Small Businesses Need to Embrace Social Media Marketing
The continuing development of social media has shaken up the marketing world. While it has allowed businesses, large and small, to reach a larger audience, it also has become vital to keep up with the latest trends and technology. This is something that can potentially scare off a lot of small business owners, who think that they need a large budget to pursue this new marketing avenue. However, by applying some creativity, small businesses can reach an unlimited number of new potential customers.
Tools like Twitter and Facebook are free to use and can be deployed to share valuable and relevant information with their target audience. In this way, businesses can build a trusting relationship with their potential customers. Also free and effective in drawing more people to your business are location-based social networks Gowalla and Foursquare. Having said that, it is advisable to think about what you are going to do before immersing yourself in social media marketing. A half-baked approach can mean you are wasting your time. Bombarding your target audience with advertising day after day is not going to win you any new customers.
A good way of communication with new and existing customers is via your business blog. If you want this to work, you will have to make some time every week to engage in two-way communication with your blog visitors. Facebook and LinkedIn can also be used in this way. Just remember that a constant, pervasive stream of advertising and self-promotion is a sure way of losing people's interest. Instead, try to get their attention by using your messages to link through to relevant and genuinely interesting information that is useful to your target audience. Another way of engaging in two-way communication is offering customer service and asking for feedback on your product or services.
Social media expert and editor of BusinessZone.co.uk, Dan Martin, advises small business owners not to ignore social media.
His advice is to think about who you are trying to reach and how to best motivate these people into taking action. He also recommends that small business owners use one of the many available tools to measure the results of their social media marketing efforts. For maximum effect, your business' social marketing strategy should be designed to fit into your existing marketing plan, so both can work together, making each other stronger.