Tag Archives: referral networkng

Does Social Media Work?

If you’ve wondered whether you should engage social media for your business, the April 17th edition of USA Today shared the results of a study you might find interesting.

Here are some of the key elements of the article by Oliver St. John for you to consider as a business owner:

The CEO of Manta, Pam Springer, is quoted as saying the negative impression business owners have about using social media is “…probably because they don’t know how to launch a successful social-media campaign…”  She recommends connecting with other business owners to get advice, but only 36% of businesses do this.

There are resources available for business owners to connect with other owners and discuss topics such as social media.  In Green Bay, there’s a networking group consisting of only business owners that meets the 1st Wednesday of every month at the Green Bay Yachting Club.  There are other networking organizations for business owners as well.

The CEO of Crackerjack Marketing, Stephanie Schwab, is cited in the article as saying many small businesses “…just don’t have a place in social media.”  She’s right in the sense you need not put your business in the social media environment because of peer or media pressure to be there.  What she adds is that you need to know what you’re trying to get out of a social media campaign.

That’s common sense when it comes to marketing your business.  Far too many business owners lack a strategy for marketing their products and services.  If the only reason you advertise on TV is because the sales representative talked you into buying the time, you will either stumble into success or endure costly failure.  You need to strategize and, as Schwab adds, use “…marketing techniques already proved to work, such as having a website.”

One of the business owners covered near the end of the article said social media hasn’t helped her business, which sells $5,000 to $40,000 pool jobs.  She added, however, that out of the 200-300 jobs she does every  year, three or four come from people online.  Even at the low ($5,000 level) end, that could be as much as $20,000!

She gets most of her customers through referrals.  That is the preferred way to get new business for most of us, and what business owners fail to realize is that they should have a strategy for that aspect of marketing their business as well.

I always find articles such as this one fascinating, especially when 61% of small businesses fail to see any return on their investment in social media.  A similar article in Advertising Age, a marketing trade publication, a few years ago cited a study that showed roughly the same percentage (62%) of advertisers were dissatisfied with their agencies.  What I’ve discovered and believe strongly in is that, as a business owner, you must take the time to think through what your business is all about; less about where you’ve been and more on where you want to be.

When that picture is clear, how you need to market your business also becomes clear.  The proprietary process used at Brand Irons can walk you through the process, save you money over the long run, and add to your bottom line if you’re willing to change the way you’ve always done things.

To answer the question posed in the headline:  Yes, if you have a strategy that is designed to reach your target demographic.