We have a few months behind us in 2013 already so what are businesses doing with social media? Doing some research, video is quickly becoming the tool to draw customers. Web video is becoming big business. YouTube recently announced they are now getting 2 billion users a day world wide. That in itself, is amazing. Besides video however here are some quick fast observations about
where social media is trending in marketing and advertising.
Facebook and that "Like" button: Businesses in the past loved those Facebook landing pages and getting customers to like them to get traffic. But that is no longer enough to keep your customers. Now it is solid relationship building.
It must now move across other platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and YouTube. (Ahh, that Video platform again!)
Marketing Your Market: SMBs can no longer sit on their laurels and expect magic things to happen on one platform. If you talk about your business let's say via a single source such as a web or blogging site, you are already losing your base. Right now it is the trend to embrace multiple platforms to talk about your products or service via Twitter, Tumblr, StumpleUpon , Pinterest, and your own YouTube channel. This has been popular with e-Commerce or e-Books in marketing.
Video Entertainment Advertisers : As I mentioned before businesses are embracing web video to sell their products and using big bucks in the form of entertainment to do it.
As more and more consumers are pulling away from their armchairs and going mobile so has the trend to market to the web. They are creating dynamic high-profile ads to reach that market.
Reality Marketing : Although it is nothing new in the sense of selling, "Call To Action" advertising and marketing I noticed, is also making a larger presence. I am seeing this not only in print media but also on the web and television. The soft fuzzy ads are being replaced with "So what are you gong to do about it Mr. or Mrs. Consumer?" They are telling you to make a decision and make it now before it's too late. This is becoming in tune with the fact we are now a fast paced and action oriented society. Being mobile and with all these tools to take action now via our cell phone, tablet, or laptop, we can now buy cars on-line, make a reservation for dinner or a hotel room, and even buy a
plane ticket. Reality or augmented marketing is growing leaps and bounds this year.
We are 4 months into the new year and look how social media has
shifted! I will be anxious to see how the rest of the year shapes up!
Having limited resources does not mean you can not market your business
against those big guys. If you are careful, target your market, and research
your resources, you can come out on top. Let me go over just a few tips that can
help SMB's overcome their larger competitors using strategies that can have
Growth: Specific individual markets can be a good source for SMBs Find a niche that the larger box stores overlook. They go on volume and often never carry specific specialty products customers may look for. A good example. I have often gone into Ace Hardware and found a specific electrical item that Lowell's, Home Depot, or Wal-Mart never had on their shelves. LG, whom you always think of for flat screens, started making front loading washing machines and chose the US to introduce its product because we are so accustomed to Top loading consumer machines. Another example. I recently worked with Lenovo for a desktop deal. They are now number 3 in the computer desktop market. Why? because they changed up their target market to medium and large enterprise markets knowing this market is being ignored by mass retailers.
Promoting: Promote your business to the people or market you are trying to reach by telling about yourself and what you offer. Don't use those old clichés of "We service What We Sell" or "Clean Isles" or "Small enough to know you" Focus on your strengths of Why you sell the products that you choose to merchandise. Be bold and know your customers! Sure, it does not hurt to know you can spend time with your customers and you might have the coffee pot on for them with some of that small town flare but advertise and research your mix. In the end, you will win!
So you are ready to make the leap to social media. My first question is "Why have you waited so long in the first place?" My second question is "How are you going to develop your game plan? If you have a limited budget, chances are
you are going to go after what is free out there over paying for a consultant or paying for various apps or on-line ads. Free is not so bad. There are a lot of free platforms that can work to help get your brand out. Paying for enhancing your brand is obviously better. Let me briefly go over the pros and cons of both and you can decide for yourself based on your needs and your budget. Regardless of what you decide, just making the jump to using social media is a smart choice in this digital age we now live in.
Free Social Media Marketing
Your business exists because you made it happen. You probably built your customer base by having good products or services so your first happy customer told someone else thus word of mouth got you started and perhaps is still working for you. This coincides with repeat business. Your branding that you worked hard to build can be placed for free on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn to start. These are all free. While it will take time intense monitoring of your sites to start, soon, you will build followers if you do it right. Create promotions, interaction with your customers, attach links via your website or email or even on your invoices. The bottom line is get your brand out.
Paying for Social Media Marketing
While we all like free, the other side of social media marketing is paying for related services, apps, and on-line advertising is going to get you better results most of the time. While you may have a free Facebook site, you
can do promotions, use their per click ads or tap into Google ads top romote your business. I use Woobox which offers a paid service to promote your business as does another company that integrates with your Facebook called Wildfire. LinkedIn also offers paid ads. Finally , if you have a website (technically not a social media platform) Use the social media platforms you have made to link to your website or vice-versa. Create the interest and make one big circle so everything interconnects! Your on-line ads creates leads for you, especially if your website deals in e-commerce. Good luck and I hope these tips were of value to you.
Viddy, like my last review of Vine, is also a up and coming hot social media video app. It is available both for android and Apple mobile phones and tablets. Viddy allows you to create videos up to 15 seconds. Differences between Vine which is a Twitter product, Viddy can not loop but you can add special effects and a music bed. It will also connect to Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and YouTube. I would recommend have both apps just because both serve different purposes. It does require a log in account as with most apps these days. You can follow other Viddy users, "like" the videos, and follow hot videos that are getting a lot of hits just like You Tube.
To use Viddy's special effects,it does not require a lot of genius work. When you install the app, it will ask permission to access your video library or your camera and then it will ask you if you want to "Make It Beautiful" and from there, you can work your magic. From there you simply touch "Next" and post it. By default it goes to Viddy's network but you can choose your other social sites if you wish. You can get various special effects by download and yes, you can pay for premium effects if you think you are going to be that next Hollywood Director. I like Viddy more than Vine but I have to give Vine a bit of a break here because it is new whereas Viddy has been around a bit longer. The cons of Viddy is it is a bit hard to work with if you have big hands like I do. Editing is bit cumbersome fom a cell phone. From my iPad , however,it was a bit easier.
Since I look at most apps from a business point of view, after playing around with Viddy, I think from a promotional and marketing angle, Viddy has some potential. For the 15 seconds you have with your video, some cool stuff can be produced to promote your brand. Adding music and some effects can have impact. considering where you can post this especially to your FB landing page or your Twitter account, the ideas are limitless. Give Viddy a try. It costs you nothing for the basic app and like with all apps, the delete command is always there for you but I don't think you will be doing that any time soon. It's too much fun.