Facebook and Social Media – The Next Marketing Opportunity


Marketing as an activity is all about reaching the right customers with the right products, and the result sought is delighted customers who are more than willing to open their purses wide enough to boost your revenues. For many years, marketers stalked their target customers through various means and by trying to get their message across to spread awareness about their wares.

Traditional Means of Communication

Traditionally, marketing communications were conducted via print, broadcast and such traditional media through disruptive advertising, where advertisements appear in between the content of interest for the customer.

Traditional media does give a large reach to a marketer with its programming of mass appeal. However, the wastage is equally high, since a large portion of the audience would belong to a different segment than the one that is to be targeted by the marketer.

Enter Social Media and the Internet

The revolution stirred by the internet as a medium took place because of the fact that it is highly personalized and provides more content on-demand than any other available medium. Social sites proliferated far and wide in their usage for a few simple reasons:

The power to create and distribute content is equally available to every user, irrespective of him/her being a customer or a marketer. In the earlier forms of media, that power rested with the editorial staff of the channel or the advertiser, but hardly ever with the user.

The medium is completely personalized, and a user can create or join groups and further create content based on what he/she likes.

Opinions are free and fair. This is one reason why social media is of utmost concern to marketers, since buying decisions are no more influenced as much by advertisements. The traditional word-of-mouth marketing approach has grown leaps and bounds on social networks.

Facebook – At the Center of Social Media

With 500 million (and growing) unique users worldwide, Facebook is the number one social networking site in terms of activity and subscriptions. What started as a garage initiative by Mark Zuckerberg has now become the biggest phenomenon on the internet.

A user interface that allows for quick communication and the ability to create fan pages and groups at the click of a mouse button are what make Facebook extremely popular. Another important reason for its immense popularity is the wide variety of social applications that have been developed and made available within the Facebook environment.

These applications can allow users and friends to do joint activities like playing games that run endlessly, sharing photos, videos, and web links, and many more.

How does this help a marketer?

Traditionally, media plans were drawn to include television channels, publications, or any other media that can grab maximum eyeballs and effectively reach a selected target audience. The science of segmentation and targeting has become only more accurate in the case of social media.

Facebook provides a wide variety of avenues to communicate with the audience, which opens up an entirely different world of possibilities to have a fruitful dialogue with customers. Some of these methods used popularly by marketers are:

Advertising:  The first opportunity, which is the most obvious one, is advertising on Facebook. The difference, however, is the fact that you can create your own advertisement in a matter of minutes and also specify the details of your target group in terms of demographics and types of discussions where you want your advertisement to appear.

Fan Pages:  Facebook allows every brand, as well as individual users, to create fan pages for their favorite celebrities and their own homegrown businesses. Large brands have also created their official pages on Facebook that have a huge, immediate fan following around the world. The fan page has immense utility to convey first hand information about the brand and also to collect immediate and frank feedback from your customers.

Branded applications:  One of the most effective ways to engage a user toward your brand is by creating an application; this could be a game or a contest, with your branding coming across subtly through it.

What makes Facebook even more exciting is the way it allows you to target your communication sharply just to the customer segment you want to attract. It also provides analytics and page insights that give good feedback and measurement on the activity done.

The options provided by Facebook can be creatively explored and used judiciously for bringing about maximum benefits to any brand.

However, while doing all this, you need to be aware of the fact that customers have an equal say and have the ability to respond immediately to any of your actions with a thumbs up or a thumbs down. Availing the service of a social media consultant to work out a social media strategy may be required so that your efforts will not be in vain.

Get more information here for the best Facebook training available:

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Talk soon.

Chineme – http://internetmarketingviews.com

How to Get Prospects to Value Your Expertise


I came across a well considered piece by Allison Babb who gives some tips on your relationship with your prospects.  Here it is and I hope you find it useful too:

How to Get Prospects to Value Your Expertise

by Allison Babb on June 8, 2010

As small business owners, when we’re seeking the best ways for how to sell services, a key aspect is discovering how to position our expertise/products/services in such a way that it would display true value for our prospects.  And that true value would then turn those prospects into paying clients.

Here are 2 critical aspects of positioning your value and some misperceptions that may undermine that goal:

Speak to those who already value you

Every business owner I’ve worked with has had incredible talent with which they can create a lot of revenue.  However, they are often trying to sell to folks who just aren’t a match and those people simply don’t value what they offer.

So the key then, is to discover what type of person or business would be an ideal match for what you offer.   For example, one of my clients does social media marketing.  If she’s talking to a person who has zero interest in understanding Facebook or Twitter, it’s unlikely that person would value her expertise.  And her efforts would be futile to try to persuade that prospect to become interested.  In fact, I would suggest that person’s not even a prospect at all because they’re simply not a match for her expertise or services.

As business owners, we often make it very hard on ourselves, and there’s a lot of wasted effort in marketing and sales when we continue to beat down the doors of folks we must first persuade to value what we do before they are willing to look at what we offer.

So the goal here is to first define who YOUR ideal prospect is and be sure your efforts are being spent with folks who are truly a match for what you do.  This would be someone who already, at some level, appreciates the value of what you offer and they are in the place of simply being open to discovering who they would invest with in your area of expertise.  There are plenty of them out there, so why not go after that crowd instead.

Increase value by speaking their language

Often when we describe our products and services to prospects, we do it in our lingo and from our place of expertise.  We can get all caught up in talking about the technical aspects and features of what we do.

Instead, describe what you do using the words and phrases your clients use when they work with you.  For example, an interior designer isn’t really designing the look and feel of a room.  That’s not how a home-owner would describe that service.  More than likely, a home-owner wants to feel a certain way or to create a certain environment in a room.

Before you describe what you do, the key then, would be for you to ask enough questions to discover the true problem your prospects wants solved.  Or the burning desire they are seeking to fulfill.  This helps you to speak their language and convey what you do in a way they would readily understand and readily value.

Allison Babb Phillips is an author, speaker and Small Business Coach to solo entrepreneurs.  Allison publishes the “Small Business Success” weekly Ezine on how to create a steady stream of clients for your small business at: www.GreatSmallBusinessAdvice.com

Talk soon.

Chineme – http://internetmarketingviews.com