said 7 months, 3 weeks ago:
Good question. Nothing is a “must do” for all small businesses, except delivering value for your customers.
Personally, I feel that if you’re going to use social networking for promoting your small biz, you need to do it tactfully.
I usually break social media into two main categories: networking and content creation, although the lines are very blurry.
Networking is building bonds, and done on sites like LinkedIn, FB, Twitter, etc.
Content creation is a soap box style of education and feedback, and done through a blog, video or podcast.
When “networking,” I don’t sell. The pushiest I’ll get is linking to a recent blog post or talking up an upcoming event.
When “creating content”, I strive to educate. That’s mostly about establishing my (and flyte’s) credibility in the market place. The more we share, the more business we get.
As a web marketing and social media consultant, SMs been essential because I need to “walk the talk.”
As the president of a small business (admittedly, one in the web services field), SM has been very powerful in increasing our online visibility and driving traffic to our site and blog.