So, we saw that social networking can have advantages and disadvantages, but one thing is sure: social media has changed the way small businesses reach out to new markets and interact with their customers. From Facebook to Twitter, MySpace and LinkedIn, social media has quickly become a popular platform to exposing their businesses globally.
Social Media (SM) does a superb job at redirecting the public to a company’s website, therefore increasing their website traffic. Once consumers/ customers visits an organization’s site, they can learn more about the organization, products and services. Most companies nowadays take the opportunity to create online Stores where customers can purchase products and services without even leaving their homes. What with us being all ‘tech-savvy’ (which is just another term to say that we’re pretty much ‘lazy‘), this is a sweet deal.
Reckon customers bother about how user-friendly your website is? You bet your grand aunt’s dentures they do! SM helps to create personality for your business! (Advertisements don’t really give you much space to display your company’s products). Successful companies spend a lot of time and money on branding. Strategy: be yourself, be fun, post regularly and respond to your customers online. Simple :)
Reaching out to your customers nowadays has become easier through SM; I cannot stress this enough. Instead of sending the newbie who just joined your company to go earn his/her way into the work culture; and letting them do the hard yards of phoning customers to announce discounts and promotions, organizations turn to popular media networks such as Twitter or Facebook to get more people into their stores. Simply send out an instant message advertising special discounts (also providing a code or password for the discount). This technique shows customers that you value their loyalty to your organization enough that you give rewards, and it also gives you an idea of who or how many people follow your posts.
Marketing campaigns can be costly for a small business who is just starting up. Social media gives organizations the opportunity to generate buzz without spending too much money. Trade shows are an important ‘rite of passage’ for most small organizations. It is extremely important to generate enough buzz for their products and services to bring in foot traffic to their booths. I read in another blog that the use of social networks such as Twitter can act in turn as an ‘amplifier’ for pre-show rush. A helpful tool would be to use Video posts of product previews or reviews; and post it on social media network channels to get people interested in your products.
SM attracts costumers with Geo-location. SM geo-location apps report a specific location of one user/ consumer to other users. This acts as another way to generate buzz and build brand awareness. These apps also help business owners to connect with their customers; they may also provide promotions or discounts for customers who use geo-location apps to check-in to their sites.
Lastly, SM networks do not only create customer-to-customer relations, it also creates business-to-business relationships. Connecting with other entrepreneurs and businesses can create a strong contact base for your company and can benefit the company/ organization in the long term.