Just a couple of decades ago, getting the word out about your business meant picking up the phone and making cold calls, or mailing out expensive flyers or brochures. Today, the landscape has dramatically changed, and social media has all but taken over the marketing arena. So what is it about social networking sites that have today’s businesses buzzing? Here’s a look at why every blogger and website owner should participate in social networks.
- Social Networking sites are free: You generally won’t have to pay one single penny to be a member of a social network. Some sites, such as LinkedIn, offer premium member services, but most offer free memberships. Just set up your account and you are ready to go.
- There are over a billion potential customers, worldwide: Facebook may have started out as a younger crowd, but now, more than half of its 800 million users are over 45. No matter who your target market is, you’ll find them on social networking sites.
- There are sites for just about everyone: Linked-in is filled with people who are looking for business contacts; Google sites like Google + have technologically savvy users; many other sites are filled with women who have craft and design interests; there are social networks for just about any hobby or pastime you can think of. Think about what your target market may be interested in, and then join one of their social networking sites.
- Your Competition is already there: Don’t think for a minute that your competitor is sitting on the sidelines. They are already participating in social networks and if you don’t hurry, you’ll get lost in the shuffle.
- Social Networking is Simple: A simple Google search will net you hundreds of sites that you can connect with. All you have to do is set up your account and start participating! Be clear on your message and concise with your words; brand your marketing message and people will come.
- Your Marketing Message Will go “viral”: The great thing about the internet and social networks is that your message can be seen by thousands of people in a very short period of time. This can literally explode your business and your client base. You’ll have more business than you know what to do with!
When you think about it, there is really no downside to social networks and presenting your marketing message there. Generate conversations around your products and services. Educate people on how you can help them and what you can offer them. What problem can you help them solve?
Some of the biggest names in business are now marketing almost exclusively on social networking websites and doing quite well. Some of these include airlines, car manufacturers, and financial institutions. You might think that your small business can’t compete with the big companies – you’re wrong. Social networks put everyone on an equal playing field.
The question is not whether to participate in social networks or not; the question is what have you been waiting for? Get started today and watch your business grow.