Practical examples of effective social media usage by small businesses

Any professional, looking to make use of LinkedIn, should try to do more than merely snooping around. Let us consider the practical cases of two ambitious entrepreneurs, who have skillfully leveraged the reach and power of all-pervading social media to spread their business.

A niche business leverages social media

A couple of years ago, Joanna Wiseberg started Red Scarf Equestrian, a company based in Toronto, to make stylish luxury goods and accessories for horse lovers. The economy was into a severe recessionary phase at that point of time. Undeterred, she continued to meet people, who would ask her to showcase the goods at elite places, such as the Monaco Grand Prix and the Cannes Film Festival.

“My business is one that operates in a niche within a niche. I launched it at the worst possible time,” she reminisces. But her faith in the popular social network for business professionals has helped her ride the rough times.

Joining domain-specific groups can do the trick

As she discovered, LinkedIn is more than only a site for prospective job seekers to post their résumés. “I wouldn’t (have been) here without it,” she underlines the site’s role in her survival. She had been a member of LinkedIn for quite a few years but she had never really fully grasped how to use the site. However, once she turned a business person, she stared joining focused groups related to her domain and regularly taking part in discussions on them.

In fact, Ms Wiseberg is now an active member in over a dozen such groups like Luxury Addict Group, Luxury and Lifestyle Professionals, Horse Lovers of the Business World, and Woman 2 Woman Business. It is through these meaningful affiliations that others in her industry could discover her and then gradually invited her to events in North America Europe and Asia. Now, she quips, her business is all set to take off. She adds: “I had no option but to go global since the market in Canada is small. I am slowly getting there.”

A status update can come in handy

Take the case of a certified public accountant based in Florham Park, N.J., who uses a status update feature for alerting people regarding related matters. For example, Joe Rosenberg recently posted an alert that the deadline for self-employed persons to file estimated their quarterly tax payment was nearing. “People noticed it,” he reveals. “And the same could act as a reminder to them to call you.”

The tax consultant also answers queries regarding tax issues. The advice he gives, along with his active participation in various related groups, have resulted in a substantial business from both existing and new clients.

A similar user-friendly approach can work wonders when it comes to getting your small business off the ground.