Seth Godin has posted an excellent article which contains perfect advice for small businesses who want to use social media as part of a marketing strategy.
Some readers will have panic attacks when they see the comments about consultants (of which I am one) and strategy, i.e. not having one.
There is so much average content and counsel out there for small businesses, but for me this post makes a great case for how a SMEs can market themselves with a tiny budget, a bit of nous and some hard work.
Read it via the link or have a look at his tips which are cut and paste below.
Here is Seth’s Post:
What if your organization or your client has done nothing?
What if they’ve just watched the last fourteen years go by? No real website, no social media, no permission assets. What if now they’re ready and they ask your advice? And, by the way, they have no real cash to spend…
Here’s a list of my top ten things to consider doing:
• Use gmail to give every person in the organization that can read English an email address.
• Use a free website creating tool or even Squidoo to build a page about your company. Nothing fancy, but list your locations, your people (with addresses) and make it clear you want to hear from people.
• Start an email newsletter using Mad Mimi or Mail Chimp. Give the responsibility for the newsletter’s creation and performance to one person and offer them a bonus if they exceed metrics in sign ups and in reducing churn.
• Start a book group for your top executives and every person who answers the phone, designs a product or interacts with customers. Read a great online media book a week and discuss. It’ll take you about a year to catch up.
• Offer a small bonus to anyone in the company who starts and runs a blog on any topic. Have them link to your company site, with an explanation that while they work there, they don’t speak for you.
• Have the president post her (real) email address in every invoice and other communication the company sends out, asking people to write to her with comments or questions.
• Start a newsletter for your vendors. Email them regular updates about what you’re doing, what’s selling and what problems are going on internally that they might be able to help you with.
• Do not approve any project that isn’t run on Basecamp.
• Get a white board and put it in the break room. On it, have someone update: how many people subscribe to the newsletter, how many people visit the website, how many inbound requests come in by phone, how long it takes customer service to answer an email and how often your brand names are showing up on Twitter every day.
• Don’t have any meetings about your web strategy. Just do stuff. First you have to fail, then you can improve.
• Refuse to cede the work to consultants. You don’t outsource your drill press or your bookkeeping or your product design. If you’re going to catch up, you must (all of you) get good at this, and you only accomplish that by doing it.
The problem is no longer budget. The problem is no longer access to tools.
The problem is the will to get good at it