Friday

How social media has changed advertising

Advertisements are an important part of company strategy to share information, generate new sales and inform customers and potential customers about products and services. Today, social media has changed how many companies think about their advertising. For many, social media has changed advertising for the better, while others fail to see the value in using a social media strategy. These companies that overlook social media as an effective method of promotion may be on the verge of discovering that no social media plan means slower than ever growth.

Consumer trust building

During 2009, Neilsen conducted a study that revealed "..... that nine in every ten Internet consumers worldwide (90 percent) trust recommendations from people they know, while seven in every ten (70 percent) trust consumer opinions posted online." This alone provides a strong indication that more consumers are turning to peer driven recommendations from those they trust than depending on typical media advertising methods.

Cost effectiveness examined

During difficult economic times, many companies are faced with the necessity of cutting expenses. While a sizable company may be able to carve some funds from their current advertising budget, smaller companies are often not in a position to reduce their exposure.  Social media has leveled the playing field, making marketing for a small business far more cost effective. According to The Epoch Times Marketing Corner, "...Online advertising offers small business owners a lower cost of entry to get marketing messages across to consumers." This means that there are more avenues for small

Thursday

How small businesses are using social media

Small business owners have learned to capture new business by tapping into the power of social media. Studies have shown that small and new business owners are turning to social media rather than more traditional advertising venues to promote products, services and to help address their clients customer service needs.  As more consumers turn to social media, it is highly likely that new and innovative methods of targeting consumers will be launched.  Today however, social media is already having an impact on how business owners are reaching their audience.

Special deals

Social media marketing often involves the launch of new products.  Small business owners are taking advantage of sites like Facebook and Foursquare to offer special deals to customers. Typically, these are quick, one-time offers that may have short deadlines associated with them, some as little as twenty-four hours. However, when used effectively, they can stimulate new interest in a company from markets that were previously untapped.

Customer service options

Companies who have limited budgets may find that social media is an ideal way of communicating with customers. In some cases these social media savvy owners have set up special keywords to inform customers of service outages or product shortages. In addition, some have set up special

Tuesday

How not having a social media strategy can harm business


Today, marketing strategy can make the difference between successfully launching a company or a product and failure of a company or product. Companies without an active social media strategy may be wondering how not having a social media strategy can harm business. Many feel that they can use a more traditional strategy and that not having a social media plan is not that critical to their success. Here are a few reasons why a social media strategy is critical for business in 2011 and going forward.

Social media and portability

Users who depend on social media oftentimes access that media from their telephones. In fact, more are using applications designed for phones versus waiting until they have access to a computer. Of this group, users are becoming more likely to use their telephones for making purchases online. A recent survey conducted by The Real Time Report indicates that 63% of users between the ages of 18 and 34 are willing to use their phones for these purchases. While these numbers are significantly lower for users under aged 34, this group represents the consumer of tomorrow.

Those business owners who fail to have a social media strategy can easily lose out on this market. Failure to have a social media strategy can mean lower sales over the long run as more young people turn to their social accounts for recommendations on products and services.

Social media wins over small business

Studies indicate that more small business owners are turning to social media versus more traditional advertising venues. New business owners are more likely to turn to Twitter and Facebook as a means of developing their marketing plan than they are to turn to more traditional outlets like the Yellow Pages. Because more small business owners are turning to social media as a significant part of their advertising, those who fail to have a strategy in place may find their competition is winning new customers while they are merely maintaining their existing client base.

There is little doubt, current evidence supports the fact that more people depend on their own networks for referrals to business ventures. Because people are likely to trust their friends, family members and business connections, social media is becoming a more valuable marketing tool. 

Business owners who ignore this viable business tool may be doing so at their own risk. While in the short term not having a social media strategy may not have immediate implications, over the long term not having a social media strategy can harm business by not providing access to those who are most likely to purchase their products or services. This may become more evident as time goes along since the evidence that is currently being reviewed shows that more people are doing their shopping online than ever before.

Monday

How businesses can use the power of social media

While social media is a valuable communication tool for individuals and for groups, it can be an extremely powerful tool for business use as well. Social media marketing is becoming one of the must have tools for business owners for a number of functions. Over time, a business may exand their use of social media for numerous purposes such as customer service, sales assistance and sharing information. Here are some of the ways that businesses can use the power of social media to help develop and grow their business.

Using social media for customer management

Customer management presents unique challenges to most business owners. This often involves hiring additional staff members and having them man one or more telephone lines to deal with complaints, questions or concerns about a product or service. Effective use of social media can help alleviate some of the expenses associated with additional staff members and equipment for handling these types of inquiries. Businesses can set up a specific Twitter account or Facebook page to help address these concerns. Not only are these tools free, they are often easily managed and can provide information to multiple customers at one time.

Using social media for market forecasting

When companies are interested in expanding their product or service lines, they can use social media to determine what interest there is among current and potential clients. This can be done in numerous ways including setting up surveys, asking targeted questions or reaching out to specific customers for

Friday

Business presentation skills differ from those of general public speaking

If you are terrified of public speaking, you are not alone. This does not necessarily mean that you are likely to have a problem making a business presentation. The skills needed in both cases may be similar however, the audience is generally different. Here are some of the ways that business presentation skills differ from those of general public speaking:

Your audience - Chances are that general public speaking is going to involve talking to (or in front of) a group of people who have varying degrees of interest and knowledge about the topic you are speaking about.  In some cases when you are doing a general speaking engagement, people are looking for more in-depth information than you might be prepared to provide.

A business presentation on the other hand, is generally made to a group of like minded individuals with some knowledge of the topic you are discussing. While making a presentation to a group of like-minded individuals has challenges, they are often far less intimidating than a general speaking engagement.

The setting - In general, a public speaking role is done in a larger setting (auditoriums, halls, etc.) while a business presentation is often done in a much smaller setting. This can be a conference room or an even smaller setting such as an office.

From time to time you may be asked to do a business presentation in a setting that is not ideal (such