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I have been busy.  I haven’t posted for a long time. I needed a shot in the arm to make me post.  I got it today when I read Julie Brooks post on StreetFight titled “Why Mom-and-Pops will no longer pay for “Social Media Management”.

Julie I agree that it is a very difficult proposition to “sell social services” to vsb and be authentic, timely and engaging.  This is why companies like yours cannot offer a DIFM (Do it for me) type service to these businesses.  On the other hand, I think we can all agree the most VSB (very small business) , at least initially, can’t and won’t be able to effectively use a DIY (Do it Yourself) solution like Hootsuite.  They have neither the time, nor inclination nor knowledge.

This is why, as a commenter stated, you need to provide a service that teaches them how to use social over time.  Social channels are just like any other media channel.  People will not engage a TV or Radio station that plays only commercials – yet this is essentially what many VSBs exactly do when they attempt “Social”.   The solution you folks need to provide must be DIWM (Do it with me).

To simply council VSB to avoid social is folly. While “Social”  might not make them money out of the gate it just might be the only thing that ensures they are around over the long haul.

Social media has many forms.  It is not just “Facebook and Twitter”. There are many things that make up a businesses social footprint. It is their website (mobile and/or responsive),blog, review sites like Yelp and Google+, Listing sites, directory sites, local sites mobile apps, instagrm, consumer complaint sites etc. All of these places allow consumers to gain and voice an opinion of the vsb.  How will fare if they do not monitor, manage and build their on-line reputation? The key is for vsb is to start monitoring and understanding what folks are saying about them.  Their brand is no longer what they say it is – it is what their customers say it is.

The fact is the money that VSBs spend is moving from Paid to Owned and Earned. The digital agency companies that understand this and help their customers enter into this new age of reality will reap  great rewards.