3 Ways Small Business Can Take Advantage of the Web

If you’re an executive or business owner looking for a good reason to ignore social media in your business, here’s some potentially good news.  You can simply ignore it if you can say “I agree” to all three of the following statements:

  1. I have more business than you know what to do with.  
  2. Robust relationships aren’t important for customer satisfaction and referrals in my business.
  3. I don’t need more traffic to my website.

How did you do? I suspect most of you didn’t pass the test.

Unfortunately, that means you can’t exempt yourself from marketing your business, networking with customers, and improving your company’s visibility and traffic on the web. Under those circumstances let me introduce you to the ABCs of social media — or, I should say, the MNOs: Marketing, Networking, and Optimization.

Marketing is the creation and distribution of content and messages throughout the Internet via social media sites. The medium can be a blog, YouTube, or iTunes. The content can be commentary, how-to videos, white papers, case studies, press releases, event announcements or articles. It can even be just a headline with a link to an article you just read. But it’s not only good content that counts anymore. You need a network of followers want to read what you send.

Networking is about building a community. Community is the new currency.  And online is where millions of people are spending their time. Go where the eyes are watching, ears are listening, and fingers are doing the walking. Social media are no longer just for kids or fun. They are the strategic tools a business must use to connect with and engage employees and customers. 

Optimization is about using social media to boost a website’s ranking in search engines and drive traffic back to the company’s website. Optimization is both an outcome and a strategy. Without optimization, your chances of being found when someone searches for you are nil to none. Search engine monsters like Google and Yahoo feed on new content and referrals from one site to another. The more content you post and the more people that follow is bound to boost your website’s popularity, which ultimately improves your ranking.

Where should you start? Not every business will need to engage social media on all three fronts. Pick one: marketing, networking, or optimization. Your choice will determine the strategy you need to develop and the best media to use.
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