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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Social Media as a Viable Marketing Avenue for Business

Social media outlets such as Facebook, Myspace, Linkedin, and Twitter are very popular among people of all demographics and ages. They allow for a real-time look into the daily lives of friends and family. The social media users range from elementary schoolers to grandmas wanting to keep in touch. This wide range of appeal has grown social media very quickly. For business owners, social media is almost a no-brainer marketing strategy but there are still many businesses that fail to recognize the importance of what a ‘tweet’ or “status update” or a Facebook Fan Page can do for their company, their brand, and their profits.

Consumers use the internet to reach out to companies whether it is for research or customer service matters. Companies maintaining websites are able to generate interest and sales from a virtual international marketplace. Marketing personnel work hard to ensure their website and their products are being prominently displayed in front of their target audience using many resources. Now, with the advent and popularity of social media sites, companies literally have front row tickets to their target marketplace.

Talk Directly

Social media sites encourage and enable real-time interaction between individuals. Companies taking advantage of this resource will find that they can get the exact message they want to deliver to their intended audience. They open the doors to associating directly with their customer base, where information that filters back can be invaluable. Feedback that results on social media can help a company understand what their customers are thinking, looking for, needing, and feeling. In turn, a company can provide necessary solutions as they are needed.

Deal Directly

Companies that are reaching out directly to their customers through social media, will likely be remembered and subsequently develop a following of potential customers based on friend referrals. It is a prime opportunity for businesses to reveal sale information, events, and even company news to the public. Social media tools also allow companies to follow current trends and get a first-hand look at what people are talking about. Depending on the nature of a business, it can be crucial to have this kind of knowledge over the competition. Now that there are agreements in place with Google and Bing to include your social media updates in search results, these updates can significantly increase the traffic to your blog, social media profile, and website, as well as increase the overall ranking of your web pages.

Network Directly

Another advantage of being an active participant in the social media world is the endless opportunities for your own business to connect with vendors, affiliates, and job seekers. With so many industries becoming involved in social media, companies may even take advantage of the learning opportunities to improve their business, using resources they never knew existed. Essentially, social media sites are breaking down many barriers and allowing B2B connections to thrive.

Creativity Is Empowering

One of the key elements of a good social media plan is consistency and another is creativity. The point of having direct access to your customers is to get them interested in your business, get them excited about your products or services, and get them to like you. Your plan to market on social media sites must be strong because it can be all too easy to get behind on tasks and eventually abandon your efforts altogether. Random quips and comedy may work from time to time, but you must go into social media with a plan if you want to be successful. You want to stay recognizable and reliable on all sites to keep the consumers interested and looking for more. The reliability of your company is essential because, especially now, consumers are going to buy from those whom they trust and like on some level. Your daily presence in their updates and news feeds can mean a lot, to both your customers and your bottom line.

Social media sites are relatively easy to set up and use, but it truly is the brains behind the words that will make a difference. Staying on top of social media updates and consistently delivering strong content is a full time job. For smaller businesses or solo entrepreneurs, this can be especially challenging. For this reason many companies are choosing to to get help from experts, while some are continuing to handle it in-house, with mixed results. With careful planning and dedication to this marketing avenue, results will definitely be seen in both the short and the long term if handled correctly from the start. Social media and business go together like bread and butter. For some companies, social media interaction may in fact become the proverbial ‘bread and butter’ of the company profits.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Get Clients with Specific Goals -by Jennifer Davey

Most successful individuals will tell you that the secret to their success has been a clear plan that defines where they are going and what steps they are taking to get there. This is great advice. A great plan can make all the difference in the world to your business. But for a plan to be more than just words on paper, it needs to be specific.

Vague goals will lead to vague actions. Stating that you want to get new clients within the next month is a great goal, but it isn’t really helpful. You need to take that vague goal and really focus the microscope on it. How many clients do you want to get? What type of clients do you want to get? Thinking clearly about exactly what you want will allow you to set up a great plan to accomplish your goals.

Clarity in your goal setting will allow success. Most goals are very lofty. Being specific gives you the knowledge needed to attack the goal on a daily basis to create success over time. In order to get specific, you must spend the time necessary to discover exactly what it is you want. Then you can list the steps needed to take to get to that specific want.

Making specific goals will allow you to break them into smaller goals. Getting 20 new clients in July is a great goal, but it may send a shiver down your spine every single time you think about it. However, if you get specific about what clients you want and how you will get them, the goal becomes manageable. You can set small daily goals for yourself that will add up to the original goal of 20 new clients by the end of July. Instead of tackling a monster, you are just dealing with his limbs each day.

When you tackle smaller goals on the path to the larger goal, it creates a feeling of success. This feeling will drive you. It will make you want to tackle those goals with gusto, ensuring their completion.

The road to success is lined by specificity. Don’t shy away from specifics. Get really detailed and spend the time necessary to set yourself up to win. Many people don’t get specific with goals because it is scary to put what you want into clear terms. You might not believe it’s possible or that you deserve it. Ignore the skeptic inside your head. Get specific and find out exactly what you want. Only then can you truly go after it.

Small Business Coach and Marketing Strategist, Jennifer Davey, is the author of the “Getting Clients Home Study Program”, the step-by-step guide to getting clients, building your business and making more income. Grab a FREE copy of her 14-Step Formula for Getting Clients and Report “What you Need to Know to Be Successful at Getting Clients” visit