Tree photographed by Mike Fay.
The following is written by Marcus Sheridan. He is the face behind The Sales Lion, where he writes about sales, marketing, business, and how to be, as he says, freaking awesome! He tweets as @TheSalesLion.
When I first started studying the principles of inbound marketing and social media, I was struck with the number of media I ‘just had to implement’ based on everything I was hearing from the experts. From Facebook, to blogging, to Twitter, to LinkedIn, to YouTube….the list goes on and on and on, and seems to grow every day.
The problem with this reality is that it’s simply too intimidating for 99% of the small business owners in the world to handle. Why? Because the majority of small biz owners do not have much, if any, marketing staff, and so they’re stuck trying to handle social media and marketing on their own.
When this happens, and they see the mountain of stuff ‘they should be doing’, it’s common to see one of two reactions:
1. They turn and run the other way.
2. They end up attempting as many social media platforms as possible, and essentially become a jack of all trades and master of none.
I’ve seen both cases again and again and again, which is why I’m a huge advocate of becoming great in one area, and then branching out from there.
Blogging Saves a Business
To give you an example, just over 2 years ago my swimming pool company was in bad shape (Yes, along with writing about marketing and sales concepts I’m a pool guy 😉 ). The economy had rocked us and I wasn’t quite sure what we were going to do about it. To make a long story short though, we ended up embracing inbound marketing concepts, and instead of focusing on a huge amount of platforms, we decided that blogging fit our business needs the best.
By going after a long-tail keyword strategy focused on common consumer questions and answers, within a very short amount of time our organic search traffic shot through the roof. You see, in the swimming pool business, just as is seen in most other blue-collar industries, there is a major dearth of quality content on the web.
Because of this, we knew things were ripe for the picking and after only 12 months of content creation (2-3 articles a week) our website became the number one swimming pool site in the world—all because of blogging. No Facebook. No Twitter. No LinkedIn.
Now does this mean that we should never embrace these other media? No, of course not. In fact, today we’re heavily involved with YouTube and just starting to gain traction on Facebook. But when your business is small and there is only a finite amount of time to dedicate to marketing, picking one medium and being great at it is clearly better than simply signing up for a bunch of SM accounts and hoping the magic somehow happens. Because as we know, the beauty behind social media is that we have to earn our success. The concept of ‘just signing up’ is completely worthless and irrelevant.
Facebook as a Core
I have a client who owns a small-town burger joint.
Because his customer base is in such a rural area, upon looking at social media we decided Facebook would best suit his needs. Therefore, knowing his only focus would be to attain as many FB fans as possible and then leverage this list, my client made it a point to invite every single customer that came through the front doors to be a fan.
Within 6 months, he’d achieved 800 fans, a very large amount for the area in which he’s located and way more than any other restaurant within 40 miles. Today, whenever he needs a cash infusion or is looking to promote an event, it’s all over FB, and the results are astonishing. But just as I mentioned before, the man has never written a blog or made a tweet in his life.
He’s a Facebook superstar, and because of it his business is profitable in a time when most restaurants are sucking wind.
Time to Make a Choice
To close, I’d challenge all small businesses to ask this simple question:
Am I a social media jack of all trades or am I a master of one?
Depending on your answer, I can assure you that a focused social media campaign will be one of the best marketing decisions your company has ever made.