Spread the word about your business in 130 characters or less
Social media platforms, defined as media which utilizes technology for social interaction, are fast becoming the preferred avenue for building networks and business contacts. Building up on the revolution started by the web 2.0 applications, it provides users with the means to create, develop and exchange user-generated materials across the web to facilitate social interaction. There are many examples of social media. Examples of these are forums, blogs, social network sites, podcasts and wikis.
Social network sites such as Facebook, Twitter and MySpace are just few examples of the vast array of social media platforms available. A common denominator which ties up all these platforms are their activities, which are directed towards establishing and building social connections between people who share common interests.
From the point of view of small business operators, however, one may beg the question: is there really room for social media in small businesses? Is it a wise investment, in terms of time, money and effort?
With FoglightSearch, internet marketing through social media is most definitely a yes.
The most obvious advantage of tapping into the social media is the vast potential and availability of social networks, encompassing millions of people all over the world, which small business can work with. People and networks, the lifeblood of a business economy, are particularly important to the survival of small businesses. Using social media as a means to expand and improve your business is an advantageous move, given the scope and reach of social media platforms.
Facebook, for example, has approximately 200 million global users. According to Inside Facebook, a site which tracks Facebook’s growth, aside from its continually increasing numbers, the social network is also experiencing a surge in popularity amongst the older population, particularly women who are older than 55. For Twitter, 64% of its users fall under the 35 and older demographic.
Contrary to popular belief, the world of social media is not a territory dominated by young kids and teenagers. In fact, the 35 to 44 age group is a particularly dominant force in the social media, landing a solid 25% of total percentage of users across all social network platforms. The group also topped 11 out of the 19 social sites studied in terms of usage, which goes to show that there is relevance and reason to invest in social media for internet marketing.
However, the social media sphere is not solely dominated by a homogenous age-group. As stated earlier, the reach of social media is far-reaching and diverse. Small businesses can take advantage of the fact that each social networking site has a specific target group, allowing you to establish age-specific market niches.
For example, social sites such as Bebo and MySpace are populated mostly by a younger audience, aged 24 and below, while FriendFeed and Slashdot are popular with adults between 25 to 44 years old. On the other hand, the 65 and above demographic leads the user share for the network site Classmates.com. Another value of internet marketing: nonexistent geographical boundaries. A simple button can connect Markham, or any other city, to the world.
Another helpful advantage of social media are the information and marketing insights that you can gain. Social networks are great sources of information on current trends and fads. Best of all, the information you can glean and source out are reliable, timely and free. You can utilize it to either anticipate future market trends or to re-align your marketing strategies to boost up the operations of your small business.
You will find that by investing in social media, your business can readily compete with establish businesses and institutions. A simple ‘tweet’ can go a long way in making your business a force to reckon with – offline and online.