Which Comes First: Advertising Or Customers?
When it comes to small and medium businesses resources are often limited, meaning every dollar invested in marketing a priority. In other words, every dollar invested must return at least a $1.01, if not significantly more. In fact, $2 would be even better and $3 would be best. Many small and medium-sized business owners understand social media marketing can provide a decent revenue stream but they are unclear how much, and where, they should invest in it.
Therefore the question becomes not, “should I market my small business”, but rather, “where best to market my small business in order to get a decent return on my investment.” Which as it happens is the same question large businesses are asking themselves every day. Just because you own a mega-corporation doesn’t mean you don’t care if you get a return on your investment. In fact, if you have share holders, it’s just the opposite. Even if you don’t have share holders it is not about throwing money at a problem until the problem is solved, but funding the specific resources required to provide the solution you need. That means careful analysis, probably done by your marketing department.
But what happens if you don’t have a marketing department? How do you know how much time and money to invest in social media marketing for what amount of return? (Besides reading fortune cookies and shaking the Magic 8 Ball.) The best answer to that question involves you studying what is working for your competitors and emulating them. If your direct competitors are not using social media to market their business, just look at businesses about your size with a similar target demographic and geographic area. No doubt someone, somewhere, with a business, brand or product similar to yours is having success using social media marketing. You don’t need a marketing department to know what they are doing and what impact it is having. You will have to do some leg work and work on the weekends to make it happen, but if you own your own business you are no stranger to learning new skills and working overtime.
Once you have looked at what social media marketing techniques are working for other businesses your size you can start looking at what resources you have available to manage them. Chances are, if you own a small or medium-sized business you simply will not have the resources available to do everything you want right out of the box. However, by making good use of what resources you do have and making good use of social media marketing you will be able to expand your marketing efforts with the extra revenue streams you develop.
More than three-quarters of small businesses keep up with social networks via some sort of mobile gadget of smart phone. But a good 67 percent of them don’t know how to include them in their online marketing and sales plans.
Those findings are part of a new poll by Social Strategy 1, a social media consulting firm. The research reflects the opinions of 343 small-business executives who are part of the OfficeArrow network, a small-business online community.
It also dovetails nicely with a completely separate set of data conducted by iContact, which develops SMB social-media publishing applications and tools. iContact’s survey actually found that one out of four small-business owners “hate” social media, with comments such as “it has nothing to do with the merit of the business, but who can manipulate the system” showing up in the responses.
The iContact poll reflects the opinions of 2,700 SMB owners.
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