How Social Media Marketing Can Help Your Business
It's 2012, and you own a business and wonder why your competitors are doing a lot better. Well, there can be numerous factors such as, location, quality, service, price, reputation, etc. So let's say you feel you are still perplexed in why they're doing better after comparing and deciding that you and 'Joe' (we'll call the competitor Joe) are very much alike. The next question you can ask yourself is, does Joe get the word out better? If so, how does he do it? Ask yourself this, do you have a Facebook page, Twitter account, LinkedIn or maybe even Google+? If you say yes, you're off to a good start, but we'll get to that part later. If you said, "no" or "not really," then that could be the very reason why you may be a victim who is falling behind like the rest of the other businesses who don't utilize and take advantage of Social Media.
Social Media has been around for some time now, I owned my first online store more than 10 years ago when Friendster, Xanga, and AIM chats were the norm (ok and I suppose MySpace too). Resources were a little limited as it is today. Although there wasn't as much social media networking as there is today, the key was constantly circulating content or updating your online store and/or business presence. This meant, that I had to somehow spread the word through web forums, Friendster, or MySpace to promote my business. To the make the story short, I used these sources to keep the buzz going. Let's fast forward to today..we now have Facebook, Twitter, Digg, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Google+ and more. From 10 years ago with such limited resources, I was able to have an online store that generated tremendous amount of sales (of course there was other factors, less competition, less resources in building sites, etc). The difference now is that there is more opportunities to spread the word by using Social Media.
We look back and see that nothing has changed, the same methods are applied. However, the difference you see now is there is more websites thus, more competition. Whether your business is online or at a retail location, you can still achieve a strong presence by using the power of Social Media. The businesses you see today that are doing well, most likely use every means possible to connect to their customers with Social Media.
The question you will then ask is, "Why is Social Media so effective?"
I'll simplify for you guys:
- Some of these Social Media sites get tagged in search engines
- If there's more than 500 Million people on Facebook with the average user being on it more than 50min a day, why AREN'T you on Facebook
- Good posts can create good buzz which leads to end users spreading the information to THEIR network.
- It's a great tool to use to interact with customers. (customer service, promotions/discounts, contests, social buzz)
- Having Social Media channels for your business is the trend now, the younger generation is creating a strong influence for people and the current older generation
- Smartphones (in my personal opinion) really skyrocketed social media attention, easier access means more social media networking = lots of social media juice
- Google+ Page, GREAT business tool to have (save for another time) I mean c'mon it's GOOGLE. It's not a failed product if they haven't shut it down yet.
- Twitter - Microblogging so easy! just "tweet" about anything, just don't spam your profile like you're selling your soul.
- Greatest thing of all? They either will or can connect and link within each other creating a very strong powerful force. It's easy to sign in and share within each network
Okay, so you are starting to get the point and you're considering.... this is where the "I do have those, but it doesn't do anything, this is wasting my time" people come in. The key is constantly creating some form of buzz. I don't mean slapping on an rss feed to your Twitter/Facebook account and spamming your wall with the latest products. I'm talking about actually trying to hype your products, your business, and trying to "SOCIALIZE" with your followers. Now I know this is going to be difficult for some or many who have never tried Social Media as a business tool, but it is one business strategy that should NOT be overlooked. It's time consuming, yes, but have you thought that the other businesses who take initiative do? They really take advantage of it, because businesses who don't, well like I said, fall behind and easily become a has been. So if you're one of those businesses that wait around, and decided later down the road, it will be that much harder for you to climb up that mountain.
I really enjoy talking to my clients or friends about business, SMM, IM, Marketing because I teach them a lot while they give me feedback on how they do as a business. Until next time, feel free to check back on my blog for more articles I write about random rants on what I think about what I do.