This is the million dollar question that many small businesses and traders are still formulating frequently.
A decade ago, companies had few options to advertise their products, but now there are dozens of innovative advertising platforms where we can start and promote our products or services without the need to make large investments. There is a huge increase in the number of Internet users around the world and this has led to a significant increase in activity on social networks.
Only a few people do not use the Internet or are unaware of the existence of sites like Facebook, Orkut, MySpace, Google+ or LinkedIn. Social media, online word-of-mouth marketing, have become the ‘most economical’ means to promote a product or service by crossing all types of borders.
It would not be wrong to say that nowadays, almost all Internet users have at least one active profile in a social network and that these can spend hours in these media. Means that count millions of visits every day and where people can post or share any type of content, be it blog posts, comments, opinions, videos, images, etc.
In this way, social networks are attractive and affordable platforms to advertise products or services. In addition, we must not forget that the Internet and mobile marketing are moving rapidly towards greater integration, adopting the functionalities of social networks.
No matter the type or size of business we handle, Social Media Marketing and social media are optimal channels and tools to reach our target audience. Social media is beneficial for our business because it does not involve high costs for companies, is based on data, is easy to follow, drives sales and supports sales through other channels. In addition, they allow us to connect with our clients and know their points of view, opinions and problems, something that is fundamental for any innovation in marketing.
Another aspect to be highlighted is that although creating your own website may be important for companies today, in order to save costs and centralize all efforts on a website, many companies create social networking pages such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, although also other media of the social media ecosystem such as blogs, are beginning to become essential tools for many businesses.
Social networks such as Facebook or LinkedIn allow business owners to carry out campaigns at ‘very low cost’, always in relation to the level of each business and their own resources, objectives and budgets for this purpose. In this way, companies can work on a critical base of followers or fans, customers or potential customers to offer information, resources, coupons, promotions, and relevant content that can help boost the business or the brand itself.
However, we must not forget that developing a strategy with a mere presence in the media and social networks does not mean that overnight we will get tons of customers. Moreover, many companies lose money in this process due to lack of planning or because they do not have a strategy with clearly defined objectives.
Obviously, this does not mean that social media are not really useful for our business. We have to conceive the presence in this type of media, as a way to boost our brand and achieve greater visibility. For this, mere presence will not suffice, achieving success and objectives will require time, dedication and patience.