The omnipresence of social media is undisputed. That it is the marketing tool for small business owners and entrepreneurs is also undisputed, given that those who are using social media are primarily engaging in social media through company pages (75 percent) and status updates (69 percent) on platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter.
You’ve heard about what social media can do for you, and maybe even seen some of your peers gain from it but need more statistics and proven case studies to understand that the social media mantra will provide benefit to your business and is not a passing trend.
Blogging is Social Media too!
Says a media consultant-“I was recently hired by a company as a marketing associate and my job is centered around social media. I spend my days creating brand awareness by twittering, blogging, and searching. I agree that it is worth small business owner’s time, but it is also worth large business owner’s time! Social media marketing has proved to be successful and it is free or close to it. Every company, big or small, should be investing their time.”
The Social Media Small Business Model
If you are looking to use a social media such as Twitter to explode your business online, then as a small business owner you will have to rethink your marketing parlance. The theoretical and conventional dictates of marketing outline the four Ps: product creation, pricing, market placing and promoting for optimized returns.
PLANETwebfoot, a social networking software company, said that “Our business has found social media to be tremendously helpful in terms of drumming up business and connecting with current and potential customers. You are right Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn can be very useful, but the use of niche social networking sites can also be incredibly useful.”
Delicious is a bookmarking service has 5 million users and 150 million unique bookmarks, and growing. Technorati adds close to 900,000 blogs overnight. Eighteen percent of new content found online is found through social media, so connecting a company blog to other social media platforms can certainly reach new customers and prospects. Your business website should include the 4 C’s of Social Media- right Content, perfect Context, right Connections and the right Community.
“If I have something worthwhile posted on my blog, a mention of it on Twitter sends many readers there in no time (if the content is brilliant, the effect can be viral!). Etc., etc.Not to sound way too evangelical, but one advantage of Twitter is its elegant simplicity. After a 60 second (or less) setup, start by ‘following’ a few interesting people (use search function for relevant keywords) and just watch for a while how people behave. You’ll soon start to see the potential” says one successful small business owner.
The business point in social media is choosing the right categories (to place your product/service/company) and tapping into the right follower group. Whether you do it on a personal basis or through a professional group to achieve viral success depends on the goals you set for yourself.
- Zero-costs of marketing
- Maximized turnaround time
- Reaching target audience on a one-to-one basis
Most important business delivery on social media is- the immediate talk back by clients. This will prove invaluable to stream line product features, delivery processes and maybe pricing structure too. For more on how social media can help in these specific aspects of your business, check out Social Trends 2011.