Getting your customers to speak about product / services through social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Squido, Myspace, LinkedIn etc. can be one of the most successful guerrila marketing initiatives in today’s online world. When visitors see positive things said about your company and/or your product it also helps improve the credibility of your company. This credibility element will be manifested when more and more of your customers speak about your product quality through the social network platform.
What is the big deal about being endorsed in the public domain by members of social marketing sites? Well think about it for a second – usually business controls what is said about them by way of push advertising. By building a positive social marketing persona your business is apt to receive more positive publicity because the remarks are viewed more as ‘honest’ feedback about your products and services.
Here is some of the ways that you can be found through Social Networking.
Facebook & Other Social Networking Sites
After creating your profile in Facebook and other social networking sites (like Linked In) you can join several of the networks organized by city, workplace, school and region. These networks help users connect with members of the same group and connect with friends and share your interests, hobbies, links, exchange messages etc.
Community members share their opinion on a certain product they have used and this offers a great business marketing opportunity. Through these networking sites you have other people sell your products indirectly by making favorable comments about your product. After all, people will trust the opinion of one man they know more than the opinion of 20 other people they are not familiar with. With millions of people as members, these social networking sites are virtual communities and offer a platform where people can promote their business.
Social networking sites like these are the place where you can create a buzz.
Business Review Sites Also Play their Part
Major business review sites such as work.com, entrepreneur.com, merchantcircle.com and business.com also offer people the option to upload their reviews and opinions on any product or service that they found useful and stand up to their quality standards.
These business review sites are read by a large number of people engaged in trade and commerce and opinions expressed in these columns carry due weight among the members of the virtual community. These sites offer endless ability for promoting your product / service as people consider opinions from peer group to be more accurate, believable and relevant.
Advertising Copy Losing Credibility
Gone are the days when consumers blindly accepted all that was dished out by copy writers in the name of sales copy. People are becoming more and more suspect and take these tall claims by advertisers with a pinch of salt. Push marketing does still exist but, newspaper advertisements, bill boards and all forms of online and offline advertisements are becoming less and less effective with the passage of time.
Over a century ago, the great retailer John Wannamaker is reported to have said “Half of all advertising works; I just don’t know which half”. Much water has flowed through the Thames since then. As of now the percentage is very much on the lower side and all surveys point to a major drop in the effectiveness of advertisements to sway the consumer in the purchase a product or service. Earlier a click through rate of 5% was reasonable; now a click through rate of 1% is extremely good.
This is not to belittle the importance of advertisements as it is only advertisements that can create awareness and interest in a product or service. It is also not to say that all advertisements are a waste of money. The point I would like to drive home is that a good percentage of the population unlike in earlier times just fall short of purchasing the product merely on the basis of advertisements.
Instead they look online now. What best way to refer business then by friends you trust through a social network?
Social Networks Driving Purchase Decisions
More and more people rely on the opinions and favorable product reviews done by others in the selection of goods and services. Social networking sites are a very key contributor to cementing the opionions of a given product or service.
With social networking sites reporting a surge in the number of followers each day these will soon become the focal point of any product marketing initiative by business owners. Business that is wondering about the way of tomorrow — hope you are reading!
Patrick, that is a strong point. Words of an upset customer can probably mar your brand’s online image, if you feel it genuine then must clarify it by using these social media or business review platforms as they’re connecting people on a massive scale. But be on be alert for anonymous, fake reviewers bent on tarnishing your brand and nothing else.