Social networking platforms build buzz, boost business and serve small businesses as low-cost/no-cost marketing tools. Small company owners need certainly to understand how these tools strategically serve and support small business first so that they best implement social media marketing strategies to offer products and/or services.
Social Media, in other words, 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 with their current and prospective customers.
Content in the form 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 SMM provider, like and trust factors that influence decision making. Content is no longer just text. Small businesses may use audio or visual content for a “show me” and “tell me” to create communications a pack more interactive punch.
Social media’s direct communication distinction serves and supports small business as it brings the folks you want to attract directly for you and makes direct communication possible. Social Media makes communication a conversation so small business owners can share, receive feedback and connect on equal ground with their target markets.
When small businesses empower their target consumers, they feel powerful. When your target market feels powerful, it trusts you, buys from you, and stays with you. Social networking collaboration transforms consumers into “prosumers” ;.In an era 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 particular communities and/or joining communities. By doing so, they are able to 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 marketing works as a marketing tool because individuals are prone to trust peers as opposed to companies.
The energy of mass collaboration serves and supports small business owners in a distinct way. Tapping/creating valuable collaborative options brings people together to generally share ideas, exchange information, and help each other — and support relationship growth. Removing the “company/client” disconnect can breakdown elitism and boost marketing mind power.
The most important reason that social networking works as a marketing tool is easy — because it’s fun. People wish to go where they feel they belong, have a voice, are listened to, and enjoy themselves. Small company owners must 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 example of social media marketing marketing in brilliant action. Videos were relevant as they showed the item, were entertaining (they blended an iPhone!), and they were viral! People could easily share the fun with friends because of the easy social media marketing sharing widgets.
You can’t put a dollar amount on free promotion. The way social media marketing stores data being an “Interactive Rolodex” also has an amusement factor. Sites like Facebook and LinkedIn are becoming the “new databases” since they’re fast, easy, and fun. Folks are prone to update their Facebook and LinkedIn information than the usual sterile address book because it’s fun.
Small company owners use social media’s entertainment factor to construct their online database of contacts and connections, be visible to prospective customers, and get the term out in creative ways like YouTube videos, blog posts, images, podcasts to create 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 is the first step to considering how exactly to strategically implement the multitude of social media marketing marketing tools and choose the ones that work best for the unique organization.
The key thing that small businesses need to consider when using social media marketing to help sell is that efforts will need to have value. There has to be value to your content, community, and execution to have people to activate with you or your organization. Social media marketing doesn’t sell things — people sell things. Doing social media marketing marketing starts the relationship-building process. Start small and snowball. Social media marketing takes understanding, passion, effort, and commitment to create it work. Give your small business a traditional voice with social media marketing and commit to providing value and you is going to be off to a good start.