LinkedIn was founded in 2003. Facebook took shape in 2004. And Twitter sprang to life just two years later. If you include bygones like Friendster and Myspace it has been well over a decade since social media was introduced to the world, to our businesses and to our personal lives.
Social media: From novelty to necessity
Today social media is a no-brainer for any large company that can afford to hire the consultants, agencies and full-time staff needed to manage it. Yet for them it remains a useful option, not a make-or-break decision. Certainly we’d all be stunned if Coca-Cola announced that it was unfriending Facebook. Or if GE said, “You know…we’re just not that into tweeting any more.” Shrug. They might lose some ground. But they’d still have decades of history behind them, products in the hands of consumers and businesses all around the globe, and brands that are better known than most countries’ heads of states. Five years later they would probably still exist, despite their anti-social tendencies.
But here’s the thing: for any business other than the largest incumbents a proactive social media strategy could make the difference between life and death. Small and medium-sized businesses are exactly the ones who have the most to gain from smart use of social media.
Social media is fantastic for building brand awareness, generating sales leads, providing customer service, gathering competitive intelligence and keeping up with industry news. Just like e-mail and the internet itself, social media that’s done right can really supercharge a small(er) business. More and more businesses are realizing this. Yet they often lack the time to master it or the money to hire help. As a result they get frustratingly little return on what they manage to post, or they post haphazardly, or not at all. They’re truly missing out on opportunities that might help them stay in business.
We decided to build Emphatic because we love entrepreneurs and believe this is a problem that we can help them solve. So late last year I left my job at a PR consultancy, where I advised household names and senior executives on social media, and my husband Travis did the same with his job as a software architect and iOS developer. We put ourselves in our customers’ shoes as entrepreneurs and set ourselves the challenge of designing a service that would help small businesses to not go silent on social. We brainstormed, researched, argued and drove our relatives, friends and favorite small businesses crazy by peppering them with questions (over the holidays, no less!) Finally we came up with an idea for a service that could enable every small(er) business to have their own social media team.
Emphatic is every small(er) business’s own social media team
Emphatic is a web and mobile platform that will connect businesses of any size to a network of expert social media writers, on demand. Not only is Emphatic designed to give you the consistent posting your business needs to make an impact, but our specially trained writers will also make sure the posts are optimized with the most up-to-date tactics proven to spur higher engagement. Similar to accounting, taxes, the law or any other specialized areas, there are proven tactics when it comes to marketing yourself on social media. And just like the rules that govern the other fields, social media best practices are constantly in flux as the social networks change their designs and users become accustomed or just plain over-exposed to marketing and publicity. But you won’t have to worry or develop a brand new skill. We’ll make it our job to keep up with this while you take care of your business.
We can’t promise to take away all of the time and effort involved in social media. After all — social media is about two-way engagement, not just about speaking but also being spoken to. But we can promise that you’ll see better results for the resources you do invest with the increased click-throughs, shares, fans and followers that will help you grow your business.