For ages, businesses have had the challenge of finding affordable advertising. Before the Internet, marketing was done utilizing adds in magazines, fliers on community boards, and television commercials. Other companies utilized guerilla marketing techniques, such as McDonald’s and Lance Burton. Nowadays, social media offers a free platform with the potential to reach millions!
Twitter, though it restricts post to a mere 140 characters, can be a powerful marketing tool when used effectively. Just as customers are more likely to walk into a store with an interesting display, people are more likely to engage with your company on twitter if you have an active, interesting profile and presence. This also makes other twitter users more likely to promote your content by retweeting to their followers! As it’s likely that their friends share similar interests, this simple retweet can create a domino effect of others following suit and retweeting it to their own followers, thus increasing your prospective customer base!
Twitter also brought about another function called hashtags. For small business owners trying to find their target audience, the effective use of hashtags can help. For example, if you’re a small business owner trying to promote a sale on prom dresses 2 weeks before the event, a tweet such as “Today, 50% off prom dresses! RT! #prom2k14” would not only reach your current followers, but also potential customers who don’t currently follow your Twitter account. Why? People searching within Twitter for “#prom2k14” using its Discover function will find your tweet!
Facebook is another social media outlet that has embraced the power of the hashtag. Small business owners can create a Facebook Page to keep their followers updated on in-store events and activities. Hashtags within a Facebook Page can be shared publicly and potentially drive traffic to your site. In comparison, Facebook doesn’t have a character limit and has a more robust photo sharing feature than Twitter does.
Facebook also offers e-commerce solutions, which is huge for small business owners, seeing how the e-commerce market is a $1 trillion industry. It is predicted that by the end of 2014, mobile sales will account for 19% of the $57 billion industry; that is a huge chunk of change! Seeing how Facebook and Twitter offer mobile formats for their sites, using them for your small business can turn out to be a very lucrative move!
So why is social media effective in extending your reach? Simple. Twitter and Facebook offer mobile solutions for their sites, which will reach roughly 62% of those around the world who use social networks! Imagine how many of those are in your local area! Considering that these solutions are free, there’s little excuse not to try them out and see how they can help your small business succeed!
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