Small Town social media, to be or not to be? Seems to me that small town businesses have a tremendous amount to gain by using social media tools. I personally like to do business with my neighbors, even if it costs me a bit more, because when they do well, we all have a bit more safety and security in our community.
So I want to carry the start up social media message to my neighbors. In fact, in my counseling practice, I have been an online business evangelist for quite a while, although I do not think I have any takers yet. So imagine my surprise when I went looking for the Chamber of Commerce website in the small community where my children go to school, and there wasn’t one. I was really surprised because my online businesses are greatly enhanced by all the free online social media tools I use, including Blog Talk Radio, Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, Stumbleupon, Yahoo Buzz, Delicious, Mixx, and Digg for example.
Used with discipline, those tools expand my reach far beyond what I could hope to have with the more traditional marketing tools like newspaper and tv. For example, one of my twitter accounts has 16,000 followers and a good friend of mine has 34,000 in one of his twitter accounts. If I tweet my followers about a special I am offering, and he retweets it, that message has the possibility of reaching 50,000 sets if eyeballs in a matter of seconds.
The circulation of my local newspaper is 57,000, (I think), and it reaches its subscribers once a day. Twitter can reach my 50,000 as often as I want to tweet. (Please be advised that twitter should not be used as a sales tool per se, but as a relationship building tool first). Then if some one of my followers retweets, my message goes out to all their followers and so on.
You may ask is Twitter have any use at all? Well, for example, when the terrorist struck Mumbai a couple of years ago, there were real time messages going out on Twitter at least an hour before main stream media, like CNN knew about the events in Mumbai. Same with relief to Haiti after the earthquake there last year. Folks were organizing relief efforts through Twitter long before the Federal bureaucracy could hope to respond.
So Twitter can be a very effective tool for real time communication in an emergency, and if you let it, it can be a total waste of time. Twitter and social media marketing tools need to be used with a plan.
I hope you will let me work with you on your plan.
Another tool which allows us small time fish to enter the global market place is Youtube. You may think that any video that actually brings sales has to be professionally produced, like an advertisement. That is not true. I have been building little talking heads videos and posting them to my Youtube channel for a year and a half or so, and the last time I checked, I had over 26,000 views.
So social media tools can expand my reach for my small town business exponentially, and they can be done on my time and at my schedule. I could even have my next door neighbor featured with me. We could offer a two fer kind of coupon online.
So I think I will talk to the President of the local chamber of commerce and see if he is interested in some small town social media tools. Talk to you all tomorrow. Mike