Many small business owners are faced with similar issues when tackling the subject of internet marketing. What actual value and ROI can I expect for my business? Do I use it alone or as a complement to my existing marketing plan? It’s likely that the company has a static website managed by the two person marketing department or your college nephew. Then recently you met with business friends and someone mentioned using Facebook and Twitter, along with some other sites to drive business. The good news is you are not alone. Statistics indicate that small businesses still are wrestling with understanding the benefit to the social media equation. Yet, social media can be a huge boost to your customer base with minimal expense and can be incorporated into an existing traditional media campaign.
To develop your presence, you have to think about your customers. The same thought should be given to creating a social media campaign as to your traditional marketing campaign. Consider the target market, who are the buyers, what are they interested in and how do you reach them. If your business has always been a referral business or word of mouth, then why not create a larger audience using social media. The difference is that social media is interactive and you want to build an active presence by providing targeted content that interests your customers. This content or buzz requires the same thought as a passive marketing campaign, yet with a different approach- now you are talking with your customers and hopefully they are telling their friends about your business. So how do you create the buzz?
1. Engage the audience – Ask your customers what they want?
2. Manage the content – target your messaging
3. Provide the service – give them something in return, make it fun
4. Monitor the impact – measure growth, read and respond to what your customers say about your business
If you are a business owner, you can’t afford to ignore using social media as a low cost option for marketing your business. It is possible that with the growth of the business through social media, the company may realize a cost savings by reducing traditional paid media. This is the best possible solution.
Personal example, before I buy the latest electronic gadget, I start online to see whose buying, how it compares and what people think. A couple of years ago, I was tired of paying high prices for car repairs at my local car dealer. I went online- checked out one of my favorite resources from a car radio show and found a number of mechanic options. I reviewed current and previous reviews. This may be an oversimplification, however; I made an appointment and found my mechanic. I love these guys, great work. Now I let everyone know they should use them.
See, that’s just how it works, free media and one more customer. That could be your business.
Deb Ford – http://www.linkedin.com/in/DebFord