Social networking platforms build buzz, boost business and serve small businesses as low-cost/no-cost marketing tools. Small company owners need to understand how these tools strategically serve and support small company first so they best implement social networking strategies to market products and/or services.
Social Media, simply put, serves users and organizations in marketing in three ways:
Marketing is about building relationships — relationships focus on 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 proper execution 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 more just text. Small businesses may 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 company because it brings the folks you want to attract directly for you buy 10k Instagram followers for $15 and makes direct communication possible. Social Media makes communication a conversation so small company owners can share, receive feedback and connect on equal ground making use of their target markets.
When small businesses empower their target consumers, they feel powerful. As soon as 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 networking 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 are able to listen and connect with their target customers and build a 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 as an endorser for your small business. Social media works as an advertising tool because individuals are prone to trust peers as opposed to companies.
The power of mass collaboration serves and supports small company owners in a definite way. Tapping/creating valuable collaborative options can bring people together to fairly share ideas, exchange information, and help each other — and support relationship growth. Removing the “company/client” disconnect can break down elitism and boost marketing mind power.
The most important reason that social networking works as an advertising tool is simple — because it’s fun. People wish to go where they feel they belong, have a speech, are heard, and enjoy themselves. Small company owners need to be where their target markets are — and today, the masses are on Facebook, Ning, Twitter, Linkedin, Photobucket, YouTube and more because it has entertainment value.
Remember the Will It Blend? campaigns by Blendtec? They certainly were an ideal exemplory instance of social networking marketing in brilliant action. Videos were relevant while they showed the product, were entertaining (they blended an iPhone!), and they certainly were viral! People could easily share the fun with friends as a result of ease of social networking sharing widgets.
You can’t put a dollar amount on free promotion. Just how social networking stores data as an “Interactive Rolodex” also has an activity factor. Sites like Facebook and LinkedIn are becoming the “new databases” as they are fast, easy, and fun. People are prone to update their Facebook and LinkedIn information when compared to a sterile address book because it is fun.
Small company owners use social media’s entertainment factor to create 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 networking marketing serves users for communication, collaboration, and entertainment could be the first step to considering how exactly to strategically implement the large number of social networking marketing tools and choose the ones that work best for your unique organization.
The key thing that small businesses need to consider when working with social networking to greatly help sell is that efforts will need to have value. There’s to be value to your content, community, and execution to obtain people to engage with you or your organization. Social media doesn’t sell things — people sell things. Participating in social networking 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 company a traditional voice with social networking and commit to providing value and you will undoubtedly be off to a smart start.