Social networking platforms build buzz, boost business and serve small businesses as low-cost/no-cost marketing tools. Small business owners need to understand how these tools strategically serve and support small business first so they best implement social media marketing strategies to offer products and/or services.
Social Media, simply put, serves users and organizations in marketing in three ways:
Marketing is about building relationships — relationships start with communication. New web tools like blogging, micro-blogging (Twitter), social networking (Facebook, LinkedIn, Ning), podcasting (BlogTalkRadio), video distribution (YouTube), event coordination tools (Meetup), wikis (Wikipedia) photo sharing (Flickr, Photobucket), and product review sites (epinions.com) allow small businesses to communicate, educate and share information directly making use of their current and prospective customers.
Content in the shape of blog posts, audio, video, comparison/review sites, tweets and social network messages help share information in a less-formal way that builds the know, like and trust factors that influence decision making. Content is no longer just text. Small businesses can use audio or visual content for a “show me” and “tell me” to make communications a bunch more interactive punch.
Social media’s direct communication distinction serves and supports small business as it brings the people you wish to attract directly for your requirements buy 10k Instagram followers for $15 and makes direct communication possible. Social Media makes communication a conversation so small business owners can share, receive feedback and connect on equal ground making use of their target markets.
When small businesses empower their target consumers, they think powerful. Whenever your target market feels powerful, it trusts you, buys from you, and stays with you. Social networking collaboration transforms consumers into “prosumers “.In a time of social media marketing prosumers, it’s people (not companies) who make, shape, or break purchase patterns.
Small businesses can ignite collaboration for marketing by creating their own communities and/or joining communities. In so doing, they can listen and connect for their target customers and build a totally free forum to bring their market together. Collaboration = Marketing Acceleration.
Social networking collaboration tools like review sites, video sharing sites, blogs, wikis and more allow users to self-serve, collaborate, and potentially serve being an endorser for the small business. Social media works as an advertising tool because folks are more prone to trust peers as opposed to companies.
The energy of mass collaboration serves and supports small business owners in a definite way. Tapping/creating valuable collaborative options will bring people together to generally share ideas, exchange information, and help one another — and support relationship growth. Removing the “company/client” disconnect can break up elitism and boost marketing mind power.
The most crucial reason that social networking works as an advertising tool is easy — because it’s fun. People wish to go where they think they belong, have a speech, are listened to, and enjoy themselves. Small business owners have to be where their target markets are — and today, the masses are on Facebook, Ning, Twitter, Linkedin, Photobucket, YouTube and more because it’s entertainment value.
Remember the Will It Blend? campaigns by Blendtec? These were an ideal exemplory case of social media marketing marketing in brilliant action. Videos were relevant as they showed the product, were entertaining (they blended an iPhone!), and they were viral! People could easily share the fun with friends due to the ease of social media marketing sharing widgets.
You can’t put a buck amount on free promotion. The way in which social media marketing stores data being an “Interactive Rolodex” even offers an amusement factor. Sites like Facebook and LinkedIn are becoming the “new databases” since they are fast, easy, and fun. Folks are more prone to update their Facebook and LinkedIn information than a sterile address book because it is fun.
Small business owners use social media’s entertainment factor to build their online database of contacts and connections, be visible to prospective customers, and get the phrase out in creative ways like YouTube videos, blog posts, images, podcasts to make people smile and spread the word.
How Social Networking Helps Small Businesses Sell
Social Media Marketing helps most small businesses boost sales indirectly by increasing relationships. Understanding that social media marketing marketing serves users for communication, collaboration, and entertainment could be the first step to considering just how to strategically implement the great number of social media marketing marketing tools and choose the ones that work best for the unique organization.
The important thing thing that small businesses need to consider when using social media marketing to simply help sell is that efforts must have value. There’s to be value to your content, community, and execution to get people to engage with you or your organization. Social media doesn’t sell things — people sell things. Doing social media marketing marketing starts the relationship-building process. Start small and snowball. Social media takes understanding, passion, effort, and commitment to make it work. Give your small business a traditional voice with social media marketing and commit to providing value and you is likely to be off to a smart start.