Sunday, November 14, 2010

Social Media in Small "Business"

I'm seeing the use of Social Media being used in a "backwards" fashion. Normally it's small business who's willing to leverage newer tools to their advantage, but with Social Media it seems to be just the opposite. I was noticing the company I used to work with, this is a small software development and web hosting shop, has nothing online outside their local network. None of their principals have a blog, no way of knowing anything about them without going to their website. Now websites are OK, but they tend to be stagnant and they require an active user to find them. I was explaining to one of the principals for this company, as a user if I'm looking for a software development company, I'm going to go with the one that has an ACTIVE web presence, the one that shows that they are leaders, as opposed to those that just have websites. I think a small business that doesn't have an active presence, is doing themselves harm.

Active vs. Passive

I was thinking about Active vs. Passive while on a tour for a local plantation where I live. This plantation is cared for by the local museum and they are begging for people to come out to their events, they have postings on their website, they print out fliers and use word of mouth. This is good for people who are actively looking for something to do, this isn't good for people who may just be sitting around wondering what they could do today. A very simple Twitter or Facebook posting is a great way to push out information to these passive searchers, now passive isn't a negative, it could be that the person is just too lazy to search for something, but it could be that the person is so active that they don't have time to look for things to do, or they might be planning the next week, month, etc... when they see the posting. I feel this museum is in the end hurting their goal by not posting on Twitter/Facebook, it isn't that difficult, it takes maybe an hour to set up both Twitter/Facebook and then have Facebook accept the feed from Twitter. The museum would then just need to post to Twitter and have it propagate to Facebook. You can then configure Twitter/Facebook to email you if there's any need for attention.

This same issue goes for my local municipality, I'm renting here now, but I'm looking to purchase soon. I make a very good income, but I would refuse to live here, they have no social policy, they alert their citizens to events by placing a gasoline run sign board on the main road in town, sigh talk about a waste in money. I've spoken to both the Museum and the City about using social media, but they don't see the reason why. I explain to them, but they then admit that they have passed a resolution AGAINST using social media, again this is backwards. Why would you pass a resolution against something that could only make you money?


How you get people to change is beyond me. There seems to be a wall set up by many older users. I was at a conference in Miami recently and one of the people lecturing says that he's using social media, but doesn't see that it's any good. This is upsetting to me. Social media isn't going to solve all your problems, but it needs to be seen as another tool to use in the arsenal of marketing and networking. Get to know people who do have followers, become a leader (don't just post marketing material, people will see you as a spammer), show that you're a person and share with people.

No comments: