Social Media has leveled the marketing playing field. A Small Business owner with a well executed Facebook campaign, can now compete and with a Million Dollar Corporation using similar resources.
Important trends have emerged:
1) People do not go to Facebook or Twitter just to buy a product or service. They go to engage, have fun, interact and in some cases, complain or question. They don’t particularly want to see the “in-your-face” marketing as we know it.
2) Consumers want your business to be more socially responsible. The question you have to ask yourself as a business is “How do I communicate my brand to my customers so that we share the same values?”
Why Social Media Is Crucial For Your Business
- A majority of consumers have “ad blindness”. This means your typical advertising as seen on the TV, print media, billboards etc. are simply not seen by viewers as they are exposed to literally hundreds of them everyday. In order for your business to standout, and your advertising to become effective, you need to engage with your customer. This is only possible with social media
- Social media is growing exponentially. Nielsen research reports that there are close to 400 million unique audiences throughout social networking sites. Can you afford to miss out on this important marketing avenue?
- Participating in social media is a great way for businesses to expand their reach, foster new audiences, increase income, and grow brand recognition. Your customers will come to know your brand and services more rapidly and effectively.
- You can get instant gratification or criticism from your customers.
How Social Media Can Help Your Small Business Generate More Sales
Many small business owners are now realizing that social media can help drive traffic to their website or help them increase their sales. So they rush out and set up a Facebook or Twitter account. Then the question arises - what do they do with these accounts now that they are up and running?
Below, a number of ways social media can be used to help generate traffic and grow the business, are listed
1) Locate Your Customers
Social media gives you a great way to find your customers online. These are the people who want to connect with you and buy your products or services. Spend time going through and joining Facebook groups that are either related to your business or your target market. Look for followers in Twitter searching by location or bio.
2) Share Your Content
If you have a blog or any other content you can share e.g photos. ebooks, demo videos etc, social media is the perfect medium in which to share.By sharing your content on social media networks, you can showcase your expertise and give your audience a taste of what it would be like to work with you. Also by sharing your content, your information can get spread out very easily.
3) Engage with Customers
Interacting and responding with customers can go a long way towards building loyalty. Social media is just another way to offer excellent customer service by answering questions, solving problems and offering help when people need it. This way, you will keep customers coming back.
4) Discover Valuable Opportunities
If you know how to listen, you can find lots of opportunities in the social web. By setting up Google Alerts and social media searches, you can pay attention to the needs of your audience and even offer a solution to the people who are looking for one.
5) Get Feedback From Your Customers.
Listening to the needs of your customers and prospects helps you get a valuable insight into how better you can serve them. Social media offers the perfect forum to ask questions about your current offers and solicit feedback on ideas for new products or services. You can also use the feedback as testimonials that can help promote your business.
6) Run A Promotion.
Social media can be a great arena for running a promotion. You can offer a special discount to your Facebook fans or Twitter followers. This is a great way to help drive some business to your company and to spread the word about you. After all, people always LOVE deals!
Top 15 Benefits of Social Media
- Improved sales
- Consumer engagement
- Product or service promotion
- Increased web traffic
- Targeted consumer reach
- Low cost advertising
- Wide audience reach
- Free test audiences
- Boosted search engine performance
- Instantaneous interaction
- Creating buzz
- Extended contact beyond sales pitch
- Customer service
- Online reputation management