Happy New Year! In this coming year, I hope that more of these small companies hop on the bandwagon and realize the possibilities that social and new media have for them.
I understand and do like the uniqueness and charm of a small boutique company that seems like family, but in an economy like ours and in a growing world like ours, the success of a company like that is not likely.
Having a presence on social media allows your company to extend its reach and gain a voice on the new platform where your current and possible future customers are.
Of course, how involved any company chooses to get with social media depends 100% on the target customers. This partially comes from the general 80/20 rule. 80% of your products/services are bought by 20% of your audience. Take a look at this post from Entrepreneurs-Journey blog about the 80/20 rule. (Ok, that little bit about the 80/20 rule may have been a little bit of a tangent, but I wanted to make sure to tell you about it) What I am trying to say is that your customers are the ones who should be deciding which platform you should be on, not you. Your company is catering to them and not the other way around.
These smaller Ma and Pa stores are starting to put up signs in their windows about being on Facebook or Twitter which is a great start, but in all honesty, it is completely pointless if your audience doesn’t even use these platforms. This new year, I small businesses come up to speed in an intelligent and well researched manner.
Take a look at a few specialty social networks:
Dog Lovers: http://www.dogster.com/
Interior Design: http://mydesignstories.net/
Foodies (there are soo many of these): http://www.foodcandy.com/
Sailing Enthusiasts: http://www.sailingnetworks.com/default/welcome
These specialty networks, give specialty companies a more easy and direct way to communicate with their customers.
What are your thoughts about small businesses and their involvement in social media?