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How Can Small Businesses Take Advantage of Social Media Networks?

The phenomenal explosion in the popularity of social media represents by far the most significant development in the usage of the Internet in the last decade. Millions upon millions of people (maybe even billions) use the Internet to interact with their preferred social media networks.

There are many ways in which small businesses can take advantage of this massive interest to help market their products, increase awareness of their business, and especially improve sales. In this post, we are going to look at some ways in which small businesses can use social media networks as a very useful tool. Standard marketing techniques have long recognized the benefit of encouraging people to interact with their products.

This has been achieved by methods as diverse as staging write-in or phone-in competitions, to including testers or free samples, to coming up with a killer marketing slogan. Social media allows businesses to use similar methods at a fraction of the traditional cost and at far greater frequency. Giving people a reason to come back to your social media page each day or to make sure they read your posts and tweets is a great way to keep your business in the public eye.

Depending on the nature of your business you could offer daily discounted specials to surfers presenting your discount coupon. And because the surfer will be printing the coupon you save a fortune on traditional printing costs. The “special offer” has been used as a successful marketing tool from the time people first started bartering and is still a very powerful device today.

Using social media you can take this technique to a whole new level by creating unique offers available only to your followers or visitors, for example by having them recite a phrase of the day (or even the hour) to get a freebie or a discount. Market research can be a prohibitively expensive undertaking, yet it is a vital exercise for businesses planning to launch new products or services.

Small businesses can take advantage of social media networks to carry out such research for virtually nothing. Once you have established your social media presence you have a captive audience who will be only too happy to tell you honestly what they think of your new idea. You can let your readers get involved in running your business by having them vote for things like product names and packaging design.

This could be limited to people voting for one of a number of possibilities you present, or it could be a completely open process where you invite their ideas from scratch. Giving your business a personal touch is always a good promotional idea, and social media is the perfect tool for creating a truly personal feel for your enterprise.

Posting photos of management and staff and having them share their thoughts and ideas with the general public provides a very human touch. Be imaginative when using this technique, like the managing director who used his business' social media page to invite advice on getting a puppy for his kids. In fact, being imaginative is the best way for small businesses to take advantage of social media networks.

 

Edwin Huertas - Isis CMS

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