As small businesses turn to social networks to boost their businesses, consultants are offering their services to help SMBs navigate the media landscape.
Small and midsize businesses looking for help executing a social media marketing strategy have a new option with Online Marketing DNA, which offers social media coaching packages to teach entrepreneurs how to build a social presence.
The company currently offers two coaching packages: Clients can participate in social media marketing video training or receive one-on-one coaching. Clients can also elect to combine video training with personal coaching sessions. Training classes are limited in size, and those who are unable to get immediately enrolled can request to be placed on the waiting list for future coaching sessions.
Online Marketing DNA (OMDNA) founder Simon Volkov said he aims to help entrepreneurs develop a clear social media plan to acquire referrals and bolster sales using proven social marketing strategies involving popular sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, and explained coaching lets owners better implement strategies and avoid costly pitfalls, as well as avoid time-consuming trial-and-error periods.
"Social media marketing options often leave business owners feeling overwhelmed and confused," said Volkov. "We take a practical approach focused on each client's specific niche and coach them as they build their social networks."
The customized coaching packages are focused on helping entrepreneurs improve networking skills, convert network members into paying customers, choosing the best social media networks and deciding where to invest time and resources.
"Business owners who obtain social media training are able to save time and money because they have a road map and a mentor to provide guidance," Volkov said. "They can reach their destination faster because they know where they are going and what needs to be done. Social media networking is one of the most powerful and affordable approaches for marketing products or services and launching successful online advertising campaigns. To fully capitalize requires a strong understanding of the best practices and how to manage each."
A recent report by Forrester Consulting found small businesses have dramatically changed their marketing practices to adapt to changing buyer behaviors in a Web-centric world. However, use of social media was near the bottom of the list of deployed marketing tactics with only 69 percent of small and midsize businesses (SMBs) reporting that they use social media for new customer acquisition.
Overall, the survey found SMB engagement with social media was far below that of their larger enterprise confederates, with less than half (48 percent) of respondents citing the use of Facebook, compared with 66 percent of larger enterprises. Just over half (51 percent) employ the business-oriented social networking site LinkedIn, compared with 66 percent of enterprises; and 51 percent of SMBs are using Twitter, compared with 74 percent of enterprises.