The Goldilocks Effect And Social Media
When it comes to marketing for small and medium businesses social media seems to be a perfect fit. The reasons for this are plentiful but all stem from two important facts relevant to social media: The tools are free and the audience is huge.
For the most part, unlike traditional marketing tools, social media marketing tools are free to use. There is an inherent cost in terms of the labor required to monitor and manage your social media network, but otherwise a Facebook Page, Twitter account or Google+ Business Page is a free tool. You can set up an account and get started right away, building small and growing your network gradually over time. There is little to no commitment and how big you get is totally up to you and the effort you expend.
As for the audience, well, the world is your oyster; eat all you like. There simply is no better way to reach a global audience than through the use of social media. With 800 million global users on Facebook, more than 100 million on Twitter and Google+ boasting 40 million users and growing, you can reach one sixth of the Earth’s population with just three tools. That’s one BILLION people reached through the use of three free-to-use tools.
Small and medium business owners would do themselves a favor by looking long and hard at the advantages of using social media to build a network of customers, reach out to new clients, develop new leads and promote their brand. They need to develop a specific social media marketing plan with a well-defined call-to-action to judge the effectiveness of their efforts, but with a little bit of effort they can be playing in the Big Leagues.
So there is a wide-open opportunity for companies to step in and service literally hundreds of thousands of SMBs who need to develop a social marketing plan. Business owners don’t have time to get up to speed on all of this — they need a turnkey solution provider who understands their locality and their business, and is affordable. With such demand, it’s surprising to see very few social marketing agencies operating at a local level. The hurdle may be that social media marketing demands smart, local people for hands-on engagement, and the cost of procuring that talent may not scale or be too expensive in the face of small SMB marketing budgets.
Hyperlocal publishers are well positioned to support their business communities by providing turnkey social marketing services. Brian Kinkade created Apsides Media Group to provide local social marketing that works in conjunction with his ten local media sites in Denver. As a local media publisher, he not only offers to manage the local merchants’ social marketing but also has the media distribution platform to actually implement the programs. The new business model is to create subscription revenues by providing marketing services that engages his company with the client — as opposed to selling “rate card” advertising that is transactional and doesn’t engage the client beyond a pay-for-play level.
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