a company to respond within 30 minutes, regardless of when the contact was made - The Social Habit74% of small businesses do not have someone on staff overseeing the company’s social media presence - Intuit Websites
  • 8. Handling the ConversationA survey by Vocus and Duct Tape Marketing indicates that negative comments are one of the most challenging aspects small businesses face when attempting to engage customers using social mediaIt’s important to understand that social media conversations are a delicate, and sometimes emotional matter that should never be underestimated
  • 9. BrandingA company’s image or reputation is a very important asset that directly relates to how consumers and stakeholders view your product or servicesYour image can influence how closely the government regulates your actions, the price of company stock, and even how bankers offer your company loans or credit
  • 10. Branding (cont.)“A company whose image has been threatened can, in theory, use communication to repair that image” – William BenoitBuild consumer trust in your company’s reputation so customer experiences and ideas about the company overpower negative reviews
  • 11. “Nothing speaks more powerfully about youthan what other peoplesay about your brand.” - Melinda Emerson @SmallBizLady
  • 12. An Online CommunityCreate messages that make consumers feel valued and involved in the company’s cultureEngaging consumers online, creates additional opportunities to promote your company’s values, build goodwill, recognition, and leads
  • 13. Use consumer behavior and personal information on social media to craft messages that address consumer needs - Mike Lewis Stand Out Social Marketing
  • 14. Before you Jump in…Clearly identify your niche market Melinda Emerson suggests researching industry keywords that consumers use to search for your topic or productSet Realistic Objectives Gini Dietrich suggests that PR professionals “set social media objectives that integrate with current marketing, communication, and business goals”
  • 15. Relationship-BuildingDetermine whether your online relationships with be “handled in an organized manner, or allowed to be haphazard and inconsistent?” – Samuel DyerSet a schedule for posts, interact with stakeholders during Twitter hash tag conversations, use blog comments as opportunities to engage
  • 16. Get Management InvolvedIf top management If management is considers public reluctant to support PR relations and social and social media with media activities money or time, then it necessary, they will be will fail effective Establish it for a Participate actively and “whimsical” reason regularly Assign it a low priority Commit to a budget Failure to educate or Create policies train in proper usage
  • 17. Use Social Media EffectivelyDedicate a minimum of 6 hours per week to “Social media is social media activities influence. The more IRespond to concerned can get my name out, customers within a the more followers, reasonable amount of time the more people thatShare quality content know me—the more that consumers will find money I can make.” useful - Melinda Emerson
  • 18. Connect With Yasheaka OakleyTwitter: @YOakleyPR LinkedIn: Newsletter:
  • 19. References Otterbourg, R.K. (1966). “Public  Dietrich, G. (2012). “Small business relations For smaller companies.” and social media: you have goals, Public Relations Quarterly. don’t you?” Inkling Media. Huang-Horowitz, N.C. (2012)  Lewis, M. (2012) “Social scoring: the “Conceptualizing a theoretical missing link to social marketing model for the practice of public ROI.” Slideshare. relations in the small business  Melinda Emerson (social media environment.” Public Relations strategist) in discussion with the Journal. author, October 2012. Hansen-Horn, Tricia and Bonita  Baer, J. (2012). “42 percent of Dostal Neff. Public Relations: From consumers complaining in social Theory to Practice. media expect 60 minute response Berthiaume, D. (2012). time.” Convince and “Determining social media ROI  Dyer. S. C. (1996). “Public relations [Infographic].” CMS Wire. strategies for small business growth.” Public Relations Quarterly.