I’m conducting a live webinar on the topic of social media, including my thoughts on where most small businesses should start (hint it may not be twitter) Wednesday, June 17th at 2pm EDT as part of a continuing series for the Verizon Small Business Center. Come join me! Register here.
One of the big questions that small businesses wrestle with right now is not whether they should participate in social media, but how to do it ways that make sense, show some return, and don’t drive them crazy.
I may get some debate on this point, but as far as I’m concerned the way to hit the social media sweet spot is to carefully balance three elements simultaneously: Content, Engagement and Management. It’s actually pretty hard to enjoy any measure of success long-term without all three in place.
Content – this is the systematic creation, optimization and placement of ideas, images, audio, and video in all the various outposts that can open up doors of introduction to prospects and search engines alike.
Engagement – this is the catalyst that turns that content into meaningful relationship and trust building. When your relevant wired content converges with the authentic interaction and human engagement possible in one to one social networks, you’ve got a winning combination.
Management – small business have limited resources, including time and human engagement, particularly the surface kind that is so easy to enjoy in social networks, can be a dynamic time eater.
So, you see, it’s the blend that’s crucial. Engagement without the content in place that gives you the ability to move to monitization is where many people get stuck on the idea of social media. Planned strategic use of content that creates the right kind of engagement and a set of tools to optimize time spent doing both is the only sane way for small businesses to participate.