Smaller businesses are recognizing the value too. According to a recent survey conducted by American Express OPEN and Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization (SEMPO), US small businesses recognize word-of-mouth as the most prevalent way their customers find them, followed by the Internet and search engines. This reliance on word-of-mouth, coupled with its relatively low cost, has made social media the second most popular online marketing tool, right behind corporate websites.
Define your goals – Increase brand awareness, educate and inform your customers, improve customer service, etc.
Determine which platforms are the best fit for your business and audience – Having a presence on all the major social media platforms is optimal, but the nature of your business and the amount resources you have to invest may dictate which channels you start with.
Interact with your target market – Social media is based on relationships, so it’s important that you get to know your customers. Interact without promoting. Listen to what’s important to them.
Measure the Results – As with any other marketing campaign, you need to monitor your progress and then tweak your campaign for maximum effectiveness.
Like any innovation, social media platforms have spawned a cottage industry of add-ons, plug-ins and value-added services. In the coming weeks, we’ll take a look at the top tools available. Share your favorites by commenting below!
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