In modern era doing business is a hard job and it’s getting even harder. The main reason for this is the fact that many niches are occupied and competition is incredibly fierce.
In this scenario, success depends a lot on how you present yourself. More than ever before, advertising and public relations are fundamental for the success of a business.
However, advertising is often beyond the budget of smaller firms. Major organisations gobble up the majority of the advertising space and push the prices up for the rest of us.
All this makes it almost impossible, or at least not sustainable, for small and medium enterprises to advertise in traditional media. Instead of this, the smaller players are forced to look for alternative marketing methods.
Luckily, the internet has given us an efficient and easy way to promote a business. Online advertising is much more cost-effective than traditional advertising, making it much more accessible for SMEs.
It has to be direct, because advertising offline products and activities has negligible effect. For the ad to be successful, it has to have direct link with the product.
For instance, a banner ad promoting your hotel will be good for awareness, but will have very little influence on the choice of vacation for the next summer. Instead of this, you have to make the client to visit your website and reserve a room straight away.
Social networking can have that type of impact.
In recent years the development of social networks has exploded. Almost everyone has an account on Facebook, and user activity is very high. Twitter has practically replaced the traditional text message.
The specificity of social networks and the close relationships with users makes them highly loyal customers.
Despite many negative reactions to policy changes on some sites, people stay there. They have an emotional attachment with the sites, making them long-term customers.
Using social networks to promote small and medium business is extremely cost-effective.
The biggest investment is in time and knowledge. For a few minutes a day, you can take advantage of the ability to get immediate feedback from customers.
There is nothing better for your business than clients telling you what you can improve. And in social networking there is no shortage of comments! Some positive, some negative – comments are abundant.
Another of the benefits of using social media is that it is not necessary for you to have your own website. Instead, you can make a fan page on Facebook, which if liked by enough people, has the potential to go viral.
Positive reactions from your customers will give other potential users confidence.
Social networkers are accustomed to navigating the sites and comfortable, so they absorb more of the information presented to them.
Compare this to your own site. No matter how slick and pretty a site is, a user first needs a while to orient the menus and navigation. And when you have only a few seconds of their attention, you don’t want to lose it in their wandering.
The possibilities to reach consumers on Facebook are several. One is to buy targeted advertising on the site. Or you can contact large fan pages and pay for your inclusion on their sites.
Another option is to rely on SEO. Traffic can be directed from Google or the social network site itself. The efficiency of this depends on how much the users use the search function of the site in question. If you want to promote yourself with videos on Youtube, SEO is fundamental.
Proper use of social networks should not be underestimated. While it can have a positive impact, it can also have a negative effect.
Updating your page infrequently makes very bad impression. It creates the impression of something neglected, makes you look disengaged, and makes users question whether they can rely on you.
Also very important not to focus entirely on direct sales. Your page should be useful for users, to encourage them to stay there.
As a rule, no more than 10-15% of the focus should be on your sales. The rest should be useful and interesting information on the topic. This may include tutorials, tips, or simply interesting articles and news.
To make the best use of your social media presence, be dynamic, flexible, proactive and contemporary.
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