Five Social Lessons for Small Business From Big Business

Social may democratize the marketing landscape, but big businesses still have the upper hand in terms of best-practices, simply because they have more resources to devote to new media. What's a smaller marketer to do to keep pace in the social space? Here's some help. Brad Smith, in a post at Social Media Today, offers a list of five lessons "small" businesses can learn from the big guys: Start with the end in mind. Ensure your goals dictate your social media activities. There are three ways social can help your business:
  • Increasing brand awareness by building reach
  • Building customer loyalty via engagement and support
  • Increasing sales by driving more purchases, more frequently
Pick a goal and prioritize it. American Express organizes its social media efforts around customer service. Be a publisher first. You must produce content to make social media work, so learn how to create valuable content in some cool publications, Web copy, a blog post or two. And brushing up on some traffic-generating tactics like SEO can only optimize your efforts! Understand people's motivations. Don't build content that revolves around you; build around what users care about and are interested in. Lowe's Creative Ideas revolves entirely around what people do with their products. The site helps you organize weekend projects and transform indoor and outdoor spaces.
Don't overemphasize tactics! Smith quotes David Meerman Scott: "Social media are tools. Real time is a mindset." Don't worry about sophisticated marketing tactics; just use these valuable tools to simply connect in real time. Let others share the story. Let go of the message; it's on the backs of others that your social efforts will shine. Get people—bloggers, influential tweeters, and industry evangelists—to care about you, and they'll take your story to places you never imagined!
The Po!nt: Reach out in a bigger way, regardles of your size. Social media is a means to more intimately and intuitively connect. Give people what they want, and you'll get what you want.
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