Monday, 16 June 2014

Social media - friend or foe to your small business?

Social media has put massive marketing opportunities within the reach of small businesses, sole traders, little charities and good causes.

With creative content and a real understanding of their target audience they can make things happen in a way that was once only possible for brands with BIG budgets.

There is, of course, an investment in time - sometimes a BIG investment in time - but platforms and tools such as Twitter, YouTube, MailChimp and others can give everyone the potential to make a noise about what they do, mobilise their fans and supporters and reach the influencers who can take their message to the masses.

However, the fact that words, images and videos can go viral in hours does carry risks for the unwary. Stories of poor customer service and ill-judged or inappropriate comments can spread like wildfire.

You don't have to have a massive following on social media to end up in trouble. Journalists now use social media - especially Twitter - as a key source of news. That can work for you and against you. Don't think you can post the odd unprofessional comment, dodgy joke or aside about a business rival, family member or colleague and only a few friends will see it. If enough people Tweet about something, or RT and share it, it can leap on to the news agenda - and quickly.

So identify your audience and your objectives, find your authentic voice and create stories that will strike the emotional response in others that you want to achieve to help you reach your goals.

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