By Stephen Schweickart
RISMEDIA, December 21, 2010—You’ve just started your own business. You have put your sweat, blood, and tears into its success. So, now what? How do you plan to spread the word? Technology is advancing so rapidly that if you thought you had a real bang-up marketing plan a year ago, do me a favor and shred it. But take heart, dear marketer. Advertising has become user friendly via social media sites. And by user friendly, I mean it doesn’t break the bank…or your back for that matter.
No matter what media you select, the key to marketing is in the word itself. Know your market. How old are they? Male or female? What socio-economic group do they fall into? And what about nationality? Gather as much information as you possibly can and write it down. List the characteristics you believe your target audience will embody. Because let’s be honest, as much as you’d love your market to be “everyone,” its not.
Dollar for dollar, social media marketing is one of the smartest moves a business entrepreneur can make. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, give you, the supplier, the tools and demographic information you need to develop relationships that are more personal with the demanders, or your customers.
Create a topical conversation about your product or service via post or tweet and actually listen to the responses of your prospective buyers—if they have something to say, they will do so.
Capture the attention of your audience by engaging them in discussions regarding your product or service. How does it fulfill their needs? How could it be improved? This method of marketing eases off the “push” mentality and instead incorporates a “pull” aspect. Let’s face it. People love to talk about themselves, their experiences, theirs needs, their disappointments. Pulling answers from them will be a breeze.
Be sure to respond to your customers in a timely fashion. This allows them to trust you. If you embrace the user generated content and advice, your prospective customers will embrace your brand.
Stephen Schweickart is the co-founder of VScreen. For more information on this topic, visit VScreen’s blogsite at http://www.vscreen.com/blog/.