The social network has actually been around since the beginning of man. Since we are all such deeply social creatures, we all seem to have a primal need to know what everyone else is up to. Busy bodies, we are, really. With the internet taking over a huge part of our communication and our business relationships, it goes without saying that our need for news of any kind would evolve into a whole new networking method.
Since man is at heart a raving gossip hound, businesses of all sorts can take advantage of this quality. Using our own need for information, small business owners can strategically market through the new found fame of social networks online to gain new website traffic, new followers, more shoppers, more subscribers, etc etc.
When newspapers first became popular, there was a section in every paper that outlined what people in town where up to; ‘so and so is out of town this weekend visiting her in-laws.’ Such a nice thing to post publicly in the paper – Just in case you were wondering, so and so’s house will be unprotected this weekend, feel free to pilfer! Of course the local gossip columns blossomed into gossip sections, which eventually gave way to whole magazines devoted to the local drama, and now we have the internet! Full of sites solely dedicated to drama and shocking moments. If ever you are feeling lousy, just take a stroll through any number of galleries about celebrity mishaps, you’ll feel better in a quick minute! ‘Stars, they’re just like us…’
So how does this help the small businesses? Those same sites that we use to pay attention to other people’s business also allow businesses to start their own profiles. Your customers can connect with you through your profile. Of course we all know that we really aren’t connecting with the business personally, but because we all want to feel like we matter, and that what we think is relevant, it makes us feel a little special. What is great about it for you as the small business owner, is that you can tell your customers what is going on with your business directly. Sure you have a website, but with your business profile, you can actually see how may of your followers are actually subscribed to your updates, and even who is talking about your business.
In addition to the updates about the new things with your business, you can also post ads on these social sites that will lead back to your business profile. That gives people who don’t even know anything about to you the exposure to your business that they wouldn’t necessarily have just poking around online. While advertisements on general websites are relevant only to the content on the site, ads that are on the social sites are actually based on the user’s overall preferences, as well as their friends’ preferences. The idea being that if your friend likes a certain kind of product you will too. So even though a user may have never have heard of your business, they could see an ad on their social profile because their friend likes your business.
A new popular method of gaining new subscribers to a business’s social profile is with coupons for ‘fans.’ A site may advertise a special coupon only to their fans. So to get the coupon, the user must log in to their page, and become a fan. The page will then allow them to print the coupon they were interested in. Being that the social sites use the users preferences and the preferences of their friends to suggest ads, adding just one new fan could potentially add up to thousands of new people that are seeing the ads. You’ll need to expect a lot of use with that coupon! As you can see, just like a family tree, the potential to reach people on the social sites through engaging posts, enticing offers, and effective ads, is seemingly limitless. Gamble on the social networks? At least try it out. You can set a budget, and if it does not gain you new fans, then you cancel your advertising account, and try something else. If it works, then you thank the need for gossip for creating a social empire!
LowKeyMedia Marketing Team