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BizReport : Social Marketing : May 31, 2010

Top 3 social tips for small businesses

When it comes to small businesses budgets are tight and time is even tighter. This is why many have tried to incorporate social networks into the advertising plan. But, although the small business owner may have the best of intentions, social network marketing can take more time and money than they have available. To make the most of social marketing, small businesses need a plan. Here are three tips from Pam Springer with Manta.

by Kristina Knight

manta.jpgFirst, how important is the success of the small business?

"80% of US companies have 9 employees or less. So, I think the consumer discretionary spending has gotten tighter, but you can tie the increase in spending to the small business owners who are still struggling," said Pam Springer, CEO of Manta. "I think we have a long way to go in the current economy, but once the recovery is in full swing I think [the economy] will be really strong."

To get to that stronghold, small businesses are trying new things, including social marketing. Here are a few tips from Pam on social marketing.

1. Claim your profile. It may seem like a head-slap moment, but there are a number of companies who never claim their online profile, leaving that profile open to competitors or fraudsters to take on. Claiming the profile is as simple as opening a CRM system to share information about the brand, products or services available on a regular basis. Using Manta's system, small businesses can tell others about their associations, offer profile links to social networks and even clickable badges which offer more information.

2. Work the social stream. Don't just open a profile on Facebook, Twitter or another social network and consider the work done. In the social space information is key and if you don't offer information, consumers won't stay in contact.
"There are some things that are sustainable, that you don't have to constantly update and change," said Ms. Springer. "But, as a small business owner, the marketing component [of social networks] is important. You have to have something sustainable. Businesses have to understand that socnets aren't going to bring in a lot of revenue, but they will drive traffic to areas where the ROI will greatly increase."

3. Offer something. It doesn't have to be a 50% off coupon every day, but small businesses in the social space must offer their followers something. Additional information about a product, tips or alternate uses for a product, trivia and - yes - deals. And, don't forget to brand that information. Don't just throw up information in a status update, use your brand name, use a call to action and invite comments in some cases.

A recent study from FedEx Office found that small businesses are set to increase both their online and offline advertising spending as the economy seems to be turning around. Over half of small businesses believe their business will be fully recovered from the recession by the end of 2010 and 42% planning to increase their ad budgets this year.

Many of these businesses will push money into brochures (43%) or signs/banner and flyers (37%), but nearly half (46%) say they will increase their online profiles in an effort to drive more revenue. About one-third will push farther into the social space to engage with and convert more consumers.

Tags: business profiles, Manta, Pam Oliver, small business advertising, small businesses, social marketing, social networks, social profiles

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  • Daniel bird

    Some links Broken additionally.

  • Good Tips! With regards to Social CRM, here's an interesting whitepaper that will shead some light on how social capabilities work together with a CRM solution, visit

  • I work in the music industry and see these three very simple steps often ignored. It's all about branding and appeal.



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