Category: Social Media
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In today’s age, social media is used for a variety of purposes. Among them, personal communication is probably the most popular way of using social media. Social media is an innovative way for people who are completely unrelated to connect, so naturally it can be used for many people and organizations.
Social media can also be used to promote businesses, both big and small. Social media is a great way for organizations to get the word out about the services that they offer because it is free and is also a current method of communication. To find out more the role of social media in promoting small businesses, and the impact of social media on these organizations, keep reading.
One of the biggest benefits of utilizing social media in the small business setting would be the ability to attract new customers. Not only are you able to reach out to new customers, but you are able to find these customers by reaching out to current ones. Offering a discount to new customers is a great way to expand your brand through social media. Additionally, connecting with current customers can be done by advertising the organization’s social media accounts at the physical location of the business. This way, satisfied customers are able to connect with the organization and also help spread the word.
Another way that social media can impact a small business would be reduced cost in advertising. Many traditional ways of promoting a business required a person to post an advertisement in a newspaper or other traditional medium. This cost, however, has been eliminated as social networking sites are free. Some of the most popular sites include Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, Google plus and YouTube.
Open communication between the public and organization is a huge impact caused by social media. The business is now able to receive immediate feedback from customers through social media websites. This can be positive, even if the feedback is negative because it can be used as constructive criticism.
Creating and maintaining your brand can be a big reason as to why one should use social media. If the public has no idea what to expect from your business, social media can change that, and allow you to set the tone of your organization through status updates, colors and other content.
An example of some of the ways in which social media can affect a small business would be through the use of Facebook pages. A few months ago as I was scrolling down on Facebook, I noticed a fashion page that my friend liked. I then clicked the store webpage and was introduced to a great local business, just by using Facebook. As you can see, social media works every minute of every day to bring us content that we might light, which is basically how small businesses are advertised.
Social media has the ability to make or break a small business. If people like what they see through social media websites, a local business has the ability to go viral. For this reason, social media has a profound and often positive effect on the small business.
Image via CrunchBase
The internet today is a highly interactive environment. It’s no longer enough to simply post a few news pieces a month while running your business. Your fans, customers, and followers expect a higher level of visibility from you and your business, and you can use that to help your business grow naturally and effectively.
Sites like Youtube and Vimeo offer great options for your business to put out large pieces of video content to your customers. This can take the form of video blogs, showing everyday life at your business and what you have been up to lately. It can also include demos of your current project, or pieces that let you engage with your fans. A good example of this is how Google puts out full product demonstrations of their newest products and services on their Youtube page. Another example is Red Bull’s viral marketing videos that perpetuate the culture of Red Bull as active, athletic, and cool.
However, Youtube and Vimeo are not your only options for putting out video content from your business. Recently, services like Vine and Instagram Video have become very popular. These services allow you to record and post micro-videos from your smart phone. These videos can give tiny tastes of your company culture. Often, these videos are most effective if you use their miniscule lengths to comedic effect. Many video game developers use these services to provide small updates as to the latest build of their current game.
No matter the service you choose, the most important thing to remember is to show your business’ personality. Video is direct and personal, and if you remember that you will garner more customers through your content.
Rewards programs have become an integral part of the marketing plans of many enterprises especially small businesses as it helps to not only attract new customers but also retain existing ones. Of course, creating a strong customer value proposition is also at the center of any rewards programs. A rewards programs could be simply built in-house by an enterprise to save costs but then if there is a budget for it, that function could be outsourced to a professional firm specializing in that field. The advantage of outsourcing the design and execution of your rewards program to a professional is the wealth of experience and long list of collaborators that the professional would have built over time. These would include third party companies and major merchants. The following advantages could accrue to a small business by virtue of such collaborative rewards programs:
i. Creation of a series of rewards that would have appeal cutting across the customer base
ii. In conjunction with partners, design a partnership plan that would have a long-term and strategic value.
iii. Infusion of the rewards program with innovative items such as experiential opportunities and local rewards.
iv. Reduction of offsetting of program costs via marketing activities that are co-funded, marketing exposure, co-branded partnerships as well as merchant funded rewards.
The fact remains however that reward programs, no matter how well designed, enticing and beneficial, still needs to be ‘sold’ to customers. There are therefore various incentives that can be used to encourage customers to buy into and participate in the reward program. Some of these incentives include: (more…)
Web logs, abbreviated as ‘blogs’ have become quite ubiquitous and an integral part of internet marketing. Although they are not necessarily for internet marketing, they have been adapted as a form of communication between a target audience and an enterprise. In recent times, there has been an explosion in the number of blogs and bloggers particularly with the free blogging platform provided by Google and WordPress. The sheer number has also made it necessary to employ strategies to promote your blog if it is to become prominent enough to meet the objectives for which you set it up, whether commercial or otherwise. Of course, give the fact that there are already many bloggers out there in what has come to be referred to as the ‘blogosphere’, you will need some innovative or unique blogging strategies in order to make your mark in blogging. Here are five of such strategies:
i. Content Strategy Development: A lot of factors come into play in determining what the frequency and topics of your postings on your blog. The objectives however, are always to engage your readers, convince them of your position as an expert in the field as well as promote your ideas. The content you will develop must therefore be able to accomplish these objectives.
ii. Propagate Your Idea: Remember, in starting a blog, you are aiming to engage people in discussion. If you really want to get people talking about your idea, you must simply propagate it. You must talk about it in other places other than your blog. Forums and social media networks are also places where you could spread your idea. That way, traffic to your blog starts building and others start talking about it.
iii. Build Authority: People want to talk with experts. If you do not display authority on the very issue about which you are blogging, your visitors will soon drift away. Authority demands attention and gets it. One of the greatest strategies that you can use in succeeding with your blogging is to establish and continually display your authority and not just that but also give your visitors or blog followers the benefit of other people whom you regard having authority in that field. This will serve to portray you as being selfless.
iv. Teach Something New: Including a ‘How To’ post once a while help you add value to the time your blog followers spend with you. People are always on the lookout for something that will help them achieve their own goals in life. Helping them do to that will enhance your relationship and the success of your blog.
v. Pose Questions: One of the most important things about a blog is that it is meant to get people talking. One sure way to achieve that is by asking questions. When you ask questions, people tend to contribute as well as read answers provided by other followers. Ultimately, this creates a kind of engaging atmosphere which happens to be a key blogging objective.
Web logs, popularly known as blogs evolved from being just a means of posting a comment on a webpage. Today, there is talk of the ‘blogosphere’ which obviously is expressive of the kind height and coverage that blogs have today. The importance of this kind of clout to enterprises is that it provides yet another opportunity to connect with it target market. Thus blogs have become a potent marketing tool for companies. The downside to this sphere is that given its over 54 million (and expanding) population, companies are not just having to introduce or reintroduce their brands, they are also having to monitor its perception in the blogosphere. This is very necessary if the brand is to avoid any negative tagging which could immediately its offline activities. In all, blogging ought to be a very important part of any company’s marketing strategy. Here are some reasons why: (more…)
Social media has become a buzzword today, not just for personal users but also in the business world. As a matter of fact, it seems to be gaining a lot more ground in the business world as its popularity increases and the number of users of social media explodes. One of the best definitions for the term social media was give by Andreas Kaplan and Michael Haenlein who defined it thus – “a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, and that allow the creation and exchange of user-generated content“. Examples of the popular social media available today include social networks, wikis, blogs as well as online communities. Amongst these examples exists specific tools or resources which include Youtube.com, orkut.com, linkedin.com, xing.com, facebook.com, twitter.com amongst many others. Social media marketing which has become so powerful today simply refers to the use of these tools for promotional purposes. These purposes could be for marketing, sales, customer service and feedback, Public Relations and even prospecting. (more…)
The term social media is fast dominating the marketing profession and it has become virtually impossible to discuss the social media without talking about Twitter. First of all, the term social media seems to have many definitions but then we can define it as a medium in which the audience is the creators of its content. This is as opposed to the traditional media where the audience just consumes the content with minimal input.
Twitter can further be defined as a social medium which provides a message routing vehicle for the real time exchange of messages via various devices. One of the most outstanding features of Twitter is that it generates what sociologists have referred to as ‘co presence’ as a result of giving people the opportunity to know what their ‘friends’ are doing, thinking, reading and planning to do in an immediate sense. (more…)
Social media can appropriately be described as any medium through in which target audience participates largely in constructing and providing its content. This potential, ability or practice of participating in the creation of the content is one of the most crucial aspects of social media and the part which marketers find most useful and intriguing. It is also this act of participation that forms the crux of what is now starting to be referred to as the attention economy. Social media therefore have become one of the most potent means of marketing in contemporary times.
In spite of all the advantages which the social media confer on the users and the larger society, there are still attendant disadvantages. These are a result of the potential abuse of the system as well as the pitfall that exist side by side the advantages. The following are some of such pitfalls: (more…)
Twitter, which has grown to become one of the most popular outlets on the social media scene today, is actually a platform which allows its users to exchange messages in real-time, that is instantaneously. Its immediacy as well as its compatibility with various devices to post, view and exchange messages is one of Twitter’s greatest selling points. It is therefore not strange that it has grown phenomenally and is still growing today as a means of exchanging personal and business information. When Twitter commenced its services, it was designed to allow people to see what others were doing so it always asked the question “what are you doing?”. This seemingly simple way of seeing and knowing what others were doing created a kind of bond or what was referred to by sociologists as ‘co-presence’. Twitter has graduated since then from just allowing people to know what others were doing to giving others insight into what another person is thinking, reading or involved in. In other words, Twitter has become a major part of the attention economy.
Marketing on Twitter is quite unique in the sense that its structure permits a message post not exceeding 140 characters. This does not seem like much but then a lot can be achieved. Some of the strategies which can be used in marketing on Twitter include: (more…)