Jump to Main Content
USA flagAn Official Website of the United States Government
Industry Word

Blogs.Industry Word


Use social media in your small business? Share your story

Comment Count:

Comments welcome on this page. See Rules of Conduct.

Use social media in your small business? Share your story

Published: February 12, 2010

Author Laura Fitton describes an

experience typical to many new users of social media:


be candid, Twitter sounds idiotic at first,' she says in

this interview.

'It's true. But it's also true it's changed my life and career a bazillion

ways. I've gone from homebound mom of two babies under 2 to solidly booked,

traveling around the world and extraordinarily well-networked.' As well as

the author of -- you knew this was inevitable --- the brand new Twitter for


I want to

know: What is the experience like for those who have decided that social media

engagement is essential for their small businesses right now? Is it any

different from what Fitton describes? Do small business owners have time or

patience to hang on through the 'idiotic' phase? In short: Why


So: I want

to hear your social media/business success story.

As well as

your social media/business fail story.


them to me at craigcolgan@ymail.com. Or find me on Twitter: @ccwriter. I will

follow-up to as many as I can with a few questions: What is it about your use

of Twitter or blogging or Facebook or video or any other combination of social

media tools and tactics that you believe makes it/them actually work for

your small business? What does not work? And: How do you manage

your time around all this?

Then I

will blog about these stories here because I believe that many of these tales

are flying under the radar. And that's a problem. Learning how Dell or Ford or

Comcast or Jet Blue have invested in use of the social Web is one thing. These

firms and their efforts online have drawn plenty of attention. But for the rest

of us, we want to know:

For small

business, is a serious commitment to social media worth it?

Now for

those who I follow on Twitter, that question has long been settled. But many of

these people work in media or marketing or political firms and spend their days

[and nights] on computers and mobile devices all day long. The social media

world has become a large part of their world. Of course this crowd says

online socializing and sharing and content creation and linking -- to and with

the vast world at large, not just people you know -- are essential for all business.

Are they right?

How many

operators of delis tweet about their businesses? How many home remodelers and farmers

and workout center owners and picture framers do so?

There is

no shortage of those out there offering advice on all this. My contribution to The Industry Word won't be

about advice. I want to instead listen and engage with your stories and your

experiences, to hunt for what works and what does not. I will ask

plenty of questions. I want you to help me answer them.

By the

way, I hated Twitter initially. Before I used it. The concept was ridiculous.

It was marketed in a way that put off way too many people, I believe.

I actually

did not use Twitter for the first time until January 2008, researching this piece for the

Washington Post.

I can remember a detailed phone conversation with my editor as I did my best to

explain just what this new thing was, and how it worked. It took awhile.

For Laura

Fitton, a description of Twitter that is better than 'microblogging'

is 'microsharing.' Which to me sounds like a good distillation of the

larger concept behind all social media.

So tell me

your story. The world of small business needs to hear it.


speaking of remodeling contractors who tweet: This one has 2,956

followers. And counting.


Colgan is a technology and media writer and blogger based in Washington, D.C.

Find him on the web at CraigColgan.com and on Twitter: @ccwriter. His email

address is craigcolgan@ymail.com

About the Author:


I can remember a detailed phone conversation with my editor as I did my best to explain just what this new thing was, and how it worked. It took awhile.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to leave comments. If you already have an SBA.gov account, Log In to leave your comment.

New users, Register for a new account and join the conversation today!