News & Trends

How small shop owners can build their brands on social media with low input and high output

Posted by: Diane Agostinello Diane Agostinello
on March 20, 2014

Social media marketing has grown in leaps and bounds over the past several years, and it can be easy for small shop owners to feel like they’re struggling to keep up with the advancements. Small shop owners often have strict budgets that afford little room to experiment with all encompassing social media strategies and other efforts where risk might seem high and reward is unclear.

At the same time, most small shop owners understand that they must meet and engage their customers everywhere they are, and increasingly, these places include social media. These shifts are resulting in a significant challenge: How can small shop owners build their brands on social media and integrate their efforts into their overall marketing and business goals, while also working within budget, time, and staffing constraints?

We talked to Susan Gunelius about this very challenge. Susan is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of, an award-winning blog that covers news and information to help women succeed in business. She has also counseled businesspeople of all stripes as the President and CEO of marketing communications company KeySplash Creative. Susan has written numerous business and marketing books, including several of the “for Dummies” books on content marketing and blogging, and she frequently writes about marketing for Forbes and Entrepreneur.

Susan Gunelius, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of

She spent some time with us discussing how small shop owners can build their brands on social media using low input, but gaining high output. One of her key takeaways was this: “The quicker you realize that social media isn’t a promotional tool, it’s a relationship-building tool that drives indirect marketing results — of course you can supplement it with short-term tactics to drive short-term sales — but the power of social media comes in long-term, organic and sustainable relationship growth and business growth.” Take a listen to our podcast or read the transcript.

  • 2:03 How retailers can decide if they should build their personal brands or business brands on social media
  • 5:11 The social media sites that retailers should start engaging on first
  • 9:34 Ideas for optimizing company Facebook and Twitter pages
  • 13:13 The importance of providing value to customers on social media
  • 14:39 Ways to use social media to drive foot traffic
  • 16:50 Common mistakes retailers make on social media that can hurt their customer relationships
  • 20:35 Steps retailers can take today to advance their social media marketing efforts

Thanks for joining us, Susan.

If you’re interested in finding more insights from Susan, you can follow her on Twitter @susangunelius  and @womenonbusiness.


I really like her advice on treating social media as not being a promotional tool but on relationship building. This is so true because as of 2014 social media is focused already on building connections and giving something important to customers and not just focused on advertising your business alone.

March 20, 2014

Thank you for inviting me to participate in the interview!

March 21, 2014


I would appreciate receiving your posts via e-mail.

Thank you very much.

Karen A. Striegl

Karen Striegl

March 21, 2014

When it comes to online branding and marketing, Susan Gunelius is the real deal. Interesting interview – thanks for sharing!

March 22, 2014

Thanks for reading, Karen. To sign up to receive Kimco’s blog posts in your email, just enter your email information at this link. There’s also a Subscribe link on the left side of the blog that will take you to the form.

March 24, 2014

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