As well as being a post to give you some background about my thoughts and use of social media as a small business owner; ‘this is an entry into the JoanneDewberry.co.uk blogging competition‘
Topic: “Is social media a vital tool in any small business marketing plan?” Discuss
The simple answer to the question – is social media a vital tool in any small business marketing plan is a resounding ‘yes’ but getting it right is a tricky business (and I doubt that I am anywhere near that yet).
Social media – the use of facebook, twitter, pinterest, Google+, linkedin, you tube etc (the list is endless) is the way that people connect and share information on the Internet and on the most part is free for the users. The free nature of social media makes it easily accessible to the small business with a small marketing budget and therefore a vital part of any marketing plan.
Small businesses (especially Internet based ones) need to take every opportunity that they can to connect with their customers and potential customer base and therefore a presence on social media sites is vital.
At Littlesheep Learning we are trying to be socially active and we have a facebook page, a twitter profile, some videos on you tube (must make some more), a very sketchy presence on pinterest and Google+ and as it’s owner I’m on LinkedIn… plus of course we have this blog and participate in blog carnivals and linkys to try and gain new readers (potential customers).
Small businesses undoubtedly have an advantage over bigger businesses in their use of social media because of the personal touch. The owners of small businesses know their business inside out in a way that a hired member of staff rarely can, small business owners can interact with individual customers and want to share information that will help them. Social media can also link businesses with suppliers, journalists, editors and other business service providers; providing networking opportunities that can help a small business develop further.
But as with all things there is a draw back – using social media takes time… in fact… a lot of time; and time is something that most small business owners (especially mums in business juggling their family and work commitments) are often lacking. As evidenced by my patchy use of social media channels this means that making a social media plan is essential so that it doesn’t suck every spare minute of your time but is effective in reaching your customers – any tips gratefully received!
Littlesheep Learning sells educational toys, games, books, puppets and learning resources to parents, carers, teachers and educators helping children learn.