For entrepreneurs and small businesses, social media is an equalizer
Without a doubt, social media is nowadays becoming a portfolio tool for businesses and individuals in Dubai and the rest of the world. Young generation craves engagement. Consumers now need the ability to connect with businesses directly and whenever they choose to, through social media. They are no longer satisfied with allowing the television set and the radio to continue on its own monologue.
Networking sites, like Twitter and Facebook have contributed to the overall popularity of social media. Their growth points to the fact that social media taps into the consumer’s desire to engage with companies and brands on a more personal level. Social media also appeals to the intrinsic need for human connection, which is often unavailable through technology’s cold and scientific demeanor.
For entrepreneurs and small businesses, social media could be the great equalizer. They may now compete with larger companies who have an almost unlimited advertising resources. As long as social media remains free and accessible to all,entrepreneurs and small businesses have the same potential as they do to compete for customers.
Individuals, job seekers and already established networkers also can also capitalize on their social media activity. Followers on Facebook and Twitter can be viewed as customers. Such virtual consumer databases can be presented as a skill to employers. Many businesses pay active social media users to promote their products and services. Celebrities do it most of the time.
In that regard, a critical issue for employers may be the credibility of social media marketers. This could be relatively established through online services such as kred and klout. It is important to know how to recognize “true” from “false”, because some “pro” Twitter and Facebook users are tempted to “buy followers” for few dollars. Such paid-for followers are of no use to businesses, because they are fake and have no consumer power what so ever. Smaller, but engaged audience produces far better results. Do not trust accounts with hundreds of thousands followers, if you operate local or even regional business! Twitterers who are overjoyed with their lunch menu, soft toys or simply themselves, also are of no use to businesses.
Here are few ways how to promote a portfolio of products or services via social media:
- Use the social media space to shine a spotlight on the clients. This strengthens the relationship with a featured client, when you mention how your product or service was involved and links take on even more importance: They lead to your living, breathing portfolio pieces, plus a kind of 3rd party validation.
- Periodically “leak” sneak peek information on certain projects you’re working on. Offering previews of your new products, services, or site’s features can help build demand. At the same time, you can capture critical feedback to ensure a smooth launch. Not only are you involving your audience as a free focus group, you’re engaging their minds in what you sell, which certainly can create desire.
- Jump on occasions to link back to media write-ups – reviews, interviews and articles – where you are mentioned. If you have been mentioned in at the local newspaper, or on an industry website, let the world know about it. It will reaffirm your customers and strengthen further your reputation.
- Multimedia is integral to social networking and connecting via video allows you to express your company’s value proposition beyond words. Doing this requires small businesses to wear another new hat, producer, and the results can be well worth the effort.
- Try finding compelling new ways to present your success stories, case stories, and testimonials. Create a prominent place for these influence-building tools in your portfolio sharing mix, too.
- In order for small to medium businesses to be competitive, it is crucial to optimize all the marketing opportunities at common disposal. With social media providing an excellent forum for leveling the playing field, portfolio sharing this way should be considered essential.