Small Business Marketing – 3 Reasons Why Social Media Marketing Can Help

Small business owners often depend on traditional advertising methods such as magazine ads, classified ads or posters that are pasted on the streets for their small business marketing efforts. Also, despite the frequent mentioning that social media marketing is the current big thing, small business owners tend to shrug the statement off, citing that they are not targeting the global audience, which is a reason that arises from misconception about social media marketing for small businesses.

I am very sure that there are some small business owners out there that are monitoring the trends of blogging and the growth of social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook but they are doubting whether social media marketing is the type of marketing that will work for their businesses. In this social media marketing for small business article, I am going to share with you 3 reasons why you, as a business owner, should start to tap opportunities offered by these online social media platforms.

Get Closer with Your Target Market

First, let’s bust the “Internet is only for international companies” myth. The obvious truth is, more people, including those that are from your local community, are getting online. This means that it is very likely for them to look for a service provider or a product online. If you are able to get in front of their eyeballs during their search, provide the necessary assistance in the form of helpful content and build trust along the process, the likeliness of them doing business with you will be higher compared to a multinational company that often ignore small-sized customers or another local small business that fails to showcase their expertise.

Having an online presence also helps you to understand what the market is desperately looking for or things that they are hoping to get when dealing with your type of business. If you are the first to be able to satisfy their needs, they will definitely recommend your business to others and good words about your business will spread.

Death of Traditional Marketing

Traditional marketing such as newspaper ad or TV ad is dying. Ask anyone who has just finished reading the Wall Street Journal on whether they are going to take action based on the ads they saw. Most of them will find it hard to even recall what are the ads that really caught their attention.

As the attention span of modern day human beings are getting shorter, technologies such as ad blockers, RSS feed for news reading and TiVo for television programs provide users with the ability to skip ads. Compare this to social media marketing where you are going to interact with your prospects directly by providing valuable content rather than hard selling marketing messages, you are more than likely to get better response rates and results.

Building Trust and Loyalty

Value adding through relationship building and useful content creation can achieve more than just bridging the gap between you and your target market. As a small business owner, social media marketing can help you to establish trust and loyalty with community members that you are targeting. With the help of these social media tools, you are now able to track, participate and broadcast within a certain targeted community.

Trust and loyalty is crucial for a small business. Both the elements ensure repeat customers as well as the likelihood of them recommending you to others. By being helpful online irregardless of whether a person will form part of your customer base will definitely contribute towards trust and loyalty building.

Small Business Marketing That Actually Works

Effective principles for standard and home based small businesses:

To best understand small business marketing we first need to agree on a definition. In simple terms it means “exposing your business idea to as many of the right people as possible and convincing them that you have the solution to their problem”. That’s about as “un-technical” as I can put it.

How did I come up with this definition?

A while back before I started my own small home based business I learned about marketing as an affiliate marketer promoting other peoples products. At the time I thought I had a very good idea of what this would involve to be successful. Now, as an affiliate marketer I have found that the most effective way to market to the general public is to use pay per click marketing, primarily through Google AdWords. I can’t begin to tell you how much you can actually learn about consumers and their habits by simply experimenting with AdWords.

To summarize my point, I just want to say that what Google taught me is that it is financially most beneficial to reach only those people who are already looking for my product or service rather than trying to market to the whole community in hopes of trying to “sell them” on the idea of my product or service.

Read that again and let it sink in.

With any small business your marketing must be as precise as possible and incur the lowest expense. If you can execute that equation you’ll reap the biggest reward. To clarify my point I would like present to you two examples.

Once again, let me refer to Google AdWords. Let’s say you’ve decided to become an Avon representative. I’ve chosen this only because my wife loves Avon and she also markets the products. One of the things that Avon doesn’t tell you is that it will take an incredible amount of work to build your business. The main obstacle anyone involved in this type of business has to overcome is TIME. You can only talk to or reach so many people in a given day or year. At some point you have to stop reaching out and service the customers you’ve acquired and/or develop the contacts you’ve made that want to start their own Avon business.

One the best things that Avon has recently done is to provide their rep’s with their own website. In theory this is great. But right away there are a couple of problems with this. Let’s take a look:

– simply having a website doesn’t mean a thing to the success of your business – most of these folks who pay for this benefit actually think that this will bring them more customers (why they would think this I don’t know) – very few people know how to take advantage of an already built website

If you understand small business marketing then you’ve already had the proverbial light bulb already go off. You’ve a great looking website that’s easy to use, you just need visitors. That’s where Google comes in.

I would advise anyone who planned on selling Avon and making use of this website to learn the basics of Google’s AdWords to conduct as many marketing tests as possible. For example, if you’re passion is “skin care” then I would learn as much as possible about the subject and study the pages on the website that are dedicated to this topic. Once you’ve done that then I would begin to think about the type of person who would benefit from these products. With that basic information you can conduct a few marketing experiments.

One of the things Google will help you discover is whether or not there is a market of the product or service you’re promoting as where and how to reach them. By setting a simple ad campaign using the topic “skin care” you can develop a list of keywords/phrases that people would type into Google’s search engine. Start with a bid of $0.05/click and cap off your daily expense and about $3.00/day and let it run for about a couple of weeks. The destination URL would simply be http://www.avon.com. Over a 14 day period if you got enough clicks to use up your daily budget you would have accumulated about 840 clicks. This means that over 800 people would have found your site.

Now, why would you want to spend $42 dollars with no chance of making any money? Simple, wouldn’t you rather know up front if you could get people to find your site before you spend a lot of time and money after you’ve made the plunge? Think about it. By simply spending $42 at the onset you would have a pretty good idea of what you’re chances are at generating leads for your Avon business before you totally commit yourself and end up being disappointed and frustrated.

This is a very simple small business marketing experiment you can conduct every time you have a great business idea you want to try out. Folks, this is simply good business sense. Do you think companies like McDonald’s, Wendy’s, WalMart, Home Depot simply put up retail outlets before conducting a single marketing experiment? You can operate just as smart as these guys.

Here’s my second example. We’ll build on the previous example just a bit. The method I now use to drive traffic to what I call an “affiliate website” like Avon’s I use a website builder program that actually uses a simple building block method along with powerful keyword research software to determine which terms are the most profitable and I design my web pages around these terms to attract “targeted traffic” to my site.

Let’s refer again to the topic of “skin care”. I can, for example, conduct a keyword research on the phrase “skin care” and come up with a list of words/phrases with high demand but low competition. Once I have this list I begin to write informative content that is based on these words. For example, I can write a page on “acne skin care”. The whole content of this page would address this subject and nothing more. The search engines would index this page and know exactly how to classify it so that it comes up with the right search terms on their search engine. This is exactly what I want. Why? Because to succeed with my small business marketing I need to attract “targeted visitors.

How is this being done you ask? Well, once visitors arrive at my website page, read my captivating and informative content they will want MORE information. At this point I will already have a included a “text link” within the context of my page that would direct them to my Avon affiliate site. But more specifically, they would be directed to the “exact page” with the information or product they are looking for, not the “home” page. The web page I created and submitted to the search engines does the most important job of all…it PREsells each visitor. If I have done a good job at this point then by the time they reach my Avon site they are probably ready to buy.

That is the essence of small business marketing as it pertains to the online world. For more information on this subject you can visit my site.

Luis A. Castillo is an accomplished webmaster and affiliate marketer who has been effectively marketing online since 2004. He specializes in the development of inexperienced online marketers through his blog and newsletters.

His passion is working with those who desire to step out on their own to create a more secure source of income in their spare time by working from home or growing their current business.