Small & Medium Business’ Use of Social Media

In 2011 an association that I was then president of, Team Ivy Networking Breakfast, Inc. dba Team Ivy Business, held its monthly breakfast (3rd Wednesday of every month) with a representative from Groupon. The topic:  The Inner Workings of Groupon. This was one of our highest attended networking events of the year. One reason was that many of the attendees had Groupon fever.  Another reason was that it was our first social media-related presentation since our inception!

Just like with the Team Ivy Business group, many small to medium businesses have minimal exposure to the powers of social media. We’ve all heard of it. Many of us use them for networking or social engagement purposes. I personally am on MySpace (I know, not what it used to be), Facebook, Twitter (SmallBizMgmt), and LinkedIn. I use Posterous to post things I notice throughout the day to other mini-blogs. However, I don’t yet have a clear strategy for harnessing the power of all of these for my company.

Here’s an excerpt from an article, Socially Challenged: Smaller companies are lagging behind in developing social media strategies, on CFO.com written by Alix Stuart, “Business-to-consumer companies can also use tools like coupon services, such as Groupon, to reach customers, a tactic that generated high levels of satisfaction from users in the SMB survey. “Coupons are easy to do and you see immediate results, whereas building a Facebook community takes time,” says Aggarwal. (Still, fewer than 10% of the businesses surveyed were using the services, indicating that smaller companies are taking their time even on the easy plays.)” (Click here to read the entire article, Socially Challenged.)

For those of you who are in the same boat I’m in, I highly recommend engaging with someone who does know how to leverage social media, whether it’s through hiring a firm, hiring a part-time or full-time employee, or implementing a contest. If you want to know what your customers are thinking and saying, or you want to influence those thought and words, social media is your tool. Use it.