I was at the Enterprise Toronto Small Business Forum this week for Small Business Week. If you didn’t participate in any event in your area this week, you missed out on a great networking opportunity.
Kudos to everyone at ET who put this on, Katherine Roos, Margie Galarneau and the rest of the team. This is a great event and a great way to network and learn a few things through the different seminars they put on.
My suggestion to ET was to have this twice a year!
By far, I thought Mike McDerment, CEO of Freshbooks, was the best speaker of the day. However, I think many people left that room scratching their heads!
Mike didn’t have the most positive thing to say about Facebook and social media and its place in the marketing and sales toolbox for small business. As a matter of fact, he outright dismissed it!
I have to say, I agree with the man and so does Ryan Caligiuri, another Marketing Specialist who wrote a piece in the Globe and Mail on October 21st, “The Sad Truth About Social Media”.
Before you start calling Ryan Caligiuri, Mike McDerment and me, for that matter, crazy, you need to think about why your business needs, for example, a Facebook profile? Most SMB owners say to increase sales (I heard it in a jam-packed room of 250 entrepreneurs) and I encounter it in my work.
Yes, there are over 400 million people on it and yes it’s enticing because of it…”everyone’s on it”. If you’re constantly thinking about ROI like me, then you’re probably crunching numbers in your head right now…”hmmm…even if I get just half-of-a-percent of this, that’s two million people!!!”
Well, the first truth is, how much time would it take you as a SMB owner to generate this interest and get 2-million people to “like” you? The second truth is, there are definitely a select few types of businesses out there that can benefit from something like Facebook. In my experience, usually B2C businesses and usually retail businesses that constantly have promotional campaigns going on. And like Ryan suggests, this works (i.e. there is a positive ROI) because it doesn’t take time to push out a promo and let it go viral.
However, for almost every SMB owner, sometimes, time is worth more than money. Ask any entrepreneur what they value more of and I would suggest that at least half would say, “I would love to have more time in the day”. In the end, more time lets them do what they need to do to make THE MONEY.
Social media is a time-hog. Facebook (Social media) is ONE way to keep connected with your potential customers. It is NOT the ONLY way. Use it to compliment your marketing and sales strategy, not replace it. Remember, technology is a tool to enhance and support your business and strategy, not substitute it. People/consumers will buy your product if they trust your product is good and if they trust your business.
You can’t do this with social media alone.
Be Real. Be smart marketer.
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