Frequently when I converse with at home based business professionals about social media, I have to disclose it is not rare for their eyes to glaze over – or worse, for them to stifle a yawn. I think this first behavior from people not “up to speed” with the promotional potential of social media is because for many, social media is viewed as “trivial” and not worth serious contemplation from intelligent business entrepreneurs?
Work from home company professionals whom have not invested the time to look at the astounding promotional potential of social media are doing themselves a immense disservice. Alas, they have determined that social media is not a important promotional tool for businesses. Perhaps they see “little” children “tweeting” away and believe that’s wonderful, but have persuaded themselves it is only for young people.
But for top home based business entrepreneurs that have truly looked into the advertising capabilities of what we term the “big four, (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube), they now realize their incredible reach and with it, their opportunity for seriously boosting their biz!
Here’s why – in March 2010, Facebook surpassed Google as the most visited site in the world with over 400M users and Twitter is close behind with 114M. Looking at these astounding numbers, a home based small business professional should easily “get” the tremendous implications. People all over the world are realizing that it is more advantageous for them to be on Facebook, than to be on Google.
Google is super, but it’s very impersonal, being mainly used only for search. There are no real ways of “hooking up” with people on Google! What generates “awe” is the short amount of time with which the “big four” have taken a seat alongside Google at the tech world’s “grown-up” table.
Until recently derided as pushers of immature missives, (“my latte is cold!”), the “big four” have revealed themselves as accurate barometers of mass culture. Today, if a subject isn’t talked about in one of these social media networks, did it occur? They are now the world’s water cooler. They’re a place where you can see what millions are saying and feeling, unbiased and in the moment.
Now devotees range from CEOs of large companies, (IBM, Coke, Dell, Apple, General Motors, Exxon, etc. etc.), to average Joes all talking online, and all with the power to shape almost anything. Think about the astonishing possibility of being a leader in talking about the benefits of a new product or service your top home business just brought to market? Even if you are part-time just trying to earn extra money from home, you will see the promotional potential with the capability to showcase your business with a half billion person audience at your fingertips!
Marketing Sherpa, an online advertising analytics company, conducted a recent analysis of why people use social media? I’ve attached below the results which is an abstract of their survey.
Max Connectors are those individuals with over 500 social connections. If you consider your local chamber of commerce, Max Connectors would be those individuals who are the most tuned in, tapped in and successful of your close circle of business associates.
The Chart below answers the inquiry “Why consumers “friend” or follow companies?” (Of course we now “like” instead of “follow” on Facebook.)
Chart Title: Why Consumers Friend or Follow, (Like), Companies
Learn about new products/features/services
- Max Connectors: 61%
- Daily Users: 61%
- All Respondents: 62%
Company culture, environmental responsibility, workers policies, etc.
- Max Connectors: 48%
- Daily Users: 41%
- All Respondents: 30%
Learn about specials, sales, etc.
- Max Connectors: 46%
- Daily Users: 65%
- All Respondents: 64%
Entertainment – funny or insightful
- Max Connectors: 37%
- Daily Users: 34%
- All Respondents: 35%
The vast majority of the “Hyper-Connected” or opinion leadership are there to do business!
They engage social media to:
- Check out new products, features, or services.
- Check out the company culture and to see if the business is one whom they will feel comfortable giving their business to.
- Learn about any specials and sales available?
- Finally, and significantly less often, they use social media for entertainment.
It is quite simple to reckon that social media is insignificant. Twitter with its 140 character limitper tweet, Facebook with the pictures of your uncle Tom you might rather not see, YouTube with arguably the biggest vault of hilarious, and “goofy” videos on the planet, but LinkedIn has always had its main target toward business. These are also where a vast majority of people make their buying decisions.
That is not to say that people spend all that money online. But if you are not utilizing e-commerce, you may be loosing out on a humongous opportunity to add more sales outside the confines of your companythe current limitations of your business? And if you currently not using social media to advertise your e-commerce strategy, it is likely your company is not making as much money as it should be.
So in conclusion, social media is a tool to do business, and it should be a major part of your promotional strategy!
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