It’s a well established fact now that social media is as main stream for any business as is having a website or any kind of online presence. So no point wasting key strokes in harping about this new paradigm of social media marketing. But I would love to write reams about (albeit can’t… so keeping it crisp) is how it impacts the largest segment of businesses worldwide… the small business and the entrepreneurs who have been embracing it with varied degree of acceptance.
Social media optimization and social media marketing in our parlance points to the entire gamut of work that businesses can or should do to build a credible social media presence which could either be for branding, marketing, sales, promotions or consumer engagement programs. I am sure most of you reading this have also read a lot of information about how social media for small business is a boon and coupled with a credible web presence it is delivering exceptional and cost effective results for small enterprise. But I am not too sure… rather I am at the cross roads where I feel that its not so much about social media working for them or not, its more to do with how it was made to work and like any other conventional or unconventional marketing or advertising platform, the hits and misses are more to do with strategy and execution rather than the nature of the medium.
Then I read something on Forbes recently, and the excerpts of what the study has revealed. It said that in the US more than 60% of small businesses have not got the return they were expecting from their social media investments. I was more sure about the what I felt… which is… that it’s not the problem of the medium being chosen, it’s about what you are doing with it and how are you going about executing the game plan. The world of social web, as its not being called is a lot similar to the conventional media in a lot of ways, the most important being that any medium is by the people and for the people and while the consumption patterns for the communication may change ultimately you are addressing the same target audience through a different route.
Software companies, web development companies, digital media companies and conventional website design and development companies… you name it and they are all taking a whack at social media solutions, starting off with their retained customers. While its agreeable that it doesn’t take much to get initiated in the space (as someone would say… we all know how to use Facebook…eh ) but every web company cannot become a social media expert.
Coming back to those who are doing it right to some extent… Setting the expectations right is the key… and the onus is on social media companies like us who consult and work with businesses on the social web. Then comes to next most important part… to build a strategy that’s not just about making some noise but about real and effective chatter (my peers in the space would know what I mean by this) and finally…. Its about precise and clear execution of the strategy, you put these three components together and you will have something to write home about.
Until next time….