I was watching a brief “internet marketing” bit suggesting how small businesses were spending too much money (! ?) on social media efforts when they should be focusing on their websites and using social media primarily to drive people to their sites. I winced at this, feeling that the opposite advice is probably better advice. I tell folks to focus on social media and use websites to drive potential customers to …. YOU…. or to Twitter or Facebook or email exchanges where they can interact with the business in the kinds of ways that don’t just make a customer – they make a LOYAL customer. Social media allows people to engage in the most virtuous business cycle – where customers and businesses develop a relationship based on mutual trust, respect, value, and quality.
The internet has always been more about PEOPLE than about TECHNOLOGY, but only recently has it allowed so much vibrant interactivity between many people in simple, fun venues.
Of course as with many pieces of bad advice, there’s is some truth to what the marketing consultant was saying about fretting over your website more than most small businesses do . Small Businesses should work hard to make sure their websites do a good job of serving their customers, converting to sales, and presenting their business in a very positive light.
However, social media is – at long last – the pure intersection of customers with the people at the business and for that reason you can’t overstate how important social media can be to a small business, especially because it’s an incredibly *efficient* way to do what most great and smart small businesses do a lot of – talking to customers.
Don’t agree? Cool, just Twitter me about it, leave a comment here, or email me. It’s an online social cornucopia and no business or idea needs to be left behind anymore.