Media Post reports that only 1/3 of small businesses have a social media strategy. I would guess it is less than that when you consider having a Twitter account or a Facebook page isn’t really a strategy.
I’ve seen a lot of questions around couponing as a social media strategy and as a tactic. I’ve posted recently on the benefits and pitfalls of services like Groupon. One of the ancillary benefits of online coupons is that a great coupon offer generates considerable social media traffic. Some small businesses are using couponing as a way to generate buzz. The problem is the small business is often not part of this dialogue.
Small businesses thrive on personality of its owners and managers. A small business brand generally has a direct correlation to the personality of its ownership and staff. So what I tell my friends is start with building conversations online first and then use tools like coupons and special offers.
I’ve blogged before about a few people who I think are doing it really well — check out Whiffies on Twitter or Arbor Brook Vineyards on Facebook. They’re both great examples of small businesses whose primary strategy is discussion and engagement with the customer rather than couponing and one-way communication tools, they just happen to use Twitter and Facebook as their platforms.