Top 10 Small Business IT Questions
#2 How can Social Media help me find potential customers?
Let’s look at Social Media in the context of Marketing. The focus of any good Marketing plan is to understand your customers – where are they located and how can you create a message that resonates with them. Let’s assume as a small business you don’t have the big budget that some of your competitors have. Your best strategy may be a focused rather than shotgun approach. And Social Media may be just what you need to do it!
There are several social media platforms used today, the most popular being Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, with Pinterest coming up fast. Each platform has a unique customer demographic. Here’s how I would categorize them. Over the past 5 years, Facebook has transitioned from a younger audience to an older audience with a focus mainly on social connections. LinkedIn has many professional contacts and is good for Business to Business connections. For a younger audience, Twitter is your best bet, attracting mostly those in the Millennial age group. Finally, Pinterest is used primarily by a female population of various ages. So, for example, if you’re selling your product or service to another business then your focus should be on LinkedIn. Always start by seeking out the best social media match to your customer base.
Now that you’ve focused on the platform, think next in terms of extending your messaging to reach a vast audience. This is the great advantage of social media over traditional networking. Through traditional networking you can make contact with 25+ people at an event. Through social media you can reach hundreds, thousands and sometime many, many more.
The messaging in social media is quite different than in traditional networking. Previously, your business card, 30-second commercial, and trifold were often the most common components to convey your message. With social media it’s all about content and how that content resonates with your customer. You’ve seen this when a YouTube video goes viral or your website receives 24,000 hits overnight. With this type of reach, you need to think differently. No longer is your goal to reach the 25 people you met at an event last week but instead, to reach the 24,000 people who saw the message you posted last night.
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