Many people wonder why many small businesses are becoming active on social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. This can be explained in only a few words why they do that. Because it’s hot! And what could be the better way to connect to business and clients when there are millions of people connecting to whatever they like every day. Small businesses are taking advantage of this networking and making their business bigger and profitable.
Today, when anybody wants to find anything on the web, what do they do? They hop on Google and look for it. Google is kind enough to prioritize, index, sort, and rank the websites closely matching our interest. Thanks, Google!
I need an attorney; Google says, here are some attorneys. I’m looking for a great Thai restaurant; Google says, here’s a few. I’m trying to find a good doctor; Google says, here are some numbers. Google is so helpful.
Now, we needed Google in the past because the medium wasn’t inherently social. We needed an engine-a piece of software to sift through the pile of data – to help find things we were looking for.
Social media is the tool that helps others to share your name; to point others to your brand; to quickly hand somebody an electronic business card with your name on it. If your card isn’t available to hand out – if you don’t have a Facebook Page, for example – it makes it difficult to refer you. Social media makes it easier for others to refer, mention, praise, and respond to your company, thereby improving your visibility.
Thanks to the rise of social networking sites and social media those efforts are becoming more time and cost-effective. In a recent study, more people use the web for social networking than email. In fact, almost 67% of people use the internet mainly for accessing and participating in social communities. Given the number of individuals involved in these communities, it allows businesses of all size access to the same customer base.
Small businesses can then compete with the bigger companies by connecting to their customers directly. Then based on positive experience word of mouth will help spread the word about the company.
Advertising on the social networks is also more helpful to small businesses. Large companies have the dollars to spend on TV, radio, or print advertising on a regular basis. Smaller companies might be able to purchase those spots once in a while but probably not as much. Well, advertising on the social web is more cost effective, and you can reach your audience much more directly which makes it a much more valuable tool.
The real advantage of the social web though is the ease of access to your customers. Large companies are using the social web too, but the nice thing about that avenue is it is more of an equal playing field. Small companies have the same access as big business, and they are all communicating with the same customers. Sure larger companies have more resources, whether people or money, to devote to their projects but that does not necessarily make them more efficient.
The key to success on the social web is to know your audience. You have to know who they are, where they are, what they want, and what the most important factors to them are. If you can learn the important information about your customers, you can be just as successful reaching them as your larger competitors are.