Social Media For Small Businesses

Social media and social media marketing seem to be the latest internet marketing buzzword flying around at every meeting. There are countless experts and even more gurus who claim to know the secrets to the internet, most of which is snake oil. However there are a few components that can help your business.

Numbers

Simply put social networks are enormous Facebook alone has 600 million users and Twitter has grown exponentially bigger the last few years, and the best part is that it's free. You can instantly connect with thousands of people instantly and potentially bringing you more clients. Facebook ads are extremely targeted and relatively inexpensive you can even go so far as to target their users by interest, geography, age, marital status, etc. This can help stretch your marketing dollars so that your not just throwing it out there for everyone to see, instead you can target specific demographic to increase your response rates.

Cost

TV and print ad's are expensive and are hard to track and its hard to track how effective they are, social media offers an inexpensive way to reach far more people for less. The majority of people are moving away from reading through classified ads and the yellow pages and are now using Yelp and Google places to find and learn about companies. All of these services are free and easy to maintain making them ideal for any business.
Take the opportunity to interact with your customers find out what they like and what they don't. Spend the time and brainstorm with the on how to make your business better. The more you interact with your customers the higher your retention rates will be. Slowly build their trust so they become active participants and repeat customers.

Crowdsourcing

Because of the sheer number of people that use these sites it affords you something that Fortune 500 company's spend millions of dollars on. Crowdsourcing is an inexpensive way to do market research. The beauty and the curse of social media is that you can monitor what people are saying about you. If your doing a great job it's free marketing but if there is an issue people are going to know about it. Crowdsourcing is simple just listen to what the people have to say about your company, products, and services. Along with this you can gather ideas and suggestion on how to make improvements and implement them. Most of the time people wont voice there opinion via a contact form or an email because it takes time, a tweet is only 140 characters long.