How can small businesses compete with the “Big Boys” for ad space on Social Media?
We at Centerlyne work on a lot of “part-time” social media marketing projects. It even says so on our website: we are a “web and graphic design boutique that focuses on filling the gap for companies that need a marketing team only part of the time”. These types of projects come to us exclusively from small business or individual entrepreneurs with limited time and resources to take on the task by themselves.
Many see the limitations of small business as a burden. “If only we had enough money to throw around on a REAL, BIG ad campaign…”. The focus tends to be on the fact that large corporations have the wherewithal to conduct sweeping ad campaigns that small businesses just can’t afford. But what if I told you that the fact that you can’t afford these expensive online advertisements actually puts you at HUGE advantage over big corporations?
It’s true. All it takes to understand this is a shift in focus. Stop complaining about your lack of disposable funds to use on advertisements. Think instead about how much easier it is for you to get stuff done in a timely fashion that it is for big corporations. Small businesses often operate in a speedy fashion. Decisions are made in almost no time, and they don’t need to go through any sort of committee or board before they are enacted. As a small business owner, you can act immediately on any decision that you make. Want to get something done in a corporation? Okay, just fill out this sheet, make sure to sign your name, send it in, & six months from now, the board will consider it for two years and maybe we will start doing that.
Now apply this to social media. Let’s say you know about this new network that everyone is starting to use. You, as a small business owner, see this and immediately jump on that train, advertising for your business to a relatively small group of people. Now fast-forward five years. That network has grown immensely and they are starting to charge companies to advertise. The corporate board has finally OK’d advertising on the network. The big boys come in and throw their money around. But it is already too late. Given the nature of social media, that network is already starting to lose popularity. Their numbers have grown, but the amount of everyday active users begins to fall. The big guys are spending a fortune advertising to dwindling numbers, while you are already on to the next thing without having to get permission from anyone.
It all comes down to a focus on the right things. Money will always be a problem for small businesses. But individual authority is in abundance. Quit complaining about lacking the funds for a big campaign and instead spend a little time analyzing where social media is going and get on the forefront of it. Or just have us do it. We’re good at it. And we don’t charge you an arm and a leg. Just a thought.
– Alec England, Columnist, Centerlyne