Social Media is something that some businesses think they should be using, some use hesitantly not really knowing if it is for them, and others shun as being a fad that is most definitely not useful for their business. Last week I had the pleasure of attending a seminar held by Shaa Wasmund, who demonstrated why Social Media is for business, and not just for fun.
When people think of Social Media, the initial thoughts that spring to mind are of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and You Tube. Whilst these are important vehicles in a Social Media strategy they are just that – a vehicle. These platforms alone cannot form the basis of a Social Media marketing strategy. So, what can? The answer is: Content.
Social Media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook are vehicles that allow you to showcase content to your target audience; they allow you to transport your content from your website to the world. Without useful, informative and beneficial content the benefits of these platforms are reduced significantly compared to if they are teamed with great content. Similarly however, if you are writing wonderful content on your Blog and not using Social Media you are missing out on an expansive and growing target audience.
Social Media is a way for people from different areas, background and expertise to pool and share knowledge. Once people know they can rely on your business for advice in your area of expertise they will keep coming back to your Blog; and when they need a product you sell, where are they going to turn? Back to your website to buy from the business that they feel they know and can trust.
People buy from people, and in a world saturated by traditional advertising people have grown weary and become cynical. Not only does traditional advertising cost money, which many small businesses don’t have, it is also becoming less and less effective. This gives small businesses a great opportunity to take on big businesses.
Many big corporations struggle with Social Media use, as decisions have to be passed through boards and directors, which means that personal engagement is rare. However, with over 71% of the Global online community using Social Media, this gives small businesses an impressive advantage over big corporations, in a way that has never been seen before.
Now, more than ever, people buy from people. Not only that, but they buy from people they know, trust and like. Social Media gives your business the opportunity to be known, trusted and liked by your target audience. When used in tandem with great Blogging, Social Media also leads to respect and an opportunity to become an expert in your particular field.
Buyers, more than ever, want to buy from people they trust and respect. Social Media gives your business a great competitive advantage over big businesses in this area; and that is why Social Media should be at the heart of your business as a low-cost, effective, marketing strategy.