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Social media marketing in 10 minutes a day

Social media marketing in 10 minutes a day Spencer Kollas

A number of my friends own their own businesses, and it is always interesting to me that, when we start talking about my job, they usually say the same thing: "Oh, email and social media marketing -- that is just for big companies. I don't have time for that stuff." Or, "No one can explain to me how it will help grow my business, so why would I spend my time tweeting?"


I always get a kick out of these types of responses. Sure, it takes time to do any kind of social or email marketing, but does that mean that it isn't worth it for smaller businesses? The short answer? No.


Let me explain how spending just 10 minutes a day on social marketing can enable a small business owner to generate true ROI. This example is actually a very personal one, as it has to do with my wife. See, my wife owns her own business through which she trains and consults companies on legal and human resource matters. My wife was one of those small business owners who told me she didn't have time to spend on Twitter -- let alone Facebook or any other social network -- to promote her business. Being that I believe in email and social marketing so much, I have been working with my wife to get her services more visible by using these services.


Over the past several months, she has made it a goal to spend at least 30 minutes a week on Twitter. As a result, and seemingly out of the blue, a company that follows her tweets reached out to her with a direct message on Twitter and requested a conference call to determine if their respective businesses complemented each other. After exchanging more detailed information on the services that each provides, they discussed ways in which they could market each other's services to their existing clients to offer a more "full-service" menu. After their second conference, which included marketing departments, both businesses realized that a mutual referral agreement would be a win-win for both companies. Both companies can make additional revenue by simply understanding the other's business and suggesting it to their clients. As a result of Twitter, the companies are now entering into a reciprocal referral contract.


So what can you, the small and medium business owner, learn from this example? Consider the following:



  • Marketing ROI doesn't always mean a direct sale. By engaging with others through various marketing platforms, your name and brand will be more recognizable, which will turn into more business and more sales.

  • By spending just a small amount of time each week, you can grow your network and grow your business.

  • Just because something is the new "it" thing for larger companies doesn't mean it can't work well for smaller companies as well.

Is social media just the latest craze in the marketing world? Or will your business actually suffer if you don't embrace it? To determine current trends, I always think it's wise to peek in the rearview mirror.


Let's talk baby boomers. This generation is famous for coining the phrase, "It's not what you know, it's who you know." When there are six equally qualified people for one job opening, your network is invaluable. As businesses became members of the global marketplace, this concept held true -- not just for people on an individual level, but for business-to-business networking.


Historically, how did one grow their network of people and increase their marketing reach? We have gone from a water cooler, country club, and neighborhood society to a global marketplace. No longer is it feasible to rely solely on historical marketing concepts. I have seen some reports that say that word of mouth is the primary factor behind 20 to 50 percent of all purchasing decisions. This word-of-mouth marketing momentum directly correlates to the rise of social networking sites and how people make decisions on what to buy and what businesses to work with.


Building partnerships with other similar businesses through social networking sites can lead to additional revenue for your business. It is these types of possibilities that many businesses are seeing right now, and why I truly believe that social marketing is more than a passing craze. It's important for all marketers to start developing a strategy, even if it means spending less than one hour a week in the beginning.


So if you are one of those people who doesn't believe that they have time to devote to social marketing, I suggest taking an inventory of your marketing efforts and ensuring that, at a minimum, a portion of your efforts are devoted to expanding your network and utilizing the social media avenues that are available to you.


Good luck and good sending.


Spencer Kollas is director of delivery services for StrongMail Systems.


On Twitter? Follow iMedia Connection at @iMediaTweet.

Spencer Kollas is a recognized industry leader in email deliverability and subscriber engagement. For more than a decade, Kollas has worked with the world’s foremost email marketers to help them connect with their customers and increase the...

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Comments

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Commenter: Claire Robinson

2010, September 20

The trouble with using social media is that you can be lulled into being too casual about your approach. it needs to be honest and open or you will be found out but that can bring with it it's own probiems so you need to get some good advice on how to use it well. This is a great article to inspire me to use it more but I need to know how to use it better.

Before this article I was reading about a series of seminars organised by Dell and the British Chambers of Commerce that provide advice on this subject and other technologies like cloud computing and virtualisation. If you need help as badly as I do check it out at http://www.britishchambers.org.uk/zones/business/events_1/dell-make-the-most-of-technology-events

Commenter: Joe Buhler

2010, May 11

Good post. Totally agree with the points made here. I face the same comments in travel, especially by independent hoteliers or service providers. Both in the B2B and B2C markets it pays to engage on the social web as part of an effective overall marketing strategy.

Commenter: Kathleen Sumagit-Rivera

2010, May 04

While utilizing social media can be beneficial, I do not think "It's important for all marketers to start developing a strategy” for social media. Some companies do not need to use social media. Depending on the target audience, tactics including word-of-mouth and using community contacts work better than social media. For example, if a company is selling a product to an audience of 60 years and older, social media will not be helpful. An older audience is likely to use traditional media. Therefore, more effort and time should be put into advertising with traditional media than new media.

Social media is an effective communication tool among the many that are available to companies. It is the company's decision to use those tools to promote their mission or goal. If social media will not help the company get their message across to their constituents, then what's the point of using it? Sure, it can be great for networking, but there are many ways to network without social media, such as attending conferences.

Commenter: Kathleen Sumagit-Rivera

2010, May 03

While utilizing social media can be beneficial, I do not think "It's important for all marketers to start developing a strategy” for social media. Some companies do not need to use social media. Depending on the target audience, tactics including word-of-mouth and using community contacts work better than social media. For example, if a company is selling a product to an audience of 60 years and older, social media will not be helpful. An older audience is likely to use traditional media. Therefore, more effort and time should be put into advertising with traditional media than new media.

Social media is an effective communication tool among the many that are available to companies. It is the company's decision to use those tools to promote their mission or goal. If social media will not help the company get their message across to their constituents, then what's the point of using it? Sure, it can be great for networking, but there are many ways to network without social media, such as attending conferences.

Commenter: Kathleen Sumagit-Rivera

2010, May 03

While utilizing social media can be beneficial, I do not think "It's important for all marketers to start developing a strategy” for social media. Some companies do not need to use social media. Depending on the target audience, tactics including word-of-mouth and using community contacts work better than social media. For example, if a company is selling a product to an audience of 60 years and older, social media will not be helpful. An older audience is likely to use traditional media. Therefore, more effort and time should be put into advertising with traditional media than new media.

Social media is an effective communication tool among the many that are available to companies. It is the company's decision to use those tools to promote their mission or goal. If social media will not help the company get their message across to their constituents, then what's the point of using it? Sure, it can be great for networking, but there are many ways to network without social media, such as attending conferences.

Commenter: Lonny Dunn

2010, May 02

Great Read. Thanks.

Getting the small business person to Tweet I have found works when explained as "Search Engine". By "following" relevant people or competitors in the "Find People" section, the small business owner is now kept up to date on news, announcements, and specialty business articles he won't find on CnnBusiness or Newsweek.

Let us expand this efficient time saving aspect to Twitter, for a moment.

This "search engine for small business growth content" can now be fed to Small Business Owner's desktop. By opening an iGoogle account ( 1.5 to 3 minute investment, free ) the Business Owner accomplishes two tasks: He can read his Inbox without opening the inbox ( time savings 2 or 3 minutes ) AND he can view all his tweets as they are fed to iGoogle.

I use that free tip alot, and it is amazing that people didn't even know it was there the whole time. But let's continue.

So now the small business person saves alot of time daily by feeding their Tweets to iGoogle, they can then do the same thing on his/her LinkedIn Account. On the bottom right corner, there is a Free Application Tool with a drop down menu. There is an application called "TWEETS" which feeds all those tweets and those he follows to his LinkedIN Profle. So instead of having to worry about good quality content on his LinkedIn Account, he has it provided free, it's avail to anyone who views his profile, and and the whole thing only took 2 minutes to set up!

But the greatest miracle of all is that the small business owner is participating. And gaining efficiency and being involved, and that is the miracle we are trying to achieve by teaching these things anyway, right?

Once viewed as sort of a weird, 140 character "thing" a sort of hybrid; Twitter shoud be explained and viewed as search engine, and an efficiency method, participation by Small Business, Employees of Corporations and everyone else becomes something they want to do, instead of "have" to do.

I am currently writing a book on Free Internet Efficiency Methods gathered from years of coaching professionals on how to do exactly this: Adopt a "balance" to social networking. If you have any free ideas, or would like to blog on any of my blogs, I would welcome your content, and of course a shout out and all your links and badges are welcome. Thanks for putting your stuff into layperson's terms. That' is important too.

I tweet at www.twitter.com/ProDevNetworker
Connect with me at www.linkedin.com/in/LonDunn

Dir of Operations SmartPeopleMarketing.Com

Commenter: Scott Kelly

2010, April 28

Great content Spencer !! Thank for the info. Inbound marketing, personal, branding, and social media, is changing the way we do business.

Scott R Kelly | Opportunity Facilitator http://scottrkelly.com

Commenter: Danielle Schulz

2010, April 27

Thanks for your article! I was inspired to add my mobile number to both my personal @danielletsb and business @recovery_today accounts for more connectivity in updates.

Social media is a new advent for our small business and I have been playing with ways to make it successful. We have received some sales leads via Twitter, but still looking for a meaningful connection with readership. And, of course, growing both. Thanks for the encouragement!

Commenter: Anna Palmer

2010, April 26

As the owner of a small startup this topic is timely. My product is a web based software app for non profits, so deciding to invest time in social media wasn't a tough call, but how much and where became a question. Reading, blogging, tweeting, re-tweeting, posting, linking ROI was tough for a small shop to measure. This morning I exchanged twitter pleasantries with a common tweep, she took time to dig around on my website and ended up sending out an unsolicited plug. I had two twitter inquiries in 10 minutes, @ replied with my cell phone and have one new user and another appointment. Go twitter! It takes time. Just keep tweeting.

Commenter: Spencer Kollas

2010, April 26

All--great comments
While I realize for many it does take more time then 10 minutes, this article was meant to be an example of how just spending a little time each day can make a big difference. Thanks again for all your comments/thoughts

Commenter: Nick Shin

2010, April 26

Disclosure: I am the SEM and Social Media Specialist @Marketwire (news release distribution): http://www.marketwire.com

Great post.

"10 minutes a day" might be too little to understand the true value of social media, but I get the point you were trying to give. At Marketwire, we launched a highly successful social media fitness campaign in January 2010 called the SM10x30. The purpose of this free social media program is to give PR practitioners and marketing professionals an opportunity to learn social media for free while allowing them to build their skills on their own time. Since its launch in January, we've had over 4,000 registered users. I highly recommend readers of your post to look into the program.

http://www.sm10x30.com

Really enjoyed the read.

Nick @shinng
http://www.twitter.com/marketwire
http://www.marketwireblog.com

Commenter: Lori Shecter

2010, April 26

Hi: Great info! However, I find that to really get traction, it takes more like two hours a day plus: to build your network of followings/users that are your core customer, to create compelling tweets, to respond to people who "follow you" to develop a compelling facebook strategy-- in order to get people to interact. My company (appdrenaline) builds websites and does gorilla marketing. We are also a smaller business so every minute counts.
Cheers-