More on Small Businesses and Social Media

One brilliant thing about social media is that it doesn’t know you are a small business owner with less than 10 employees.  Social media allows for businesses of all sizes the ability to reach out and connect with your customer base.  As a small business owner, you can view the social media success of a few of the “bigger dogs” and model your own campaign in a similar fashion.

Comcast has done a splendid job of using the microblog Twitter to allow a two-way conversation with prospective and current customers of the cable giant.  Frank Eliason is the man behind the @ComcastCares and the eight Twitter team members located around the US.  By monitoring Twitter heavily for those who need help and even those who have a complaint about the cable company, Comcast connects directly with customers and makes them feel special.  This is something that isn’t lost on potential new customers.

Another company that has embraced social media and has effectively used it to connect with customers is Dell.  The computer giant has cultivated a cross-platform community that includes blogs, forums, and even an area entirely devoted to customer ideas as well as several Twitter accounts to keep tabs on and chat with both current and potential customers.  Dell is one of a very few companies active in the social media community that has stated they have created a return on investment from Twitter.  The social media efforts of the company has helped create $1 million in revenue.

Starbucks wanted to get a better feel for consumer feedback.  The Seattle based coffee giant created “My Starbucks Idea” – a way for Starbucks fans to submit suggestions that are voted on by other fans.  The most popular suggestions are then highlighted and reviewed.  Going even further, the company added an “Ideas in Action” blog.  This blog periodically sends out updates to users that keep them informed of the status of the changes and ideas that are implemented.

Don’t think it’s only the “bigger dogs” doing well in the social media realm.  Orglamix Cosmetics knows how to reach current and new customers and does this very well through Facebook and Twitter.  On a daily basis, this “Mompreneur” puts out information and runs quick contests for people to learn about and win some of her fantastic organic cosmetic products.  In one day, a single quick contest garnered this small business owner over 160 contacts – potential new customers all eager to try out her products.

By looking at what works and is eagerly accepted by the online community, small business owners can create their own social media campaign.  An integral part of growing one’s business is being able to keep tabs on both current and potential customers’ needs, wants and ideas.  The best part of utilizing social media to get the word out about your business is there is no initial income outlay – only a bit of your time is required.  Take the time to see where your customers gather online and connect to them for your business success!

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