Social networking platforms build buzz, boost business and serve small businesses as low-cost/no-cost marketing tools. Business owners need certainly to understand how these tools strategically serve and support business first so that they best implement social networking strategies to market products and/or services.
Social Media, in other words, 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 with 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 SMM Panel, like and trust factors that influence decision making. Content is no further just text. Small businesses can use audio or visual content for a “show me” and “tell me” to make communications a pack more interactive punch.
Social media’s direct communication distinction serves and supports business because it brings individuals you intend to attract directly for you and makes direct communication possible. Social Media makes communication a discussion so 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 networking 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. In so doing, 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 as an endorser for the small business. Social networking works as a marketing tool because people are more prone to trust peers rather than companies.
The ability of mass collaboration serves and supports business owners in a distinct way. Tapping/creating valuable collaborative options may bring people together to fairly share ideas, exchange information, and help one another — 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 a marketing tool is simple — because it’s fun. People desire to go where they feel they belong, have a voice, are listened to, and enjoy themselves. Business 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’s 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 were viral! People could easily share the fun with friends as a result of simple social networking sharing widgets.
You can’t put a buck amount on free promotion. Just how social networking stores data as an “Interactive Rolodex” also has an entertainment factor. Sites like Facebook and LinkedIn are becoming the “new databases” since they’re fast, easy, and fun. People are more prone to update their Facebook and LinkedIn information than the usual sterile address book because it’s fun.
Business owners use social media’s entertainment factor to create their online database of contacts and connections, be visible to prospective customers, and get the word 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 may be the first faltering step to considering how exactly to strategically implement the great number of social networking marketing tools and choose those who work best for the unique organization.
The important thing thing that small businesses need to keep in mind when using social networking to simply help sell is that efforts should have value. There’s to be value to your content, community, and execution to obtain people to engage with you or your organization. Social networking doesn’t sell things — people sell things. Doing social networking marketing starts the relationship-building process. Start small and snowball. Social networking takes understanding, passion, effort, and commitment to make it work. Give your business a geniune voice with social networking and commit to providing value and you is going to be off to an intelligent start.