Running a business in today’s environment requires every edge you can find to help boost performance and enhance your brand. But many small and medium size businesses have been slow to warm up to the use of social media as a marketing tool.
The reasons for not having taken the plunge are many, but here are 16 reasons why you should consider employing this strategy. Besides, what do you have to lose other than your business success?
- Competitive edge – Since there are so many other businesses that have not embraced the use of social media, an opportunity is on the table for you to jump ahead of the pack in your particular niche. One of the largest advantages in any business is to do more than the competition. If you are to gain an edge you’d best get on with it, as this opportunity will not last indefinitely.
- Go where the people are – Your potential customers are already using this technology to assist them in making buying decisions. With millions of internet users, you need to be in the mix with them. This brings you much closer to having your finger on the pulse of the market and knowing what the current trends are and what people are really looking for in terms of a product or service.
- You are being passed by - Just what do you think your smartest business competitors are doing? You guessed it, they are already ahead of those who are not using social media marketing and are gaining that competitive edge mentioned in # 1 above. You cannot stand by and watch from the sidelines while potential customers move in another direction.
- Large corporations are involved - This should tell you something. Large corporations don’t do things because they are trendy or fun, they get involved because they know that these techniques work to move their bottom lines in a positive direction. It’s all about the money.
- Old school is just that - The old school marketing models are becoming less and less effective as society as a whole embraces the Web 2 technologies. The behavior of your customers has changed and you’ll have to change with them. It’s like a new language, unless you learn how to speak it, you’ll fail to communicate or connect.
- Your reputation and credibility - As a business operator you have no doubt worked hard to build a certain reputation, a perceived level of professionalism and fairness. When you fail to change with the times you may be perceived as out of touch, which ultimately hurts your reputation and credibility.
- Be seen as a leader - Living on the cutting edge of technology and incorporating this into your business positions you as an industry leader and someone who knows how to adjust and provide the best services or products. When potential customers have this type of perception of you, they will turn to you as an authority figure and leader.
- People are talking - Inevitably people will always talk about your business and what you have to offer. Word of mouth advertising, while free, can make or break your business. There will be talk no matter what you do, so have a hand in giving them something positive to talk about like “I see XYZ Company is now advertising online everywhere”. This can only mean good things for your business.
- Establish your online voice - While the others are talking be sure to establish your voice and the ability to get your message through. This is accomplished by being continually involved in social media circles. When you are a regular, you are then not perceived as someone coming to the party late and trying to speak over everyone else.
- Develop relationships without the constraints of time – The use of social media provides great opportunities to establish and build relationships. There is no time constraint like offline life where the parties have to be in the same place at the same time. The use of social media tools could not make this situation easier.
- Conduct product research - With relationships established you can reach out to your potential customers and find out exactly what issues or problems they are having and would like to have solved. This is an ideal way to determine what products you can offer that people are interested in buying.
- Play traffic cop - With a crafty social media strategy you can drive large amounts of traffic to your website or landing pages to receive your message.
- Monitor the competition - This is of great benefit to you, as you monitor what your competition is doing to be successful. You will then have to best their offers and give a little more when possible. It’s also a means of staying informed about various industry developments that you may have somehow missed.
- Share industry news and developments - Sharing information and the latest news and developments within your area of expertise positions you as the go-to person and an industry leader. People are always respectful of those that willingly share valuable information that helps them.
- Joint venture possibilities - Having a presence online has always been valuable. You never know when someone may have something of value to add to your business. Perhaps they have a product that can be combined with your service or vice-versa, thereby creating an opportunity for a joint venture. This could lead to long-standing business relationships and winning situations for all involved.
- Increased income - After all, this is the reason you started your business in the first place. When you spread your reach using the power of social media and all of the associated tools, you in effect multiply yourself. You could never physically reach so many with so little effort.
Developing and growing your business is one of the most important things in your life and failing to recognize great opportunities will haunt you for years to come. Be proactive, think outside of the box and visualize the larger picture for your business future.
Social media is here to stay and the sooner you get involved and develop a strategy, the sooner you’ll be reaping the rewards of your efforts. You will someday wonder why you had not gotten involved sooner than you did. It is surely not too late to embrace this marketing model and take your efforts to the next level of development.
Someday, the flood gates will open and the opportunity to gain an edge on your competition may be lost, as everyone will be doing what few are doing now.
Bonus reason – Why not?
What sound reason could there be for not promoting your business and reaching more potential customers? This is today’s marketing model so begin the process of taking action now and good luck to you in your endeavors.
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