As social media becomes increasingly widespread and prevalent in today's world of business, it's especially essential for small businesses to take advantage of this marketing channel. Small businesses do not typically have the resources of bigger, more established companies, thus an effective social media strategy can be the key difference in levelling the playing field. However, merely having a social media presence will not be sufficient. As with any other marketing channel, small businesses must learn to leverage social media networks strategically and engage in order to maximize its value and influence.
As covered by this article on Forbes.com, there are a few things that small businesses should be aware of when starting up a social media presence. One common mistake that some small businesses make is allocating too many resources to their social media activities. Although social media accounts are free to create and maintain, time is a valuable commodity and it can be counterproductive to be active on every single social media platform all at once. It's important to first conduct demographic research thoroughly to select the specific social media platforms that can best connect with the target audience. Once the appropriate social media sites have been determined, it's paramount to encourage open communication and actively engage with the customers. At its roots, social media is meant to be a two-way street so if a small business is only concentrating on self-promotion, it would be just as bad as having a completely dormant social media account.
In this day and age, social media has become ubiquitous and deeply embedded in daily life. If unfamiliar with what can be done and what shouldn't be done in the social media space, it's understandably daunting for any small business to want to be involved.
This infographic, http://www.intuit.com/websites/small-business-social-media-infographic/ helps visualizes what the socialsphere can do for small businesses. Once a small business is able to harness the powerful effects of social media, it can truly be one of the most effective marketing tools at their disposal.