While small businesses aren’t quite in the same category as Inc 500 companies, there are a few things the small- and medium-sized businesses can learn from their larger counterparts. I’d suggest where to put your online marketing energies might be one of them.
In 2011, according to this study, companies were excited about LinkedIn and YouTube. In 2012, loyalties switched to LinkedIn, Pinterest, and blogging. What happened?
I think three things happened:
- The early romantic notions of social media being the marketing wave of the future died and Inc 500 companies started getting more realistic about their social media goals in particular and their online marketing goals in general.
- As an outgrowth of No. 1, many companies realized that they could benefit from the business focus of LinkedIn more and the consumer focus of Facebook less.
- Blogging was seen in light of the SEO and content marketing benefit and is not replaceable by social media.
None of this is to imply that social media is any less important. What, I think, is the bigger picture is the idea that blogging and social media go hand in hand, not as interchangeable parts but as compliments to a holistic approach to marketing. Also, it is more important to devise a social media strategy geared toward reaching your target audience than to strive for a vague and general social media presence.
LinkedIn is great for business-to-business connections. Facebook is better for business-to-consumer connections. Blogging is simply a platform, and a necessary one at that.
This is a telling study. I’d pay attention to it and see what you can take away from it.