Constant Contact just rolled out a new web site geared toward making it easier for small businesses to make best use of social media. Just do a Google search of social media help for small businesses and you will no doubt find a whole lot more.
This is good news for any business owner looking to maximize their revenue streams, improve communication and network with other businesses using social media. It is also good news for anyone looking to increase brand awareness using social media.
It is bad news, however, for people who tend to believe everything they read online.
I say “bad news” because too often there is just as much mis-information available as genuine usable information and it is hard to differentiate between the two. Especially if you don’t know much about your subject in the first place. That’s why I recommend using a social media professional who can provide you with personalized, one-on-one service. They can meet with you, discuss your specific needs and help you contrive a plan which will deliver the specific results you are looking for.
A social media professional makes their living off their own success stories.
This means your success is doubly important to them. A social media professional has a vested interest in your success. Plus, this is how they make their living, so they know a lot about how it all works; what works and what doesn’t and what will get you the results you need.
Small businesses that are just now considering using social media might ask: Where the heck do we start?
It’s tough to blame them. The sites and features change regularly–as does the menu of services and advice that swirl around. There aren’t many consensus metrics for measuring business effectiveness, either. (What’s a Facebook “like” worth to a real estate brokerage, for example?) Yet the social boom doesn’t show many signs of slowing–recent Pew Research Center data shows nearly half of U.S. adults are on at least one site.
Constant Contact has rolled out a new site for small companies hoping to engage with that growing audience, but are either unsure of where to begin or how to take a planned, results-oriented approach, rather than simply firing blindly and hoping social efforts hit their intended targets. The online marketing firm’s Social Media Quickstarter is a free educational service; essentially, a crash course in the fundamentals of social media for smaller businesses. Mark Schmulen, Constant Contact’s GM for social media, said in an interview that while some SMBs are very socially savvy, others find that it resides outside of their wheelhouse.
“They’re very much domain experts–they’re the best tax accountant out there–but when it comes to technology and marketing, there are things they know they should be doing or think they should be doing,” Schmulen said. “We don’t think that this is going to appeal to every small business out there, but certainly the larger market–they need help.”
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