The traditional marketing model was to get as many eyeballs on your service or product’s message as possible and hope that a percentage of customers purchase. Yellow pages, radio advertising, direct-mail advertising, tv commercials, magazine ads, etc. are examples of these traditional advertising methods. These conventional kinds of marketing are no longer effective as many consumers have become blind to the ‘one way’ messaging. The message has been overdone and people no longer trust advertisers. A 2016 survey found that only 12% of people trust ads while 88% of people trust consumer endorsements. Accordingly, more marketers began seeking alternative ways to get in touch with potential consumers.
Marketing on the Internet was originally made popular by utilizing Websites and optimizing those sites through Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques. While still a worthwhile strategy, SEO has been updated by Web 2.0 strategies, which include social media marketing. Social media marketing is when companies utilize Web 2.0 platforms, such as blogs, social networking sites (like Facebook, Google+, Foursquare, Twitter, & YouTube) and other emerging internet marketing tools.
The benefit of social media marketing versus traditional means of advertising, and even traditional website marketing, is that it involves ‘two-way communication’, where users are empowered to generate content and businesses are incentivized to communicate with their customers.
The days of broadcasting your service or product message out to the masses and hoping for a response are gone. People don’t intend to patronize nameless, faceless organizations. Not only are consumers paying attention to the ‘man behind the curtain’, but they also want to know what others are saying about your service or product.
A recent study concluded that 80% of US Internet using moms were influenced by word-of-mouth from family and friends when making a purchase decision. No other media platform allows for business to take advantage of consumer word of mouth advertising like social media marketing.
I believe that every business big or small should have a Social Media presence, remember it has to do with quality not quantity. A few loyal fans & followers can still be worth a lot to your businesses profit. Keep them engaged & strengthen the working relationships you have with them.
You know your business better than I do. So if you feel that your business is extremely micro-niche or geographically tight then I wouldn’t spend any money on social media at all but some carefully managed time instead. 15-20 minutes a day spent interacting with fans & followers is more than enough to give awesome value to them & keep an active Social Media presence without breaking the bank or wasting hours on SM that could be put towards something more productive.
Advantages Of Social Media Marketing
Increased New Client Acquisitions – The main advantage of social media marketing is that you will have the opportunity to connect with networks of potential customers that you would otherwise be unable to come across utilizing other traditional marketing techniques and even SEO.
Word of Mouth Promoting and Marketing– Grapevine marketing has always been the most influential way to generate sales. With social media marketing, you are able to create raving fans who will voluntarily promote your product and services to their networks of friends. Of course, if your product and services is bad, you could suffer the reverse benefits of this.
Product Awareness – Branding your business using social networking sites marketing is much simpler, faster, and more economical to achieve than the typical advertising medium and even website marketing.
Customer Retention – Web 2.0 platforms, like Twitter, are the perfect places to communicate with your customers about new products, special promotions, or merely to educate them on your business. Through consistent, FREE communication, you can keep your company before your customer’s eyeballs which will consequently lead to repeat business and word of mouths. Remember, the key to this type of communication is to be content rich; don’t use these avenues to pitch your product or service.
Rapid Outcomes – The effective implementation of a social media marketing plan will create almost immediate results for your business. This increase can be quantified through boosted site traffic, increased prospect acquisition, and ultimately increased sales. As opposed to radio or TV ads, where your customers disappear once the ads go off air, these web 2.0 platform benefits will continue long-term provided the communication and updating of your social media presence is maintained.
Why Aren’t More Businesses Utilizing Social Media Marketing?
Make it happen yourself: The fact is learning the basics of social media, creating a plan, and implementing the plan is a task that every local business owner is capable of performing.
Quite frankly, most businesses have no idea how to create or implement this type of strategy. What options to small business owners have when seeking to create & implement a social media sites marketing plan:
Do your homework: There’s obviously a lot of advice and opinion when it comes to social media, especially for lawyers. That’s why it’s imperative to do your own research. Look around different sites, speak with friends and colleagues and start to understand where and how you want your online presence to represent you and your work.
Hire an employee: While leveraging the time, experience, and services of others is a smart way to do business, often times this strategy fails. Why? Ultimately, it is up to the small business owner to create the plan and manage the employee. However, most entrepreneur don’t understand web 2.0 enough to create a plan and haven’t a clue how to manage the employee. Plus, paying an employee increases your labor costs, your payroll taxes, your benefit, etc.
Outsource: If you can pay for it out source it. If that doesn’t fit well with your marketing budget & you have to do it yourself then get educated. There are plenty of courses, seminars, mentors & workshops out there to help you learn.
If you are really on a shoestring budget spend some time scouring the web trying to find free information on social media blogs, websites & video channels. There is no point spending time on something if you are doing it wrong. Social Media marketing isn’t difficult & shouldn’t take long to get up to speed but it doing it or wrong way is the difference between it paying dividends or not.
Outsourcing is a better alternative to hiring a personnel as you won’t have to hire, train, manage, and pay an employee to perform these functions. However, there is a price for these benefits. Outsourcing these services can easily be very expensive. There are some social media service companies to charge over $1,000 to create a Facebook Fan Page, that’s not the case at Ratel SEO.
This task takes, at most, 20 minutes to set up. It’s always about education and understanding. Unless you understand how social media marketing works, then you shouldn’t hire or outsource the tasks unless you’re willing to overpay for a service that you really don’t understand.
Finding the right training programs that will show you step-by-step how to create and manage web 2.0 platforms is paramount as is utilizing software that will allow you to manage all of your accounts from one simple location.
With just a little bf an investment in education, you can create your very own Web 2.0 social media marketing plan. With a little bit of research, you can find an all-in-one do it yourself social media dashboard that will allow you to perform your web 2.0 marketing in no more than 10 minutes a day.
honest, If you are selling & business is going reasonably well, then yes jump on the Social Media bandwagon because you know your business works already. If you aren’t selling very well through any mediums then return to basics & don’t even consider Facebook, Twitter etc until that changes because it will prove unproductive.