Facebook: the saviour for Small Businesses?

Social Media Marketing has proved itself to be a continuing success with Facebook looking like it is set to expand even further:

Facebook Growth 2004-2010

Facebook Growth 2004-2010

 Source – Facebook

And if the forecast follows the same pattern then it is an opportunity not to missed. Any business looking to connect with potential customers through social networking sites should firstly think about putting together a marketing plan and strategy. The main point to think about is; who are you targeting and what social networking sites are they using? Facebook is the largest and most widely used social networking site but what about the other up and coming social media platforms that are more specific to your business sector? Take the feeling of community online and create a discussion and network of people who are interested and able to make a change.

How can this help Small Businesses?

According to the Manta Small Business Survey, small businesses are looking to social media networking to bridge the gap between potential customers and consequently work their way out of the recession. Here are a few marketing trends that should be acknowledged and actioned sooner rather than later:

  1. Quality vs Quantity- Find those loyal and quality connections/subscribers who will be more likely to stick with you and spread the word. Having thousands of followers who do nothing opposed to 25 who do must make sense. For example any Art based company are more likely to find followers on deviantART rather than trying to filter through the 550 million users on Facebook.
  2. Niche - As above, play on your uniqueness: become the first point of contact for information on your market place.
  3. Take pride in your reputation- Social media is great for showing off, get some opinions and create a conversation about your business.
  4. Options - Give your consumers a choice of how they would like to communicate with you. Facebook and Twitter aren’t enough and others that utilise the mediums of film of photography may be better suited e.g: YouTube and Flickr.
  5. Localized Marketing- Local information, review and discount websites such as Groupon will help inform and draw in consumers from your catchment area.

Used correctly, social media marketing could be the best thing to spend your time and money on. Strategic planning is needed but do not leave it too long or your competitors will be a painful reminder of how well it could have worked for you!

Read more about Social Media Marketing!

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