If you aren't already barricaded in your basement with a wing stove, a supply of food and water and a small arsenal, chances are good you're wracking your brain trying to figure out how your small business will weather the economic storm. The talking heads have been telling us the bottom is about to drop out for months and with eleventy billion dollars about to get dumped into a mysterious "bailout" package, the rest of us are picking up our buckets so we can start bailing out ourselves and our businesses.

One possible solution for small business owners can be summed up in two simple words.

Social. Media.

If you're one of those companies that's been afraid to dip your toes in the pool known as social media, it's time to get over it and dive in. Why? Because economic crisis is going to push both companies and consumers straight into the arms of social media and the companies that get there first are going to reap the biggest reward.

Rather than bore you with a super long article explaining why social media will play such an important role, I decided to play with pictures and make a nice little chart for you.

Chart showing how both consumers and companies will turn to social media in times of financial turmoil.

If you think about it, it makes perfect sense.

People will have less money to spend, so they'll do more research before spending it. Thanks to the web, they have all the opinions, thoughts and information available at their fingertips. Thanks to social media, they can make good decisions on how and where to spend their money.

Companies will have less money to spend, so they'll start searching for cheaper ways to get in front of consumers. Thanks to the web, they can listen to opinions, thoughts and questions from consumers. Thanks to social media, they can engage those consumers, meet their needs and win the sale.

Sooner or later, your competitors will figure this out.

Figure it out first, and you're going to come through these economic times in quite a bit better shape than they will.


October 8, 2008





Jennifer Laycock is the Editor of Search Engine Guide, the Social Media Faculty Chair for MarketMotive and offers small business social media strategy & consulting. Jennifer enjoys the challenge of finding unique and creative ways to connect with consumers without spending a fortune in marketing dollars. Though she now prefers to work with small businesses, Jennifer’s clients have included companies like Verizon, American Greetings and Highlights for Children.





Comments(5)

Which social media sites would you reccommend? Have found stumbleupon to be quite good for traffic but not sales.

I suppose thats what your suggesting more of a breanding approach.

I think this can be beneficial if you do it right. I think a lot of people go overboard with it and make it quite spammy.

I think a lot of people remember that you need to make it mutual. Potential customers have to be benefiting from the interaction too.

Organic growth is most important. People do go overboard and make it spammy. That is why you should buy my new book on techniques for traffic generation. It's a 2 page e-book for only $999.99 (plus shipping and packaging). Please add another $299.95 if you want the illustrated version of 3 pages.

Sorry, I didn't mean to jest to that extent in my previous post, but I wanted to separate a spam factor from a level of reality.

I often show business-owning-friends the 'power' of the www and how they can utilise this to benefit. On a recent talk to a bunch of photographers, I suggested that they create e-books to show people what equipment they use and how they best utilise the equipment under differing photographic circumstances.

This kind of information is invaluable to certain people, especially beginners. Add this to a touch of affiliate marketing and effective SEO, there is a good chance of income being generated.

However, to many 'bricks and mortar' business owners, this all seems to be a far cry from reality. The majority would rather captain a liner with a lot of fuel and no lifeboats.

I couldn't have said it better. The new social media networks are figuring this out and are starting to bring the members, and businesses together.

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Search Engine Guide > Jennifer Laycock > Why Social Media Outreach is the Key to Marketing in a Recession