Local businesses, whether they are here in Kelowna, elsewhere in the Okanagan Valley or in any other city across North America are having to change their methods of marketing to include social marketing. Many can no longer rely solely on the traditional marketing methods that used to work so well, that is if you had a big marketing budget.
The good news is, small businesses all over, have the opportunity to grow more rapidly than ever before and at a much lower cost. So how can they do this? The answer is by properly utilizing effective social marketing and social media strategies for their business.
In working with many clients, from handling their social media management to training and consulting their team, I’ve witnessed first hand how businesses are prospering in both local and national markets. With the help of social media tools like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and blogs, many businesses are seeing that social media really pays off.
The Power of Social Marketing
1. Establishing Your Brand. Every new business needs to establish their brand name, even local businesses. If you have a local coffee shop for example, how will you compete with many of the more established ones? These days, coffee shops can be found everywhere, regardless of what city you live in. So the challenge is establishing a strong brand for your business where your business name is recognized in your community.
The question here is: How can you set yourself apart from all of the others? This is where social media comes in. Every person in your community has access to the Internet. With 4 out of 5 Canadians and 70% of Americans using one or more social media site like Facebook or Twitter, social marketing can help you reach many people, very quickly. By setting up accounts on the right social networks for your business and having a clearly defined strategy to reach your target market, you will increase your visibility and begin to create a brand name in just a short span of time.
2. Create Massive Visibility For Your Business In Your Community. Some local businesses are only known inside their community. Only few establishments are lucky enough to franchise out of their locale and/or build branches in other cities or even countries. But when you properly utilize social marketing, it is possible for you to be known by a larger market. You may not be able to be as successful as Starbucks or KFC, but at least, you have the chance to go out of your box and widen your scope of clientele. Who knows, maybe your business could become so popular, that people from other neighboring communities will go out of their way and come to you.
3. Low Cost of Promotion. This is without question one of the main benefits of social marketing. Promoting your business on a regular basis can be costly if you use traditional advertising like TV, Radio and Print advertisements. But if you take advantage of what social media has to offer, you can promote your business, whenever and wherever you like. It’s more cost-efficient than traditional advertising and much more personal, which is what people are craving in our new social world, and is the reason for the massive success of social networking.
These are just a few of the many points on the power of social marketing for your local business. If you do not already have a social media strategy in place to implement social marketing into your marketing plan, I strongly encourage you to do it now. Erik Qualman, author of Socialnomics says, “Your ROI for social marketing is that your business will still exist in 5 years.”