Social media lessons for small business from big business

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Leslie Collymore

Social media may level marketing playing field, but large businesses still have advantages in terms of best-practices, simply because they have more resources to devote to new media.

So here’s the conundrum ( one of my favourite words- BTW)What’s a smaller company to do to compete in the vast Social universe? Here’s some help.

Start with the end in mind. Ensure your goals dictate your social media activities. There are three ways social media 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

Choose a goal and prioritize it. Many large companies organize their social media efforts around customer service.

First and foremost you have to Publish. You must produce content to make social media work, so learn how to create valuable content in some trendy publications (shout out to Dazzle Magazine), Web copy, a blog post or two. And utilizing some traffic-generating tactics like website or email advertising!

Understand people’s triggers/motivations. Don’t build content that revolves around you; build around what users care about and are interested in. .

Don’t overemphasize tactics!  David Meerman Scott Social media expert says: “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. Don’t try to control or direct the message…you’re going to have to learn to let go of the message; it’s on the backs of others that your social efforts will shine. Get people—persons with lots of friends and followers, influential tweeters, and industry evangelists—to care about you, and they’ll take your story to infinity and beyond!

Key Lesson: Reach out in a creative and responsive way, regardless 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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