Social media has become a part of the marketing landscape for some time now. This is not to say that traditional marketing does not have its place because advertising, public relations, and referrals are still an integral component. However, small businesses should consider leveraging social media as a part of your company’s marketing strategy.
Facebook and Twitter have completely changed how businesses both big and small interact with customers. As a business owner, if you have not tapped into the vast potential of Facebook and Twitter, you should be asking how those platforms can help you achieve your marketing objectives.
The best way to regard social media is a means to make yourself available to many different channels. The draw with social media from a business standpoint is that it fosters context, content, connection, and community. This ultimately will lead to the acquisition of new customers because the hard-sale has been eliminated and in its place open and honest dialogue.
We’ve reached out to others who use social networking on a daily basis for business use. Angela Eply (@angelaepley ) from Reach Local told us “I’d venture that #socialmedia is a real-time, digital exchange of content between very human entities.” She is correct because not only can you connect with people in your local area, you can connect with millions of people around the world.
Facebook has attracted millions of individuals from all over the world. It has become so popular that the site’s management has even provided the opportunity to businesses and company’s to take advantage of a built in audience and market themselves through the use of business fan pages. So use it to your advantage and create interesting content and most importantly engage your audience by facilitating dialogue with potential customers. The important take-away with Facebook is that you are provided important feedback that may be necessary for you to grow your business or make any appropriate changes to your current business model in order to capture more customers.
Twitter has managed within a few short years to become one of the premiere social networking sites, plus it is free which is always good when it comes to a potentially expensive marketing budget. Its importance is in that it provides news feeds in real time. For a business owner, the communication appeal of Twitter is enormous. Just remember to tweet often and reply to your followers because it provides a more personal touch.
LindedIn provides businesses access to thousands of potential business contacts and the resumes of potential employees. Additionally, it is very cost-efficient. LinkedIn is free to join but you can upgrade to certain features for a small amount of money. When adding business information, be as detailed as possible and post links to your website and/or blog. The key is to be accessible and interact with others.
YouTube takes social media to another level with its video sharing capabilities. Videos have become a valuable and powerful marketing tool. Additionally it can draw prospective customers to your site. The key is to be informative yet display your personality in a fun, personable way in order to maintain interest.
Social media can be beneficial to small businesses in that it can help grow your business by aligning you with the very customers or new employees you are seeking out. CareerBuilder (@careerbuilder ) told Pix-l Graphx on Twitter, “We encourage job seekers to use social media as another tool in their kit to help them find the career they want.” You can reach much more people through social interaction. The key to social media success is to be honest, personable, and accessible to make your business grow.