At this time of year, it’s common (and expected) to see the predictions for the year coming up. The categories are different each time, but some similar themes tend to pop up, unless a radical shift happens in a specific area. Small business is seeing big changes this coming year. Even MC Hammer is on the small business bandwagon (picture).
This year is no different.
While lots of chatter exists around social media and will continue, I think the biggest changes will occur around mobile, and mobile marketing. In specific, small businesses will leverage mobile + local services. An integrated approach will be favored, and obviously there will be some faster adopters out there.
The notion of marketing online is multi-faceted, and digital marketing is a term that best describes them all.
What should small businesses think about to create more opportunities for themselves in 2011?
The importance of a website is clearly obvious, but many small businesses don’t know how to leverage their websites for local, and we’ll see more spend in website development, design and blogs. This includes making all web-pages easily accessible for search engines, but also the smart-phone/mobile devices.
On the go.
Mobile phones, or smart phones in specific are used by almost 1/2 of all small business right now. Expect this number to move up, and the use of specialized local apps (example: Facebook places), and
their own development of new ones. Tweeting, check-ins and local places management will be more in effect.
People tribes and e-commerce.
Small businesses have not utilized the power of social shopping to the degree that they can. We see a big trend happening here. With the impending possibility of Google’s buy of Groupon – you’ll quickly learn that there is a big push to ‘own’ integrated online people-shopping-and-sharing marketplaces.
Using social media just for the sake of it – if there is not a great match or use of it, is a waste. Just applying social icons that go to less profitable website is not useful. But, social media should be researched, studied and tested in small doses, and we’ll see more of that. The idea of Social Media ROI will become more important, and the tracking of metrics.
Using cloud based tools like Google Docs will become even more popular. I personally use tools from 37signals, and backup and sharing systems like Box.net and Dropbox are also part of my collaboration and sharing arsenal.
More products and services will be available to help the small businesses this coming year.
What will you look into? What can you do to create better communication within your organization and customers?
- Social Media Marketing A Priority For Small Businesses (webguild.org)
- infographic – How Small Businesses are Using Social Media via Postling (socialwayne.com)
- Chris Brogan on Running a Virtual Business (entrepreneur.com)