Sunday, September 9, 2012

It's all about connecting....

It's all about connecting...  As businesses, we are told repeatedly to network. We network through the chamber, we network through business or trade associations, we network through vendors or suppliers, we network through friends and family and we network through our customers. 

With Social Media and Email Marketing, we can expand our network even more. So, why are some businesses still not utilizing these very important tools? Is it Cost? For the most part most of the tools available are free or the cost is very minimal - especially when compared to paid advertising and dues to various associations. Time? For businesses this is more precious and more important than the cost. We have very little of this precious commodity. Understanding or knowledge of the tools available? The learning curve can be somewhat daunting, especially for those with very little time to learn.

What's in it for me? Or, Why should I? Social Media and Email Marketing are about connecting. Some businesses expect to see some sort of return on their investment, but it is not just about the money, it is about connecting, staying connected and interacting with those connections. These tools have opened up doors and opportunities that were never there before. It has expanded a businesses ability to broaden and widen their reach. It allows them to do one of the most important and fundamental parts of business - to stay in front of their customers. It also allows them to be introduced to new ones.

So, what are the options for a small business?

1. Do you yourself.  PRO - Saves the business money.  CON -  TIME, it does take time to learn and time to use. Inexperience, not utilizing the tools correctly or frequently.

2. Have a friend or family member do it. - PRO -  Saves the business money. Helps with the time factor. CON - They could be inexperienced in the proper business use of the tools.

3. Hiring someone to maintain and grow your social media and email marketing, whether it's an employee or a marketing consultant.  PRO - Saves time. Allows you to focus on what you do best in the business. Experience and the knowledge. CON - Cost, but even this could be conceived as a pro - the return on this investment  can be very valuable when done correctly.