Summary of the Author’s Point of View
The authors of this book provide very comprehensive sections on various events. These sections can be used in setting up an event because every detail is attached, and thus it may act as a complete guideline. In addition, the authors give comprehensive pieces of press releases and their benefits to the readers. The book recommends the use of focus target in the social media as a way that individuals and businesses can boost their online presence such as the number of post on social media like Facebook, Twitter, Vines, and Instagram. This book has a great appeal to the audience as ideas are presented logically and systematically.
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The book is focused on a wide range of readers including journalists, bloggers, and researchers who need information on the space exploration, individuals running small businesses, and people interested in using various social mediums for their personal branding. Regardless of all these aspects, a major constraint is that this book needs to be backed with more information, which can be used for medium-sized businesses that do not benefit from the majority of the highlighted approaches. Kawasaki and Fitzpatrick (2014) do not provide broad and detailed information on how to get more followers from a given social media platform.
The book lacks detailed information on the desires of the readers of the specified information and it is hard to recommend the tools that the authors use even though they give alternatives. In some sections of the book where the readers want to gain more information about an attached article, the authors do not point out to other sources that can be used to provide the background information on the scope. Kawasaki and Fitzpatric (2014) only provide guidance and approach on certain issues.
Analysis and Evaluation
The information presented in this book supports the assertion that the art of social media is helpful in proving strong guidelines to individuals and small upcoming businesses. The use of social media by small businesses is not fully exploited due to the huge costs involved and the corresponding small share of return on investment. For one to benefit from social media, thus leading to huge returns from a small-scale business, the following strategies have to be put in place.
Targeting the techniques to use
From the current statistics – the social mediums that provide maximum customer contacts through sharing of information coupled with availing the best exposure of newly available commodities are Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. These platforms can be used to come up with a master plan in the business sector. Other mediums include YouTube and Pinterest.
Businesses should set a time that will be sufficient and most convenient to attract the attention of the views. Posting of materials online should be executed when the target segment is likely to see them (Haydon, Dunay & Krueger, 2012).
Studies on mass media in information dissemination show that some issues should be raised at particular times. Posting should be done when the target customers are free and relaxed to avoid misjudgment. Most social media information deliverance usually fails in this section, which is the core of the 4Ts strategies of social media (Haydon et al., 2012).
Target based on the topic to be addressed
When posting any article on the social media to draw the attention of many users as possible, the context should be put in a way that it does not cause boredom to the readers. The highest percentage of the article should be fun and focused on the expectations of the readers to keep them happy. The core writing of the issue, which contains the intended purpose of posting, should not be placed in the last lines, but in strategic locations for the reader to access with ease.
Social Media Campaign Results
Various cases can be cited on the several occasions that the use of social media has helped in the generation of a small business to a large company. For instance, Denver Sword and Plough set up a business of recycling military materials that ended up producing tote bags and other products. The firm decided to increase its popularity, which led to increased sales through social media to kick off its campaign. The firm started sharing its information thoroughly using Facebook, Twitter, and blogs. Immediately after the kick off campaign, the firm gained $20000 within the next 24 hours and raised more than $310000 in the following month of operation.
According to Coles (2011), firms dealing with passports design that are used in travels around the world is another renown entity that has used the social media effectively on the promotion of its activities. A passport-producing firm in San Francisco focused its social media investment in Facebook and embarked on the use of messages and various designs. After the perfection of concept design and the messaging system, the firm decided that it should conduct a major Facebook campaign. After this campaign, the firm’s revenue increases by $ 570,000.
Sharpie Company that produces products of writing materials such as pens and markers was falling in the category of underdeveloped smaller businesses. The management of the firm decided to capture many customers using Twitter campaigns. The campaigns mainly involved participation in music and writing. The followers of Sharpie rose by more than 580 percent (Scruton & Scruton, 2012). Therefore, through the outcome of these three companies, the effect of social media in the promotion of small businesses cannot be underestimated. The strategic approach has to be adopted in such a manner that it is really felt by the targeted audience in the most effective way.
Criteria Used In Posting Article in Social Media
According to Tsai (2013), a number of approaches can be used in ensuring that the audience spots the posted article. Initially, one should have an active account of the small business. From this point, one can reach new customers and look for additional strategies via social media, which might include diversifying links. This strategy involves sending the business website to various social mediums such as
Facebook – one has to link the account of the small business to other social mediums. More followers will connect via Twitter or Google Plus, which will increase the number of followers that join the link.
Posting what the audience wants to see
Any article that is placed on any social media group should be aimed at ensuring that it captures the interest of the readers. One should post what the customers’ need.
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Videos should not be overlooked
One should post videos that last for a short period. This aspect ensures that the audience is left in the suspense, thus arousing the urge to know more. One should always enable the videos on every social medium.
Adhering to issues raised by the audience
When the audience is interested in a certain issue concerning a business, clients will comment on a post or ask a question. Getting back to the customer by replying the comment will be one of the best ways of creating firsthand information to the customer.
Measuring the taste of the audience
After posting images, the audience may like some more as compared to others. This aspect enables one to understand the clients’ preferences. This aspect helps in the market analysis of products and the present market gap.
One should create a pattern that keeps the audience captivated. This goal is achieved by creating a regular period that one will be posting some images.
From these strategies, it suffices to conclude that the social media is a very influential tool in the shaping of the strategy of small business (Sharp, 2009). Therefore, social media can be classified as a tool that works on several numbers of goals such as generating traffic to a website, conversations-based arguments, and creating awareness to the public about the existence of a new product.
According to Rouhiainen (2012), while working with social media, one has to consider various key tips during the campaigns for different products. One has to plan effectively for the kind of products that are to be displayed coupled with carrying out in-depth research of the constraints and strengths of the commodity that will boost the ability to get large audience attention. In addition, one must focus on the content of the piece of information that is being displayed in the social media.
In this situation, one can come up with an idea of building and expanding the business by using certain terms. Therefore, one must be very categorical when choosing the piece of information that is to be delivered to the public through social media. Attachments such as pictures must always contain some additional information coupled with including other referencing sources to increase the confidence of the audience about the idea being sold (Coles, 2011).
According to Tsai (2013), the images of the brand must be consistent coupled with having a variety of links with other social mediums. One can also use a strategy of blogs in the marketing of business products. In this case, one creates a blog to highlight the details of the small business that the owner intends to expand. One can then link to blog to the social media in a bid to reach a wide audience.
The use of unique links with various color-coding is also another technique that can be used in the marketing of products. Linking to other resources from an outside context will help in improving the products’ presence and the reliability of the provided information. This assertion holds because other sources will provide a good back up about the information concerning a certain product that one has posted will help in the building of the company perception from the outside (Haydon et al., 2012).
In addition, one should monitor their competitors’ moves over the social media. Therefore, one has to carry out intensive research on the various methods and strategies that the competitors are trying to use. If these strategies are working well for the competitors, one can borrow a leaf and integrate the same into a company’s marketing strategy.
According to Shih (2011), one can also use Google analytics in the determination of a business’ success. In these cases, tracking tags are incorporated in the campaigns in a bid to allow close supervising of the process. This strategy can be used by much small business in the determination of the success of their social media campaign strategies. In this way, a firm can easily identify its weaknesses and strengths for better decision making.
As described from the above techniques, it is important for every social medium to create own working environment, which is different and unique from others in various ways. In addition, each social media should have unique ways of approach to the issues concerning the growth of the market. Moreover, everyone operating a specific platform should be different in the approach from the other social media. Some of the key social mediums include
This friendly social media strategy requires one to begin with the creation of business a fan page. In this platform, the firm posts various business-related articles whereby a direct personal conversation is involved between the audience and the firm. While using Facebook, one should ensure friendliness and be free while chatting with the audience.
This platform is the greatest competitor to Facebook. In Google+, one creates small groups whereby s/he can share the information freely with the public or friends of choice. This sharing of information to small groups creates a network, which can be used to reach wider audiences and thus the circle enlarges exponentially, which in return offers a good platform for information sharing. Using this tool, video conferencing can be done in some creative way
This platform is a two-way traffic social media and individuals linked can follow one another via retweeting posts. For business, tweets should be mixed with businesses related information and fun. While using this social media, one should ensure immediate response to the questions raised by the audience. This move will enable businesses to create interpersonal terms with their audiences (Rouhiainen, 2012).
From the above stated social mediums, it is evident that social media drives traffic to a given website coupled with helping businesses to reach more customers. According to Shih (2011), social media provides a venue whereby firms are in a position to understand the perception of their products to the targeted audience by coming into direct contact with them through the social media. Hence, social media is a proven business promotional tool.
While working on social media, one of the concepts that capture the audiences’ attention is the profile of the firm of interest. This aspect affects the reputation of the company either positively or negatively. The profile of a given firm is one of the ever-changing documentations in any case of an advertisement because it represents the current skills and the level of professionalism to the person interested in networking. It is always advisable when writing down the profile of a company to ensure that it starts with your name (Coles, 2011).
Applications used on social media profiles
A wide range of applications is available, which can be added to one’s profile. While preparing the profile, one should know that this will portray a reputation based on the global market, and thus it should be as perfect as possible. According to Coles (2011), some of the applications include the use of blogs, boxes, slide shares, and reading list. Others based on the industry include real estate, legal update, and portfolio as discussed herein
Blogs are applications that are linked to a company’s website. One can start creating a LinkedIn profile then proceed to add the blog of the URL. It is easy to use this application. People that login into the LinkedIn can view the blog and see what a company has to offer.
For people to understand that a firm is operating successfully, a list of its events and outcome should be highlighted. The events include training, workshops, seminars, and open days that are conducted by the company. When one does this, the targeted audience is notified that it has been promoted with LinkedIn ads.
This tool is used in social media whereby one can upload and download many contents such as the white paper on a business, pricelist, or even the list of menus. Everyone that is on a given network coverage is usually capable of seeing all what has been uploaded in the box. Compared to Twitter and Facebook, this method makes it hard for the firm to determine the taste of their targeted audience about their products (Coles, 2011).
Compared to many of the social media advertisement tools, slide shares are powerful tools as a website resource center. Slide share functions by the application of PowerPoint presentation. This tool is of great advantage to firms that are running production business. Through this open website, a firm can upload a number of clips that show the production processes that are involved in the business. Many people will be in a position to download a lot of information concerning their company as it is accessible.
This tool is used to give extra clarification about someone. Sometimes it is disadvantageous to the readers because when one has uploaded a big list of items that they want to be seen, the list is directly redirected to amazon, and thus there will be limited people that will view the list. Reading list shows only the first and the last list added. According to Coles (2011), using reading list ensures that one is persistent as much as possible because through this, viewers will be in a position to realize the given list, which mostly appears without purchasing it from Amazon.
This application is used by businesses for posting different interesting issues that the readers will want to see. Firms use this box to alert their clients of upcoming activities being undertaken by the firm that will be helpful to them. For one to update in the update box, s/he must be logged into the home page and then proceed to the update section then the item will be immediately uploaded. This simple process is used to attract a large number of people in the LinkedIn. Some information that may be shared through the update box includes the variety of items that one has written that can be found online and information about some of the company’s projects that are underway. Others include job vacancies that are present in the company and a link that can be used to run some attached video clips of some of the company’s operations.
It is very important to note that while using the update box, one must be very careful not to pinpoint its weaknesses because this may cover a wide range of audience including competitors who can use the information to fight back since it displays the list of events that the company is undertaking. Therefore, one must ensure that the posts are interesting and relevant concerning a company. On the other side, an update that has been placed will appear on the home page of those linked up, and thus they can as well choose to like the update, comment on the update, or even share the comment on other social mediums such as Twitter and Facebook( Coles, 2011).
Networking and Making Connection
While using social media, it is advisable for one to spend adequate time advertising for the product to reach the targeted customer. By taking the right measures and following the proven steps, a business idea matures by reaching out to the targeted customers, which in return purchase, thus leading to maximum profits. Due to the various platforms available in the contemporary times, a business can build quick customer relations. According to Coles (2011), various types of links are provided and they include business-to-business networking site, LinkedIn for adults only, 24-hour system networking, and a database of the prospective contacts, hence one new member joins every second. Many firms thus consider several ways of increasing their connection.
When a certain group of individual signs in to check on a profile, they always want to know what a company is up to in the coming days. In some cases, when creating a profile, one can integrate a strategy of using outlooks as the profile emails whereby through LinkedIn many customers can be added. This aspect is a permanent way of retaining an audience. The owner of the firm can still determine whom to stay in the group because even after joining, one can be deleted.
Networking Using LinkedIn
Networking through LinkedIn is the most effective way for individuals to advertise their profiles to the international community. In this site, one makes an attempt of meeting various people coupled with the opportunity of marketing projects. Marketing of products is usually done through various ways such as creating a network within the LinkedIn groups, getting in touch with those that have connected to one’s connection, and finally answering the provided questions.
The use of recommendations concerning a certain product or an aspect of a firm also determines the extension of popularity to the targeted customers. This assertion holds because many customers do not trust many advertisements and they need to get enough information in a bid to be convinced. This goal is thus achieved by using some of the satisfied customers to tell others about the level of services and the terms offered by a firm. These recommendations from satisfied clients can be used as a stepping-stone because they always portray a good external reputation of the company.
Recommendations about a given firm should be factual. In addition, business owners should not simply rely on close friends or even relatives for favorable recommendation of the business. On the contrary, businesses should give quality services and encourage consumers to give feedbacks based on their experience. From the consumers’ feedback, businesses can create a testimonial page where potential clients can get sufficient information and conviction to deal with a given firm. On the contrary, depending on relatives and friends to give positive recommendations is tantamount to lies and unethical behavior.
According to Coles (2011), the following suggestions should be considered in the recommendation sheet from the client. The requirements include information concerning how customers discovered the business, ways through which they obtained the business contacts in the first place, the working relationship in terms of the level of services, relationships with clients, and finally how customers were helped in addressing their needs. For one to receive a recommendation, s/he should ask for it and decide on the person that s/he is going to ask the recommendations.
As anticipated, in the past, many businesses did not have time to use media campaigns for their small companies. In addition, such companies lacked the resources to cater for the media expenses coupled with the lack of the relevant knowledge about the social media. However, the current state of the world business has forced nearly all firms to venture into social media campaigns for the growth of their products.
Therefore, the main key issues that determine the effectiveness of a given social media platform in the promotion of a small business are the internal organization of a firm. This reorganization involves the formulation of the company’s laid down objectives and strategies. The main reason for coming up with the goals is to counter the unaccounted misappropriation of funds (Berkley, 2013).
According to Berkley (2013), the techniques that one uses in the business must be capable of attracting huge audiences. One of the main advantages of using social media in the business campaigns is that the firm can easily examine its performance and evaluate the needed efforts in the product or business promotion. Another advantage is that social media is flexible in its operation and it can reach many people at a go. The use of social media also does not need personal presentation in every aspect, but proponents share through LinkedIn.
The performance of a small business is based on its immediate environment. The majority of these factors have been caused by the current development in technology, climate change, deforestation, and pollution. At this point, the community has to find solutions that will help in curbing these problems. According to Scruton and Scruton (2012), a free market is needed whereby people can be in a position to take great care of their environment in a bid to control pollution. Therefore, tax enforcement will see the people fined for their actions that lead to pollution and this move will promote environmentally friendly trading centers.
One of the major ways of ensuring that these issues are addressed is by using social media, which can broadly advise people on what is expected of them. In a situation whereby all these decelerating factors to the growth of local business will be eliminated, there will be tremendous growth of the local businesses. Therefore, the social media is portrayed as a good tool for individuals and small businesses.
Measures of Media Success
Like any other activity, the use of media in advertisement is an activity that needs to be evaluated on its effectiveness. This aspect explains why one must set goals and objectives that a certain firm aims to achieve prior to venturing into the use of social media in the promotion of small businesses. According to Sharp (2009), there are four measures of any given social media that matter most in its operation. They include
Conversations between the firm and the client is a form of creating a personal link. The number of comments concerning a given article that has been posted shows the real taste and perception of the audience about the product. In addition, the number of replies that one gets after posting a certain product on the social media shows how clients want to learn more about the product. Through increased conversation rates, the firm will be in a position to determine the value of a given product that the customers need. In addition, one will be in a position to tell the type of brand that the audience wants. The most important aspect with the increase in conversation is that the firm will be in a position to get a clue on how they can use this opportunity to grow.
The rate of amplification
Amplification is the rate at which a link is extended. In other terms, amplification shows the size of the market. The amplification rate of a certain firm can be easily determined using the various social mediums that it uses in its campaigns and promotion such as the use of Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and Instagram. After information from a certain social medium about a company’s product is shared with another person, it increases the rate of amplification. This aspect increases the number of the targeted audience of the given product, which in turn increases the market served by the firm.
The rate of applause is the measure of how people speak well about a product. When using a LinkedIn account and individuals or groups like a product or the terms of operations, it adds credit to the company. Consumers are curious and they want to know the popular information concerning a given product. In the social media space, the popular issues are called the trending topics. The popularity of a certain product or company can only be improved via people sharing information on the same. The applause rate may serve the same purpose as recommendation, but the central part is that recommendation may be true or false, while applauses are usually endorsements showing what a number of people found about a given commodity.
Economic value of a given firm shows that the firm is gaining capital from its operations. For a firm to ascertain economic value, it means that the strategy of its campaign activity is fruitful. This aspect is the most appreciated measure, which is a dependent of the applause rate, amplification rate, and the conversation rate. According to Sharp (2009), economic value is measured by the degree in which a good number of audience comes to the business hub for various transactions.
Economic value is attained through a number of ways such as mastering of the business operation skills, enhancing the productivity of the firm’s products, and an aggressive team of workers. According to Sharp (2009), various aspects have to be put in place for the above four named measures to be achieved. First, the firm should evaluate the strategies that need to be used before deciding on the social media to use. Second, one should focus on the social media that many people are concerned with in their lives. Third, one should look for a social media that is flexible and be the sole controller of the hub. Lastly, one should master the four key measures.
Offers that nurture valuable customers
The audience that is served by a given firm is actually key determiner to the success of a business. According to Tsai (2013), these people are called positive referrers. These people always keep on telling others about the good thing that a given firm has offered to them. Therefore, businesses should work hard not lose such individuals no matter what happens because they influence the market. In short, such people spread positive word of mouth and a company’s popularity grows exponentially. The following are some of the offers that have been found to be effective in nurturing such a kind of valuable customers:
Being an equal opportunity provider
A business should provide rewards to customers that spread the word of mouth to others about the good terms of service provided by the firm. The rewards can be in terms of gifts, small freebies, or a gift card. This gift is usually given to the business as a token that is meant to be a thanksgiving present to the client for the good work done in promoting the business and as a means of increasing customer relations. In addition, businesses can create an advanced referral program where customers earn points after referring a new client the business. Such points can be redeemed and converted to money or goods and services from the involved company.
Keep on playing even after scoring the first goal
In this case, the business provides an incentive to help the referred customer to come back to the firm for a second time. In the case of using such a referral channel, the referred returns with a different acquired audience, and thus the customers’ chain increases until the small business grows to a large business (Tsai, 2013). However, after winning the clients, businesses should strive to maintain them, as the cost of keeping a returning client is cheaper as compared to that of acquiring a new one.
Be magnanimous with merchandise
The business should have a culture that rewards customers in terms of commodities, but not services as this is meant to increase the perceived price. This value of the commodity that is rewarded to the customer is returned back to the business eventually through the high price quotation.
Encourage the use of gift cards
The use of gift cards is usually meant to be an advantage to the firm because the customers will certainly return to the business and shop for more. In addition, using gift card will enable online customers to market the firm to friends and this aspect increases the chain of customers.
Distributing e-business cards
Businesses can use this strategy to reach out to the clients online. E-business cards can be shared or sent to clients via social media space, which allows customers to gather more information concerning a given business. The customers can then share this information with their friends who then can become clients to the company. The main purpose of being online is to create awareness of the existence of a business, and thus firms should use this opportunity optimally.
Harness the power of the customer’s words
In this case, a firm focuses on the recommendations and review from customers about a given product. Therefore, the firm usually provides reviews to the current customers about those positive remarks from the referral customers about their good terms of services. These recommendations can be in terms of video clips on the customers or even snapshots.
Ask the clients to come with an extra person
This referral system is usually termed as ‘bring a friend’. In this case, the business usually benefits from this strategic plan in two ways, viz. by ensuring that the referred customer brings a client that is new to the business coupled with making the existent customers come back in the future. The price of a returning client cannot be measured because businesses spend less in keeping such clients. Well-organized referral systems can be so profitable and to some extent they may work as the customer base for the business (Tsai, 2013).
The sole aim of a business venturing into social media is to increase its financial position after marketing its products through a wide range of social media platforms. Crowd funding is a criterion that is commonly used by artists, filmmakers, and other creative individuals to gather money from a given crowd upon entertaining them. Similarly, small businesses are using this criterion to mobilize funds from angel investors. Such an exercise can only be conducted online for efficiency. Businesses need to advertise the need for crowd funding so that a large number of people can be aware of the same (Young, 2013).
The main advantage that is usually associated with crowd funding is that a firm will be in a position to acquire capital that it would never have attained from the conventional borrowing channels like banks. However, the power of crowd funding lies on the strategies and abilities that a firm can use to draw angel investors within a short period. The popularity of crowd funding is growing with time, and thus in the years to come, institutions will have to reschedule their systems to accommodate this fast growing tool of funds mobilization.
Ways of Rallying Influencers
The main aim of using social media is to ensure that a business gathers a large market via different campaigns platforms. Using influencers is another social media method that can be used to attain a multitude of potential clients, through influencers. According to Sharp (2009), a number of ways are used to rally influencers including informing the on the company’s social media strategy, connecting the influencers with other influencers, providing access to them, acknowledging and appreciating the audience in the social media, making fun, and including pictures in blogs. In conclusion, social media has revolutionized the way businesses conduct marketing and advertisements. By following the strategies outlined in this book, small businesses can gain a wide range of potential clients via social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus among others.
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