How 9 Small Businesses Are Getting it Right on Social Media

Social Media Examiner (SME) hosted an online webinar yesterday and described how 9 small businesses are attracting thousands of visitors and, in some cases, millions of dollars in revenue. Most of them have only been at it for two or three years. I have to say I was more than impressed.

Social Marketing Makes Dollars and Sense

In the opening slide, we learned why social media is essential for any business.

My key takeaways from the presentation were:

  • Give away free content. I’m not talking about the content of your blogs. But useful stuff like Ana White, Carpenter, does — diagrams and detailed instructions, for example, about how to build a cabinet.
  • Use very personalized images. In most cases, the business owners had several informal shots of themselves sprinkled throughout the site — with their spouses, holding their dogs, etc.. Photos give you an emotional connection with your visitors.
  • Create and empower your community. For example, run a contest to engage your readers. If you have a photography business, you could invite your audience to submit their best photos, select winners and post them on your site.
  • Enable readers to share your content. Be sure to prominently display social media buttons for social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Google+ so that your followers can share your content with their followers, potentially drawing many more visitors to your site.
  • Leverage social proof. If you have impressive followings on Twitter and Facebook put those numbers up on your site. Include testimonials.
  • Choose the channels that work best for you. If you’re a small business, it takes time to be active on every social network. Experiment and see where you should place your focus. You don’t have to be everywhere.

I liked that he showcased offbeat companies such as Easy Lunch Boxes and Orabush tongue cleaner (don’t laugh, he’s raking in the money). I concluded from the presentation you never know when an simple idea will turn into a profitable business.

Lessons Learned

At the conclusion of the seminar, Michael Steltzner, founder and CEO of SME, summed up the key lessons in this slide:

Please share in the comments box how your small business is using social media to build your business. I’m all ears.

Leave a Reply


  1. Jeannette,

    Thanks for sharing what you learned, especially the easy-to-follow list. I’ve been remiss in making it simple for readers to share my content as well as not using personal images. I’ll start that today.

    • You’re welcome, Dolores. I do think images enliven a blog. Glad you found the information helpful. You can learn more if you click on the link “webinar” that will take you to Social Media Examiner’s website where they show illustrations of the websites of the 9 companies and give more detail.

  2. It’s funny you mention images, Jeannette. I put my Christmas present to the test this past weekend and shot the Getty Museum here in Los Angeles. I’ve gotten more inquiries this week than I ever have before. Is it due to the blog posts about the Getty? I can’t say for sure, but it’s ironic and helps to give yourself that personal touch. The stats are staggering to say the least, and it goes to show that social media isn’t just a fad.

    • Dennis, I’m glad to know that your wonderful images are attracting a lot of visitors. I’m not surprised. I think TV, the movies and YouTube have all sensitized us to receiving information in colorful, visual images. Bland is out!