But the question for small businesses looking to capitalize on social networking is where to focus their efforts? A recent survey conducted by Forrester Research reports that half of B-to-C marketers believe that their brand can potentially be built using social media, but they are not sure how to get the most out of the trend.
“Small businesses need to ensure their social media marketing efforts are hitting their target audience,” says Marlene Bauer Pissott, Founder and President of InGroup, Inc. and WebSwagger.com. “Random usage on all platforms won’t bring you bigger results. Put your focus on the one right for your business to bring the best results and more manageable maintenance.”
There are pros and cons to each social media platform. In addition, what is a positive attribute for one type of company could be a negative for another. According to Adage.com, Facebook has a younger demographic with their largest percentage of user in the 21-24 year old range. Perfect for an up and coming fashion designer but perhaps not the best choice for a business looking to target new customers over the age of 55.
Twitter uses short, concise “tweets” to facilitate conversations among followers. For businesses that specialize in a product or service, following and participating in conversations is beneficial in attracting new customers. For example, a pest control firm can monitor conversations about bed bug problems and offer one-on-one advice as well as links to relevant content on their website.
Businesses more interested in networking with others and sharing extensive knowledge of their industry may find their best fit is on LinkedIn. Leveraging themselves as an industry expert can attract customers or partners already interesting and seeking out specific services.
Once marketers or owners narrow down the best social networks for their business, ongoing efforts to maintain their presence need to be established. Pissott recommends a marketing plan to her clients to facilitate all activities aimed at building their businesses – including social media.
“Social media can fit seamlessly into your marketing plan,” says Pissott. “Most efforts cost more in time investment rather than money. But it is important to include social media when plotting your month-by-month strategy.”
A well-rounded marketing plan that includes social media is the best way for today’s small businesses to compete in this fast-paced, digital age.
WebSwagger.com provides high-quality, low cost solutions for business both Online and Offline with Web development and support, marketing and lead generation.
WebSwagger.com is managed by InGroup Inc. – a full-service creative agency, in Bergen County, N.J., providing innovative marketing and communications services since 1995. For more information visit www.WebSwagger.com or call, (888) 772-6400.