The attendees were mostly genuine small businesses – one man bands and partnerships who spend their days and nights striving to be a successful enterprise. Their time and marketing budgets are precious so they need to make sure both are targeted to get the maximum return.
They have a head start – many of them have joined together under the Explore Campbeltown banner to help promote the area to the rest of the world. Campbeltown is unique – check out its location on a map and you’ll see it’s a destination for those determined to experience big skies, big surf and a big welcome.
It was Explore Campbeltown who invited me along to present to its members and experience the big welcome for myself. I wanted to show everyone that using social media can generate leads and sales and can act as an effective customer service platform. You can see the slides I used here.
Feedback on the day and afterwards (via Facebook and Twitter) was positive and shows someone was paying attention!
So what did I learn?
- Small businesses are keen to make the most of social media – if it’s the right thing for them.
- Most of them were comfortable, confident and competent Facebook users. Facebook was the most popular and preferred social media platform.
- Twitter is less popular – and perceived to be more difficult – maybe because it’s easier to get ‘likes’ than it is the get ‘followers’.
- You Tube is underused as a potential business tool and instead is still viewed (pardon the pun) as a place to watch videos of cats and people falling over. But the groups I spoke to were keen to give it a go as a marketing tool.
- There’s not much time for small business owners to train and learn about social media– those who had used social media in a personal capacity found it much easier to make the switch to a business use than others.
- Business groups like Explore Campbeltown are in a great position to help each other out using social media. My feeds are now full of group members liking and sharing each other’s posts – increasing the reach of every post and increasing the potential for sales.
- The pace of change in social media means there’s always something new to learn. Pretty much everyone – including me – left with a new skill, tip or trick to try.
So if you want to see how small businesses are using social media you could do a lot worse than search Facebook for Campbeltown – and see what the town’s businesses are up to – then come see them all for yourself!