The other day I talked to one of my client who was quite apprehensive about online marketing, I had a real hard time educating her about what we do , how we do and why it works. She is a small and medium entrepreneur and wanted to improve the number of leads she gets from her website. Quite understandably she is from a non technical background and had no idea of what seo, smo and other jargons meant. For her the, age old marketing via fliers, pamphlets and local yellow pages still worked like charm.According to her, internet had nothing to with her business. A gave her a 8 point strategy which we use which each and every client which lays down the foundation of a successful website marketing campaign.
- Identify audience (targeted + mass)
- Find them where they are (make a list of those sites/groups etc)
- Add them as subscribers / friends/ members/ followers
- Reach out to them – via Blogs , PR, reviews
- Create trust by – producing high quality content, neutral content, talk about what issues your audience wants to hear
- Engage them – Social media presence – run contest, promotion
- Measure your progress
- As per the progress report, Repeat steps from 3 -7
For SMEs the pressure to be seen 24/7 is particularly intense otherwise many wouldn’t consider doing business with them. It is not easy for them to maintain and develop user loyalty in the face of fierce ompetition from larger rivals that have both the manpower and financial clout to keep advertising and marketing continuously. Social media gives these SMEs the opportunity at a level playing field provided they are creative enough to tap it.
Many SMEs who have successfully used social media to their benefit state that when done effectively, it cuts down marketing costs and wins over new business quite easily.
How Social Media can help SMEs?
Social media can help small and medium entrepreneurs in a number of ways like
• Advertising / Brand promotion
• Monitor their brand identity
• Test and get instant feedback on new products
• Increase web visits and Generate leads
• Help in recruitment and retention.
Your customers are leaving their footprints everywhere they go. You just need to go, talk to them, engage them and win them over. The question is how? Use keyword by which your customers would talk about your product/industry in the social media circles. Identify those groups/fan pages/forums and join them. Make an impressive profile which showcases your company or products in the best possible manner along with a human touch. Now participate in those discussion. Do not, I repeat do not pitch your products immediately to those who are discussing an issue related to your industry or product. You will be shunted out like anything. Talk to them, offer genuine advise, create trust after that you yourself will be surprised to see how people on their own would become interested in your products or services. This is the new age, permission based marketing, evolved using social media and works like a charm to bring windfall of profits if done accurately.
Over a period of time more and more people are going to use social media sites. SMEs who are not engaged in social networking risk being left behind and losing business to competitors who are early birds and using it effectively.