What Does the New Year Mean for your Business?

5 01 2011

Staff is almost 100% after the holiday breaks, and business “as usual” is beginning to grind back to normal speeds, but what does a new year mean to you and your business?

I’ve found that more often than not, my of my client companies take the time during the holiday break to evaluate their positions in their industry as well as to discuss specifics about their proposed budgets for the coming year, and that includes their 2011marketing plans.

2011 presents a unique opportunity to many business that have been on the fence about moving more of their marketing budget into the digital realm in that 2010 was a proving ground for the viability of online marketing increases. Those businesses that took the leap in 2010 like Pepsi, Ford, and Southwest Airlines have seen incredible returns to their investment of time and finances into Social Media. The same successes have been seen by smaller companies in a multitude of industries. With an expected spend of $2 billion this year by businesses into Social Media marketing, continued growth and success if expected.

Quality Not Quantity

Okay, you’re thinking, so what. Pepsi, Southwest Airlines and Ford are HUGE brands and have unlimited funds at their disposal. Of course they’re seeing success in their Social Media marketing. Now here’s the great part: Social Media is the one marketing tool that is reliant on quality, engaging and interesting communication between a company and their target, NOT the amount of money a brand can throw at it.

The key to success with Social Media is to provide content, promotions and information that your target market WANTS. Period. Facebook is full of more than 200 million users in the US alone that check statuses every few days, if not daily, and if they “Like” your page, they’ll get that information.

It’s not to say that Social Media marketing is free, it takes both time and funds to provide content and feedback to comments, as well as to fund promotions, but compared to the investment in a print or online ad campaign, it is a fraction of the cost and offers much more interactivity with your audience.

Trust Me

Brand awareness and trust. This is what Social Media marketing provides to its brand companies. In 2010, online research firm Knowledge Networks and Media Post found that “they are more inclined to purchase products and services from businesses that advertise on social media sites.” Think of your Social Media marketing, SMM, profile as the “trust me” factor. Use it accordingly to prove your expertise in your industry as well as to show that you are available to answer questions and assist customers when they need it.

Not sure if SMM is a fit for your business? Is your competition using Twitter, Linked In or Facebook to reach out to your target audience? Then who will they trust?

Take the time to meet with a Social Media marketing consultant to see which profiles and sites best fit your marketing goals for 2011 and take advantage of this cost-effective and highly-targeted form of web marketing to build your 2011 into the year you leave the competition in the dust.

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