The Importance of Social Networking for Small Businesses

The Importance of Social Networking for Small Businesses
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Small business owners struggle with marketing their products as well as their services, contracting new customers, and maintaining their current customer base in order to succeed. In order to create and maintain the latter, the former must be done and done well. Marketing and advertising is the key to any small business success. This began with direct selling, evolved into advertisements with flyers, posters, then emails, websites, and now electronic ads on social networking sites. Targeting the appropriate customers is the best way to anticipate and meet the needs of those customers.

Social networking sites include LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Myspace. These sites each offer options for small businesses to create profiles and pages, wherein they are able to advertise their products and services. Offering new applications which quantify the likes and dislikes of individuals, users of Facebook can now join “groups” which support small businesses or can “become fans of…” these small businesses, adding to their advertising. This becomes advertising thanks to the ever-evolving applications which these social networking sites have added. The recent activity of individuals, including joining small business groups or adding support to small business advertisements, use to be listed on the individual’s profile but this has evolved into the “newsfeed”. This newsfeed offers multiple updates on the recent activity of friends for users on their home page.

This social networking system of e-collaboration has become a basis of electronic advertising for small businesses. Facebook has now allowed small business owners to communicate to the masses what they are doing, what events are taking place, what achievements or recognitions have been received by the small business, etc… Newspaper articles pertaining to the small business can be copied and pasted onto the business profile or added to their status or Twitter updates allowing clients and potential clients to view their accomplishments within minutes of their publication. By indirectly advertising these achievements by posting projects small businesses can create a “buzz” about their activities.

Small business owners are able to build relationships, gain return customers, and receive referrals by marketing the skills as well as services they offer via social networking. Small businesses will benefit tremendously from creating a profile on these social networking sites which contains all pertinent information that users need in order to evaluate the small business’ qualifications. These profiles can include pictures of the company, their products, or completed work as well as appropriate logos and contact information. These business profiles target large audiences with a single click. Messages and updates can be sent to all of the small business followers through a single click, utilizing the many facets of social networking applications. Through incentives, small business owners can provide contests, games, and prizes for clients who participate.

Events can be created via Facebook or posted on Twitter which contain contact information alongside all relevant information such as the host, location, attire, admission price—if any—, as well as the start and finish times, whether the event is closed or open to guests, and shows a list of those who have made reservations and/or were already invited.

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Comments

  1. Your blog is what you say when there is nobody standing over your shoulder telling you what to do.

  2. I think 1% is still better than 0%, great comments up there! 🙂

  3. If even the big companies are taking advantage of these social media networking by marketing their products there, why can’t the small ones do the same, right? It’s free and people are spending a reasonable amount of time on their computer just browsing their accounts in these popular networking sites. It’s something small businesses should take advantage of.

  4. Here is a similar story

    Next to mobility and cloud computing, social networking was the talk of Interop this year–especially at a conference session devoted to social software tools and a portion of the Unconference, where real SMB users talked about how to make the most of it.

    But perhaps the best thing I learned about social media came in a meeting with security vendor ESET. Just as at a recent Intuit ( INTU – news – people ) town hall where I discovered Social NOT-working, at Interop, ESET director of marketing Liz Fraumann shared the abbreviation for Social Media as “So Me.” Perfect, isn’t it?

  5. Business Directory says

    I have to agree with you, small businesses have very limited budget for marketing. To drive traffic in inexpensive way, social networking and social media is the answer for small businesses.

  6. Most of my friends who are into online business promote their on either on facebook or twitter. But they gained more customer on facebook.

  7. It turns out that facebook is the best marketing platform today, when talking about social networks.

  8. You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be actually something that I think I would never understand. It seems too complicated and extremely broad for me. I’m looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get the hang of it!