The Nuts and Bolts
The internet and social media sites especially have led to the line between our social and professional lives blurring ever more with each passing day. Social media sites give people the opportunity to connect with old friends, make new ones and expand their professional network with only a few clicks, from the comfort of their own home.
Social media sites have redefined the concept of globalization, which was the „in‟ word two decades ago for large corporations. Unfortunately for the latter, the current globalization concept has allowed businesses of all sizes to tap the benefits of being present in a wide number of markets.
This is because the internet has become a business channel that is practically free and companies are no longer required to make massive investments in building an offline, local presence in whichever market they choose to expand into. In fact, why expand into a single geographical market, when one can access the world with a few clicks of the mouse?
Of course, this doesn‟t mean that it‟s easy to compete against the giants, but, after all, why take on a giant when you can still build a profitable and sustainable business that will change your life and that of future generations of your family without competing directly with the giants.
The one advantage you have, as a small business owner, over a large corporation is relationships. Yes, you heard right! You are more likely to spend time building relationships with your customers than any large corporation as they are mostly focused on their bottom line and ROI, overlooking strategies and tactics that may not convert into tangible results immediately. However, even the „big boys‟ are beginning to understand the value of social media sites and building relationships with their customers, which is why you need to jump on this train of opportunity before it passes you by.
What you need to understand is that the change that has and is taking place is not in the core concepts of marketing, which are more applicable than ever, but in consumer behavior. You see, social media sites have given consumers a voice of their own and they are less likely to fall for advertising campaigns that cost millions to put together. Instead of rushing out to buy a brand new, shiny product, most consumers‟ first stop is their favorite social media website to research the product in question.
For companies who simply „don‟t get‟ the social media space, this can be a killer. However, for those savvy entrepreneurs who understand the new consumer, this is a resource that can be leveraged to create an incredibly successful business.
Why You Need to Be Present
Facebook currently has over 400 million users, making it larger than many of the world‟s nations and it is growing every day. Additionally, this social media platform‟s demographics are so diverse that it makes an ideal marketing vehicle. In fact, more than 50 percent of U.S. users are 26 years old and above, meaning that your marketing efforts will meet with even greater success as these are usually the people who make direct purchase decisions.
Likewise, many businesses are also wising-up to the necessity of integrating social media into their traditional marketing strategies, which includes Facebook. Ergo, whether you are in the B2B or B2C sector, you will still find Facebook highly effective.
However, you do need to remember that it is only a marketing tool as the principles have remained the same. In other words, identify your target market, understand their needs and wants, build a relationship with them and only then attempt to sell to them.
The key to successful social media marketing is to understand your audience and to build a relationship with them. Consumers aren‟t interested in doing business with faceless companies that hide behind a logo. Especially when they have so many other choices. So, let‟s get into the nitty gritty of marketing on Facebook and creating a brand that will have consumers running to you.