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Inbound Marketing Summit 2010 - Takeaways for Small Businesses Part 2

If you haven't read my previous post (Part 1) on the Inbound Marketing Summit 2010 as it relates to small businesses, check it out before reading this post. Part 2 will make more sense having read Part 1.

In part 1, I explained the idea behind inbound marketing and gave the first takeaway from the summit: Social Media Works IF You Are Engaged In It!

Today I want to share Takeaway #2:

Social Media + Investment of Time = Financial Return

Return on InvestmentBluntly put, the more time you invest, the more return you'll see. Inbound marketing is perfect for small businesses because it helps you save what you lack, marketing dollars. It's not completely free by any means. It requires dedication to the conversation it creates. If you don't dedicate time for yourself or an employee to stay engaged in facebook, twitter, foursquare, youtube, etc... it will not yield the return that it has the potential to.

As mentioned in my last post, we constantly hear that our prospects do not have time to mess with twitter/facebook, etc... I have a hunch that the people that say they don't have time to mess with social media to grow their businesses are the same people that fought adding computers to their business 15 years ago. Think of what the addition of a computer has done for all small businesses. What if you made time daily to check in on social media outlets and it proved to be the best return you have ever had on a marketing investment?

There Are No Silver Bullets In Marketing

Social Media is not a silver bullet.One point that was heavily stressed at the Inbound Marketing Summit was that as marketing professionals, we need to do our bests to educate our clients with respect to the realities of social media and other online marketing venues.

The fact is, social media is a highly effective tool to build awareness about your brand, start conversations with prospects, nurture leads, and grow your business. Like anything in business, it's only going to work if you commit to it.

By committing to it, I mean dedicating time to check your facebook business page and address any comments that have been left. I also mean tweeting more than once a day, shooting a small video monthly, blogging at least once every two weeks. Realistically, once you have a month under your belt, we're talking about 10 hours of time a month. Divide that time across 2 people, and there's really not a huge time commitment to be made, especially given the potential ROI.

Check back tomorrow for Part 3: Your Website Is the Workhorse.