Believe it or not, Social media is a mystery to many, particularly those of us of a “certain age”, many of whom are running their own small businesses.
They know it is important to their businesses, know that their competitors are probably using it too beat them over the head, but how to proceed and find a way to understand and leverage the power, and importantly, where to find the time is still a mystery. Often managing and engaging on Social media is a task left to their kids, the summer intern, or the bloke next door who dabbles a bit, which almost inevitably ends in tears.
Couple of weeks ago over the course of a morning, I collaborated with a colleague, Nelson Luc of Asprout to deliver an information session to a group of small business people and their friends and colleagues from Inner West Referrals in Sydney.
I did the “strategic” stuff, what it was, how it worked, when to use it, and a bit about the evolution that is going on at the speed of a rampaging bull, while Nelson gave a session on the specifics of Google adwords and Facebook ads. These were things they had specifically asked about in a pre-session survey, and a couple of days later, I gave a couple of them a session over a coffee on the basics of Linkedin, and some of the simple tools available in the free version.
The intention was to remove a bit of the mystery, to create a sense that curiosity and experimentation , to offer a few simple tools to start with, and to leave them with the understanding so long as you applied a bit of common sense, and an open mind, Social Media is not so scary. It is just a tool, one that when well used is a wonderful tool for small businesses to get their message out in a way impossible for them just a few years ago.
It all went well, the scores given in the session feedback form were the sorts of scores I usually just dream about, and I see several have dipped their toes into the water, that now seems a little less murky.