Search Bar, I Love You.

Social media is a buzz term these days, but you may not understand what it is, much less the impact it can have on your small business.  If you don’t know what it is, it’s time you learn because affordable marketing of your business is key to your success, and social media is, if nothing else, affordable.

Way back when, my Dad ran a big ad in the local newspaper every Tuesday; that was the beginning and end of his marketing and he did great.  Things have, shall we say, changed.  The local paper is almost gone, and it more often comes in the form of a computer screen than the paper version we love to remember.  Radio used to a key to local small business marketing, but consolidation of radio ownership has driven up advertising rates.  Cable television can be productive because it allows you to target your message, but it’s very expensive and it takes awhile for your message to break through.  Direct mail can be effective if you know exactly who your target audience is, and even then, the cost per piece mailed might be prohibitive.

Which brings us back to social media, the simplest, fastest and most affordable way to market your small business.  When I say social media, I’m referring to Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn.  It doesn’t matter if you offer a product or a service, or if you sell direct to the consumer or through a distributor, one or more of these social media websites can help you.

My first advice is to relax, you don’t need to become a web expert, get an earring and spike your hair.  Social media has gone mainstream, and there are a lot of ways to easily and quickly train yourself.  You’ve heard the phrase, “there’s an app for that” well in that same vein, I guarantee any question you have about social media can be answered by going to www.Youtube.com, see the search bar in the upper right hand corner, type in your question, and there will be a short video answer.  How to use Twitter for small business?  There’s a video for that.  How to find customers on Facebook?  Yep, there’s a video for that.  I dare you, you can’t come up with a question about how to use social media to market your small business that isn’t answered with a video on YouTube.

Once you decide you want to have a social media presence, you’ll need to spend some time on it everyday.  I don’t mean putzing around Facebook checking out old high school buddies, I mean writing posts on the various sites about your products, business or service. But like riding a bike, the more you do it, the easier it becomes and the more fun you’ll have doing it.

While I can’t use this brief post to make you an expert on social media, I can do is point you in the right direction, and that direction is the search bar on YouTube.  Make the YouTube search bar your friend, and you’ll soon know a whole lot more about how to affordably and effectively market your small business in today’s world of social media.

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Tennessee Valley Group

Jim Cumbee established Tennessee Valley Group to help business owners fulfill their dreams for life after business ownership. It’s a mission that his 30+ year career history had prepared him well for—in addition to being an attorney, transition mediator and business broker, Jim has been a buyer, seller, and entrepreneur. His broad range of experience gives him unique insight into how business buyers and sellers can achieve their goals.

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