I meet business owners that feel most of online marketing is a waste of time. They usually have a few forms of marketing that they use. They might have a truck wrap that advertises to people stuck behind them in traffic. Sometimes, they put a sign up on the side of the road; so people can read that, while they are stuck in traffic.
They do have some non traffic dependent advertising. There is word of mouth and putting a coupon in a flier.
Truck wraps, direct mailers, and road signs can be effective, but are limited and not for every industry. If you have a slow day, there is a change in business, or you want to announce a sale; it is difficult to let people know with any of these methods.
Word of mouth, if positive, is great. If people are happy with your business, they will tell their friends. If people are really happy, their friends will tell their friends, and soon you have either hire some help or turn people away.
It’s important to note that this process works very well in reverse, and negative word of mouth will turn away business prospects before they even consider your business.
If your business is not always flooded with work, social media is an affordable option to consider for creating that word of mouth buzz that may be difficult with a truck wrap or a paper coupon. Social Media is where your customers will spread comments about your business, and where your business can respond.
Social Media Marketing uses social media platforms for promotion and customer engagement. It offers the chance to respond directly to your customers, advertise to the general public, and build a loyal customer base.
Social media offers its users a variety of ways to share, create, and subscribe to content and form communities with other users. It does this for free and tries to build a large and diverse user base. It encourages a lot of personal content. This user base is not the social media company’s target audience. The user base is the commodity, and the target audience are businesses.
Businesses gain access to this user base through a variety of ways. Most offer a range of online advertising platforms that can be focused down to relevant targets. Businesses can gain subscribers through attracting interested people with relevant content and through advertising campaigns.
The best truck wrap or the prettiest flier will not help you with the customer that is looking for your service on Google or Facebook. You will also be completely helpless against negative feedback, if you are not monitoring these services.
The business owners that do not believe social media is important are usually people that do not use social media personally. To those business owners I usually tell them that there is a big difference between a business and an individual using social media. As a business, you want to market where your customers are. Talk to your customers and find out what they are using. If your customers have Facebook, creating a business Facebook page will allow them to follow your page for new offers and sales. It’s also likely their friends and family use Facebook, and they can share and recommend your business. Overtime, it can grow and can be used to develop sales.