Small business people all get the message by now – they are supposed to not only have a great website, but if they really want to get ahead in this brave, new e-world, they are supposed to have a dynamite social media presence too.
Tweet up a storm!
Have a robust Facebook fan page!
Link in and link up.
Message received and understood. That said, my experience is that most small business people find it easier said than done. Sure, they know social media is important and they may even have a fan page or maybe a hundred LinkedIn connections (although a lot still don’t seem to get Twitter).
So let me shake things up a bit and offer a contrarian strategy. Instead of telling you that you need to have the greatest Facebook page ever, I want to suggest that for the vast majority of small businesses, the low hanging fruit is simply to use social media to generate good leads.
Here’s what I mean: The truly great thing about social media is that it allows you to have access to tons of people that you would otherwise not get a chance to meet. It’s like going to the biggest networking event of them all. But the real advantage here is that you can scour the “room,” find the exact right people, get to know them and pitch to them.
And it’s just so darned easy. On Twitter, use the search feature to find discussions or people interested in your industry. Follow them. Chat them up. On Facebook, do the same thing. Use the search function to input key words and phrases to find people who might be interested in what you offer. Joining Facebook groups can offer the same thing. LinkedIn is great too – you can search for people, industries, keywords, titles – you name it.
By searching for people with whom your business has things in common, by locating businesses that have a high likelihood of being interested in what you have to offer, you can generate scores, nay hundreds or more, of potential viable leads.
And then just do your thing. Introduce yourself and your business. Give it your best pitch. Offer value. Send a proposal. Something will come of it, almost for sure.
So no, you don’t have to become a social media wiz to take advantage of social media, but you do need to be there. To paraphrase Woody Allen, in social media, as in life, 80 percent of success is showing up.