Small Business Social Media: A Noisy Waste of Time?

Small Business Social Media: A Noisy Waste of Time?

How's this for a reality check: Only 24 percent of small businesses have received sales leads from social media, with just 1 percent saying social media has assisted their business growth, according to a survey commissioned by UPS. The big question: Does that mean 99 percent of SMB social media efforts are pure noise that waste time, money and staff resources?

Of course, I'm a bit biased. I remain a strong believer in quality social media. But therein is the challenge: How do you develop quality, compelling messages to pump out through your social media networks?

In some instances, I realize readers consider Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to be social media islands where you can control your individual communities. But I look at the market slightly differently: I consider social media sites to be highways back to your corporate Web site or corporate blog. The idea is to reel readers in to your corporate messaging, special offers, thought leadership, etc. Be conversational but have a "next step" to keep readers coming back from more.

Alas, it sounds like most SMBs don't see valuable messages flowing through social media. Perhaps that would change if more people actually measured the impact of their social media campaigns (here are 10 ways to do so). And these seven tips can help you to actually develop a social media campaign.

Tips aside, I realize there's a lot of noise on social media networks. I wonder: Will more MSPs rise above the noise, or will small businesses increasingly view social media as a time sink?

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