If you have a small business that is still thriving, congratulations! You have reached a major plateau – you are still alive! At one time, a bad economy could be the deciding factor in a company’s survival or demise. Many direct paper campaigns died an early death as mailboxes were quickly emptied of anything that smelled remotely of sales or marketing. So much time and money wasted, with envelopes discarded, unopened and unread. As the economic climate grew dim, small businesses that previously thrived on their loyal, repeat customers just couldn’t keep their prices down when competing with the large retail stores that could. Doors closed and years of hard work and past success were snuffed out.
However, with the inception of the Internet and the Worldwide Web, the playing field has greatly changed. Whether you are a single entrepreneur or a medium- to large-sized company, the rules have changed and the end game is more attainable. What is the end game? Hey, I’m glad you asked. Increasing your sales and expanding your horizons need to be the foundation and goal of every business. Whatever economic climate is upon us, every business needs a larger ROI.
Having a brick and mortar store just doesn’t cut it anymore. The Nielsen Company conducted a survey in March 2010 and polled more than 27,000 Internet users in 55 markets from Asia-Pacific, Europe, Middle East, North America and South America to look at how consumers shop online: what they intend to buy, how they use various sites, the impact of social media and other factors that come into play when they are trying to decide how to spend their money. Pity the product or retailer that consumers don’t like: while most online consumers (59%) said that they are not more likely to post a negative product experience online via Twitter or writing a review, 41% would. The Worldwide Web has unquestionably become the prime source of information and communication.
Internet marketing for small businesses has proven to be a very smart strategy for any business looking to increase their website traffic. Increased traffic, as everyone knows, is the door to increased sales. But that core question still remains: how precisely do you increase your traffic? Millions of prospects surf the Internet daily, but at the same time, thousands of new blogs and websites come into fruition. So, how does one stand out from the crowd? How will your target market find you?
It’s not all about you. At one time, marketing to a target market was totally dependent on personas and demographic statistics. Mind you, they are still important and a vital part of the research process. But we are now living in the global age of digital chatter. People want to talk, to write, to express themselves. They are ready and willing to be engaged. No longer the aloof, snail mail marketplace, they are people with faces and families, sharing their feelings and their lives online. The public has become very public and they want it reciprocated. By using social media platforms and their tools, a business can reach out and touch their customers and prospects directly, as well as allow their clients and prospects to hear their personal voice. The connection is direct and real, giving the business owner a bird’s eye view into the expectations and demands of their target marketplace. Social Media has created a virtual intimacy.
Twitter and Facebook are the two hottest social media tools in the market today. Together, they draw millions of followers, a never-ending gold mine of possibilities.
We are living in a great age where the former physical barriers of time and space no longer exist. Whether it’s a quick phone call to China, a Skype meeting in Africa, or a Webcast in India, we now have an open door to 24/7 worldwide communication. It is an awesome time for marketing. Smart marketing is resourceful marketing. Creativity and passion brought you to where you are today. But you cannot afford to remain stagnant. Let your voice be heard today, by using the right strategies, tools, and technology. Do your research and take advantage of the Social Media Marketing techniques and tools that will help you meet your marketing goals and objectives today.