With so many low-cost, highly effective marketing options available on the web today, it can be confusing for a small business to figure out which ones are passing fads, and which ones are solid, useful marketing initiatives that can produce great results over the long run.
And although social media marketing is an extremely hot topic right now, many small businesses still wonder if it really helps generate leads and improve visibility, or if it’s a trend that will ultimately be a waste of time and effort
So if the question is “can social media marketing really work as a small business marketing tool,” here are six reasons why the answer is a resounding YES!
1 – Your customers are already there – and so are your competitors. With more than 500 million users on Facebook alone, it’s hard to imagine that your customers are not using the social sites. onzepagina In fact, forecasts for 2011 show continued growth in social media marketing use, and businesses that are already using social media are well-positioned for faster growth and improved sales.
2 – Search engines now display real-time content from social sites. Everything that you add to your social networking profiles – Twitter tweets, links to articles, Facebook posts, YouTube videos, blog posts, etc. – becomes indexable content for the search engines. The more content that gets indexed, the more opportunities you have to be listed in the search results, where customers and potential customers can find you. Be sure to use your high-value keywords in your content, including in the titles and descriptions of videos.
3 – Your business can dominate the search results. When your content is indexed in multiple social channels across the web, you have a chance to show up multiple times on the same page for a given search. For instance, a search for “home builders in Michigan” could return a listing for your website’s home page, a YouTube video on a recent building project, an article you wrote for your e-newsletter, a Twitter post from participating in a recent home show, and a Facebook post with photos of your current project. That’s five separate listings for your business on one results page, leaving little room for your competitors!
4 – Builds credibility and trust for your business. Not that long ago it was common for businesses to think of websites as a luxury – not as something they HAD to have in order to be taken seriously by customers. Not so today! Business websites are an expectation among consumers today, and having a social media presence is quickly becoming just as important. The absence of a solid online presence can raise a red flag with potential customers, making them skeptical about the seriousness of your business or assuming you have nothing useful to say.
5 – Integrated Social Marketing (ISM). By integrating your social marketing platforms with each other, with your web site, and with your existing marketing initiatives, you can create an automated “marketing engine” for your business that is both easy to use and to keep updated. With one single action, you can update all your social marketing platforms at once (including your blog and website), and enable your message to potentially reach millions of new prospects as your content gets shared across the social networks. NOTE: See this month’s special offer for information on Five Sparrows’ Integrated Social Marketing services!
6 – The results can be tracked and measured. There are many free tools available on the web that can help you track and measure your social marketing effectiveness, such as Google Alerts, Twilerts, and Bit.ly. There are also built-in stats on the social platforms, such as Facebook Insights and YouTube Insights. You can also monitor your actual website stats to see how much traffic is coming to your website from the social networks, and you can monitor the links and keywords that are bringing in new traffic and resulting in conversions on your site.