Small Business Needs to be Big in Social Media

If you’re a small- or medium-size business, you’ve probably achieved the majority of your growth via word of mouth. Your current customers are your best sales tool; they tell their friends, who then tell their friends and so on. The good news is, with the advent of social media there’s never been a better time to capitalize on such a strategy; in fact, social media is like word of mouth on steroids.

social media wordcloud

But an already hectic schedule means you probably don’t have time to Tweet or post daily, never mind managing a community. If that’s the case, you are far from alone: recently reported that widespread inertia with social media is a barrier to small business success.

It’s no surprise, really. You’re probably already up to your eyeballs in paperwork.  And you probably would rather focus on doing what you love—running your business, since that’s why you struck out on your own in the first place, right? Besides, you can’t afford to hire a full-time social media expert (whatever that means), let alone a behemoth ad agency.

 However, the truth is, if you’re not active in the space, you’re missing out. But don’t just take our word for it:

  • According to market research firm Ipsos, 50% of all Canadians have a social networking profile, with close to half of online Canadians visiting a social networking site at least once a week.
  • Mediabistro recently stated that 42% of small businesses receive sales leads through Facebook alone. (The numbers for LinkedIn and Twitter are 36% and 16% respectively.)
  • Wine-expert-turned-social-media-guru Gary Vaynerchuk grew his family’s New Jersey-based wine store from $3 million to $45-million a few years ago, using mainly social media. That’s just one real-life example of the power of social media.

While the Cokes and BMWs of the world can and do benefit from social media, it’s small business owners like you that have the most to gain. It goes back to the importance of word of mouth: Unlike gigantic multinationals, you can’t spend millions on glitzy ad campaigns. But you can make friends on Facebook and that can pay off in a big way.

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