Small Business Marketing
According to Steven Spencer the consumer is living at a time where business is providing a seemingly unlimited amount of choices. Iconic brands have tried to push a choice upon us ..."Coke gives you with/without caffeine and with/without sugar . Ford and Chevy have nearly gone out of business by trying to offer too many choices, or more correctly, dictating what the consumer should choose. Bud gives you regular or lite. McDonalds is about the burger. These companies have used massive advertising to direct the consumer choice to their pre-determined, limited set of options." Empowering today's consumer, social media is providing options that just did not exist with traditional "OLD SCHOOL' marketing. "the older model had a marketing organization pre-determining a consumer’s choice through some form of market research and then marketing the heck out of those choices. Now, companies give the illusion of unlimited choices, monitor and track the actual choices that are made and then capitalize on those choices and utilize more subtle earns to influence those choices. Marketing is marketing. The techniques evolve, but the goals remain the same. Buy my product or service and not the other guys."
Small Business vs Social Media -- Game Plan
John Seroka says "Think about the last time you attended a major sporting event, such as a professional basketball game. One connection—an interest in how the team’s players will perform that day—brought you and thousands of people together. The idea of a shared connection helps explain why social media is now a dynamic marketing force for businesses."
- First, you need to be a starter Get into the game - Now would be great!
- The Game Plan
Identify your purpose, know your audience - Connect, Engage, and Share
Blogs - Provide value and build a community
Avoid sales pitching - Just don't do it
Know the tools available - I use hootsuite daily
- The Arena - the differences between the two
Practice your communication skills and stay consistent
Remember, one day doesn't make the season! or It takes that first step to complete a 26.2 mile marathon or U tell me the metaphor / simile
Small Business Twitter
Lisa always has a great article and today she describes a typical conversation. "A small business owner comes to us looking for help promoting his or her business. We suggest using Twitter as a way to find new leads, build relationships and as an overall way to cost effectively market their business. The small business owner then turns around, tilts their head and responds, “Twitter? What can Twitter do for me?” ." Well let me give us some ideas...
- Build CredibilityAnswer common customer questions
Tweet often to keep your brand in customer’s top of mind
Be the one to break the news in your industry
- Market Your BusinessTalk about company culture and values
Let people know the events your company will be attending this year
- Grow EarsTrack conversations about your brand for online reputation management
See how your competitors are interacting with customers
Ask people for their opinions. Listen to them
- Grow Your Online NetworkUse relationship building instead of cold calls and cheesy flyers
Host weekly Twitter chats to bring your community together and meet new folks
Use Twitter search to find relevant conversations you can jump into
- Grow Your Offline NetworkHold tweetups and introduce your community members in real life
Tweet about products just arriving or hot food coming out of the oven
Ask Twitter followers to leave testimonials on your site
- Have FunUse it as your office watercooler if you work from home
Make friendships, not just professional relationships.
Find content that inspires and motivates you
Small Business Jumping Ahead of Competition
Looking for Super and Simple Social media opportunities for Small Business? Pete Cashmore has 4 great ideas!
- Get The Local AdvantageFoursquare, for instance, enables venues to provide special offers to users who "check in" to your business often.
- Engage Your Critics-
2009 was truly the death of screwing the consumer
- Co-CreateWho knows more about what your business should do in 2010 than your customers, partners and suppliers? Finding ways to bring their knowledge and expertise to bear on your decisions can be a major competitive advantage ... if it's done right (...checkout "My Starbucks Idea" site.)
- CollaborateThere's no excuse...Try Google Docs or Basecamp