We all love to talk about the national and global reach of social media, and that is a very cool thing. But it is also very intimidating to an often overlooked segment of the population: your local businesses. My goal in 2009, in addition to bringing more of the global business like wineries and musicians that we already service to the web, is to bring every single person and business in my immediate area to the web as well. After all, what good is going national if the smaller businesses and solo-preneurs back home get left behind?
I’m talking local here – hyper local. Super small, super localized, one-town-at-a-time growth. I’ve started with a local contractor, a local bar and grill, a local clothing consignment shop, a local craft maker and an artist collective, all right here where I live. It feels almost easy to sell a global business like a winery, brewery, distillery, distributorship, entertainment business in comparison to other, smaller businesses – it’s what we’ve been doing all along and what we will still be doing. It’s quite a bit harder to teach a small business how to be heard and how to be relevant in the vast stream of big fish online. If I can do that, and make my community successful in 2009 and beyond, I’ll have reached one of my goals.
In the coming weeks on Twitter I’ll be introducing these small businesses as they come on board. Some have opted not to use Twitter, but to concentrate on other online avenues for their social presence – just like I tell all of my clients, choosing what works for you is always the right choice. That may not be Twitter. The clothing store is leaning toward YouTube as their primary vehicle for social marketing, for example, so that they can tell you the story behind each item they showcase. If that works for them – more power to them – I’m happy to give them the right social blueprint for their needs and comfort levels. Social media is very a la carte, after all. How will you be reaching out to your hyper local network to join it with the global network this year?