Small Businesses Set to Excel with Social Media in 2012

social media reviewsDo you own a small business? Are you tired of hearing how big businesses are succeeding with social media?

If so, Social Media Examiner has some exciting news…

But first, much has been said about big companies such as Red Bull and Cisco, and how they harness social media to drive massive traffic to their sites and generate enormous sales.

But when small business owners are asked about social media, many have no idea how to use it in a practical way that can impact their business goals.

And frankly it’s hard for small businesses to get ideas from the big guys that seem to have unlimited resources.

Small Businesses Thriving With Social Media

Not knowing “how” to leverage social media is a huge problem for small businesses, because they typically get most of their customers through word-of-mouth referrals.

Savvy entrepreneurs are tapping the power of social media marketing.

Take Curtis Kimball, for example. In the Mission district of San Francisco where he’s known as the Crème Brûlée Man, Curtis uses Twitter to advertise his daily specials, “secret menus” and specific locations where his cart will be parked.

creme brulee cart

Curtis, who says he has no marketing budget, currently has more than 20,000 followers, many of whom literally follow him around from neighborhood to neighborhood to get a taste of his delicious custard treats.

And then there’s the story of Alex Morrissey. He leveraged Facebook to garner 500,000 fans and a very successful business called JamaicansMusic.com.

Responding to his social media experience, Morrissey said, “It’s better than traditional media or even advertising.”

What about you? Has your small business really tapped into the massive opportunities presented by social media marketing?

Small Business Social Media Stats

Here’s evidence of the opportunity for small businesses:

  • Mass consumer adoption of social media: There are more than 800 million active Facebook users, 80% of all Americans use a social network and Americans spend more time on Facebook than any other U.S. website (Nielsen). Your customers are there.
  • Small businesses see big results with social media: A significant 61% of small businesses are landing new customers through social media activities (CrowdSPRING). Plus, more than 70% of small businesses using social media see increased traffic and more than 60% improve search rankings (2011 Social Media Marketing Industry Report).
  • Smaller businesses find social media costs very low: Nearly 60% of small- and mid-sized businesses spend less than $100 to market via social media (Marketing in a Digital World, Zoomerang).

Are you “all in” with your social media activities? Want to fast-track your success?

Social Media Examiner Announces Small Biz Success Summit

Acknowledging the massive need to empower small businesses, Michael Stelzner (founder of Social Media Examiner) said, “It’s time to help ultra-small businesses really thrive with social media. Heck, we’re really small ourselves and I just don’t see anyone focusing on the needs of the small guys.”

sbssMike and his team recruited 25 of the world’s top small business experts with strong social media backgrounds for a brand-new summit: Small Biz Success Summit 2012.

If you’re not familiar with these events, they’re large online conferences (so you don’t need to travel).

Typically, thousands gather at Social Media Examiner Success Summits to discover new social media tactics, network with peers and discover how other successful small businesses are using social media.

Here’s what’s unique about this summit:

  1. 100% small business focus: No big businesses and no speakers who target big businesses. This is fully for the tiny business.
  2. This is totally new content: Broadcast new media, Google+, video marketing, blogs plus search and much more. Social media is always in flux and this event will cover what you need to know now about Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. If you’re working off what you learned six months ago or longer, you are ages behind.Need more??
  3. Social Media Examiner’s biggest conference ever: Study the line-up—25 speakers. If you learn some useful new tactics, then it pays for itself.
  4. Every presenter is a small biz owner. This is highly customized for you.
sbss

There's a free sample class if you click above and look for the yellow box near the top right.

All the speakers are themselves small business owners who are deeply entrenched in social media marketing. They include:

  • John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing
  • Anita Campbell of SmallBizTrends
  • Jesse Stay, author of Google Plus for Dummies
  • Hollis Thomases, author of Twitter Marketing: An Hour a Day
  • Michael Stelzner, founder of Social Media Examiner
  • Mari Smith, co-author of Facebook Marketing
  • David Siteman Garland of The Rise to the Top
  • Joe Pulizzi, founder of Content Marketing Institute
  • Brian Clark, founder of Copyblogger
  • Ramon Ray of SmallBizTechnology.com
  • Lee Oden, founder of Top Rank Online Marketing Blog
  • Amy Porterfield, co-author of Facebook Marketing All-In-One for Dummies
  • Ed Gandia, co-founder of International Freelancers Academy
  • Marcus Sheridan, founder of The Sales Lion
  • And many others

Because this is a fully online conference, you don’t have to worry about missing a session. If something comes up and you’re not able to attend, transcripts and recordings are provided!

There also will be plenty of networking opportunities via LinkedIn and you’ll have access to thousands of people who are expected to attend.

Justifying Your Expense

Are you worried about getting funds to pay for the summit? It’s a valid concern.

Can you really afford to not give social media marketing a try?

If you land just one or two customers as a result of attending the summit, the investment may have paid for itself.

Even if you don’t need the summit for yourself, it would make a very special Christmas gift for a friend, son or daughter who owns a small business.

Here’s what Paul Rodriguez, an attendee at our previous summit, had to say:

“If you’re using social media to promote your business (and you’re crazy if you’re not), this summit is a must. The instructors and content were excellent!”

Tickets are currently on sale for 50% off if you act now. Click here for details.

What do you think? Is your small business struggling with social media? Share your story in the comments box below.

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About the Author, Patricia Redsicker

Patricia Redsicker writes research reviews for Social Media Examiner. She is the Social Media Manager at US Pharmacopeia, a public standards setting organization. Follow her on Twitter at @predsicker. Other posts by »




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  • http://www.steinarknutsen.com Steinar Knutsen

    This looks like an awesome event and I love that it’s online.

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Thanks Steinar – Mike

  • http://www.IfSimply.com/ Keith Griffis

    Any event run by the social media examiner is worth it. The fact is, in our industry there are many ways to be led astray. Some of my Social Media Peers are teaching and you are lucky to learn from them. I refer my Marketing client from http://www.SimpleMediaMarketing.com here all the time for reference articles and how tos on social media marketing strategy and tools. Good luck mike and team!

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Thanks Keith!

  • http://twitter.com/TCaptioning TCS

    Can’t wait! This conference is going to be amazing!!

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Thanks TCS!

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Thanks TCS!

  • http://twitter.com/N1983adnan Nouf Adnan

    Actually we need this kind of event to relax our maind.

  • predsicker

    Yes Nouf – and to excel in your business as well :)

  • Dev Bhatia

    Great article. In truth, social and mobile are more suited for small businesses than for big ones. It’s the small businesses who are eager for each call, and each interaction. At mTrax (www.mtrax.com), we’re setting up small business mobile search listings on Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft. It’s the most cost-effective way to get calls. And the callers are very well qualified. These are people who are searching on their phones for “plumber San Diego”. So you know they are looking for services.

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  • http://www.NeuroPunch.com/ NeuroPunch

    I think SocialMediaExaminer.com is one of the best online social media sources out there.  Also, the summit speaker lineup is great and full of highly credible individuals.  However, I can’t justify spending any money on a social media success summit.  All of the speakers have an online presence, and you can follow them daily for free.  Assuming this event has a hashtag, search Twitter and Topsy.com to stay up to speed on real-time highlights and search again a day or two later to read attendees’ blog recaps.  There’s an infinite amount of free social media information at your fingertips.

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Hey no sweat…

    Of course you can learn by following lots of people and digesting what they have to say over time.  However many (1000s) have reported they have learned a ton in a highly structured environment where people deliver specialized content.  This event is for the business owner who doesn’t have the time and wants to rapidly learn.

  • Jeremy Knight

    Hey Mike, just finishing ‘Launch’ which is jam packed with sound advice and have ordered your white paper book on the back of value I have gotten from ‘Launch’…..buying a ticket to attend this event, will I just be pretty much going over ground already delivered or are there new roads to travel?

  • http://www.i95dev.com/ecommerce-magento Henry Louis

    Hi Patrica! It is very interesting to read this post. Nice post.

  • predsicker

    Thanks Henry – glad you enjoyed it!

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Hey Jeremy – Glad you liked the book.  This event is fully original social media marketing content from 25 experts (not just me).  I think this would be a very wise investment.

  • Amnuai Beckenham

    Really looking forward to my first ever summit. We are a very poor Thai village but we can really see the HUGE opportunities to be gleaned from improving our business social media 

  • http://twitter.com/GabrielleJeans_ Real Estate Trainer

    Social Media has helped my business reach places that ordinarily, traditional marketing wouldn’t have been able to accomplish for me.

  • http://www.ibacklinkpro.com Ibacklinkpro

    This looks like a worthwhile event but I guess I’m still not convinced that my money would be more effectively spent by paying for this seminar or dumping that money into Facebook advertising or something. Though I agree one or two extra new customers and this thing pays for itself… 

  • predsicker

    So glad to hear that you’ll be there Amnuai. All the best!

  • predsicker

    Remember that the 50% early bird special ends today. It’s worth every dime :)

  • http://www.best-web-hosting-companies.com/ Kavya Hari

    Social media will be more helpful to marketing side, and it will be increasing page rank to the blog. Thanks a lot for given up here :)

  • http://twitter.com/buzzquotient buzzquotient

    Social Media Marketing can create great impact on small businesses. Small businesses should be spending a fair share of their online marketing expense on social media marketing as it will help build their online reputation, brand awareness and help their products and services to go viral. Also with new social networking sites coming into the picture, it will be interesting to choose from the lot and test for success. I wish good luck to organizations participating in Small Biz Success Summit.

  • Hannah

    This article has some really insightful observations, thanks for sharing. I think that social media networks are some of the most powerful tools available to a small business owner. The ability to interact with your customers personally and build strong relationships, especially when your company is small in size, is absolutely essential for a business owner. I was not surprised to see that “more than 70% of small businesses using social media see increased traffic and more than 60% improve search rankings.” It makes sense: people like to know the companies they do business with. Taking the time and effort to establish accounts in these popular networks is obviously well worth the expense.

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