Small Business Social Media: It’s All About Word of Mouth

Get your customers’ attention, and ensure their friends follow along

When it comes to social media, forget trying to figure out what to do with mobile or what those location-based services might mean. Don’t be distracted with fragmenting executions or developing multiple strategies from self-promoting to hype-taunting sources. Instead, focus your efforts with holistic attention on your customers and their friends and family.

From my perspective, this is no different from the days before social media existed.
When I was a kid, I would get my haircut at “el barbero’s” house, which happened to be five houses away from my abuela’s home. On hot summer days, I would eat “limbers” (frozen juice cups) from la casa del limber,” which happened to be just one block away from my house. These “establishments” didn’t have large signs outside. They were not listed in the local telephone directory book and did not advertise in the newspaper or local TV channels. But they definitely had plenty of customer traffic. Everybody talked about them and were always glad to tell you how to get there.

How did they manage that?

Simple: by delivering a good product or service. But the difference is that it was augmented by neighborhood recommendations and word of mouth. This is no different from what social media elements such as brand pages, mobile and location-based services allow us to do today. In a sense, all these tools are taking us back to an actual “small town” or community of days past, instead of a undecipherable future.

Suppose “el barbero” was in business now and was put in the shoes of any local retailer, restaurant or professional service today. Assuming he would want to grow or expand his business, here’s what I would recommend he do:

– Register “el barbero’s” business information in all key search networks.
– My generic* recommendation would be the following, in order of priority (the links go to instructions on how to register a business):

1. (reviews feed into Bing, which also feeds Facebook search)

– As time/resources allow (and I strongly suggest to find the time), create a Facebook page, particularly if he wanted to show his logo and allow customers to share their likes and experience with their friends.

*If you offer professional services like legal, accounting, medical, etc., make sure you prioritize the sites specific to your profession as well as build a solid LinkedIn profile.


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