Social Media for the Local Business Owner

You may have noticed the World Wide Web over the last few years has caused a shift in the way business is conducted today.

The Web’s Effect on Business

The Web has redefined the boundaries for traditional brick and mortar businesses and their online counterparts, and that hasn’t gone unnoticed by many of today’s best online web content providers.

And while we’ve stayed on top of these changes that have happened over the last few years, many traditional businesses were left by the wayside because they continued to do business with blinders on.

They didn’t realize that what worked in the traditional business world would not carry over as well to the Web, because the rules of real world commerce don’t apply to their web based counterparts.

Adjusting to a New Life on the Web

With their pockets overflowing with more than enough cash to spare, many larger retailers hired companies that specialized in internet marketing, while all the small business owner could do was compete with them on a lesser scale.

But local small business owners aren’t conducting business in the same waters alongside their larger counterparts. They’re swimming in smaller ponds, but they still have limitations…and their biggest limitations are their advertising budgets.

Many small local business owners tend to shy away from anything other than traditional advertising because they’re already familiar with it, even though they realize that it’s also very expensive.

But for a fraction of the cost of a traditional advertising campaign, a savvy small business owner can work with a local online content provider and use social media’s power to build their brand effectively.

The Power of Social Media Branding

A small local business can gain more exposure from a marketing campaign, specifically targeted to their local market, instead of through a single traditional advertising method.

Most small business owners have the wrong idea about Facebook and Twitter. Their first impression of both of these social media platforms is that they’re both a waste of time, a viewpoint reinforced by their kids’ fixation with them.

Frankly, they don’t understand the powerful effect Facebook and Twitter can have combined as part of an online marketing campaign.

A small business owner can take advantage of Facebook by creating a fan page for their business. A Facebook fan page can be used to announce special events, sales promotions, and offer coupons.

Twitter can be used in tandem with a Facebook fan page, tweeting anything that’s been announced on the fan page. Twitter can also be used during a live event, tweeting things that your followers would be interested in, all in real time as they’re happening.

Other Social Media Channels to Consider

Other social media channels that drive targeted traffic to small business sites are:

  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Tumblr

These sites are tools that should be used to drive traffic ideally to a landing page on a small business website, one that’s been optimized for specific keywords relevant to a related product, service or sales event.

The YouTube Age of Video

And then there is video. YouTube is a viable social media channel that lends credibility and strengthens your brand and your message.

Video may not be the first thing a small business owner would immediately turn to, but its power to connect globally is undeniable. One YouTube video has the potential to be viewed by thousands of local customers.

But a YouTube video isn’t limited to just a single geographic location, instead it is broadcasted for all eyes to see.

Place that video on the business owner’s site and you’ve created a marketing juggernaut, and again the out of pocket cost to the small business owner’s marketing budget is zero.

The Great Equalizer

Social Media automatically levels the playing field for the small business owner, giving them the power to not only brand their business on both a local and national level, but without breaking their bank.

Lew N is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.


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