Business owners across the country are beginning to see a new marketplace: Online social networks. They are pulling in new clients, servicing current clients, and making money through the use of Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and LinkedIn. This attention to new technology greatly increases the image of the brand, provides faster and more effective service, and allows for a high-level of targeted marketing.
Many businesses have used Facebook to pull their fan base, customers, and potential customers together. Facebook provides tools that allow users to play videos and allow businesses to send marketing messages directly to targeted audiences. One of the greatest benefits of utilizing Facebook for business is its viral effect. If any person becomes a "fan" of your page, a message is sent to all of that person's friends telling them about it, providing a great channel to get your message out to many people over a short period of time.
Even if your business is not on Facebook, you can see how Target, Microsoft, and President Obama utilized the power of Facebook to attract tens of thousands of fans, push their brand and products, and ultimately profit from these strategies.
Last year Comcast started utilizing Twitter to quickly respond to customer complaints, and the company has received significant media attention for this strategy. As a result, Comcast has saved numerous customers on the verge of dropping their service.
If your business is not actively pursuing a social networking strategy, you are likely missing out on a huge opportunity to find the clients you want and to service the clients you already have. Even if you do not have a Target-sized marketing budget, there are many tactics you can use to help you increase business.
My next post will examine some of the strategies and tactics that can be used to generate new business from each of these social networking tools. Because each of these tools operates differently and has its own set of goals, the specific tactics will vary greatly for each of the sites. We will cover each of them with increasing depth over time.
Tyler Olson has a vision, a passion for technology, and a love for entrepreneurship. Tyler's current business, HelpMeTy.com, started out of his dorm room two and a half years ago to fix computers and make Web sites. The company now provides remote IT support as well as web services for many people and businesses.