STAFF EDITORIAL: Facebook, Twitter improve outlook for small businesses
Social media has fantastic potential for small businesses and nonprofit groups that need to deliver a message on a tight budget.
Most people think of Facebook as a fantastic way to waste time between classes, but businesses and nonprofits have embraced the social media network as a potential source of advertisement and communication with clientele.
The most obvious benefit to these groups is the ease of communication. Unlike environmentally unfriendly mass mailings or tedious call centers, social media makes communicating messages quickly and cheaply to customers easier than ever.
Announcing sales and galas, requesting donations and posting schedules can be done instantaneously at no cost using a mass message via Facebook fan pages, e-mailing lists and Twitter.
Employees at Aurora Picture Show discovered Tuesday that expensive equipment, including software and a 42-inch monitor, had disappeared from their offices.
Staffers instantly told 991 separate fans about the crisis through a Facebook fan page, then posted a wish list for donations five hours later. Twitter-user ‘klww’ linked to the Facebook wish list, and by Thursday the Houston Press had forwarded the link to its 6,474 Twitter followers.
The amount of promotion here is dizzying. Ten years ago, any small business facing similar circumstances would have relied on a core group of regular visitors and donations, maybe sending out mailers or trying a call campaign that would have taken weeks.
However, Aurora Picture Show embraced social media, and thousands of people found out about their crisis within two days. Because it used an electronic medium to deliver the information, the already-ailing organization didn’t have to worry about paper or phone expenses, and clients immediately got concise, quick information on the group’s needs.
It’s obvious that everybody benefited when this organization embraced social media as a quick, cheap way to connect with fans.