Social Networking is the greatest marketing tool available to virtual businesses today. How do we gain presence otherwise? The storefronts that gain presence in the brick and mortar world are reached by different vehicles of transportation and communication than those in the virtual world. Discussing how brick and mortar businesses gain presence will help us realise what we should be doing to gain this presence for virtual businesses.
Social networking defined is the practice of increasing individual as well as group contacts. Although social networking has been practiced for as long as society has existed, the effect is much more powerful on the web. The Six Degrees of Separation theory holds that any person on the planet is able to be connected to anyone else on the planet “through a chain of acquaintances that's no more than five intermediaries”. (Wikipedia, 2009). Based on this concept, the rate at which one can connect to anyone else on this planet via social networking on the web is accelerated.
Email marketing, as numerous surveys reveal, occupies a very important position today. Emailing can become, when properly used, a very productive and cost efficient marketing medium. Any one associated with ecommerce must keep in mind that his or her competitors are not ignoring email marketing. Therefore, anyone choosing to do so would sustain huge losses.
The secret of success in email marketing depends on the ability to build up a persuasive email campaigns. This skill is acquired and improves through practice. But it is important to start off. The following tips will help you get started in email marketing.
Let us now discuss the differences in which business presence is gained in both the brick and mortar and virtual worlds. First of all, storefronts in the brick and mortar world can be seen by several vehicles of transportation and communication. For instance, it's common to browse storefronts while taking a stroll, waiting for a bus. Exiting a bus and walking home. Maybe you've a specific shopping day and you a take family or friends shopping. You'll probably browse several stores, new and old. This is one way for the local business to gain presence. What about non-local businesses?
Cities with several options for using public transportation help people get from point A to point B true. Also expose people to more advertisements and storefronts than in their neighborhoods. Many times a trip using public transportation requires that a transfer to another bus or train be necessary in order to reach a final destination. What does this mean? That’s right. People see more advertisements and more storefronts.
Also popular offline is word of mouth. Word of mouth would've to rate as number one as a marketing tool. Word of mouth usually comes with something more than just advertising…client’s opinions. This can make or break a business. You should've nothing to worry about if you're good at what you do and you're honest. Good reviews can bring an organisation many clients in the future and it doesn’t stop there, word of mouth equals more word of mouth. Increasing reviews means an increase in business.
In fact, there are only two ways in which businesses gain presence on the web. One is through the search engines and the other is by social networking, which is the foundation of cultivation. Online business owners don't have people strolling across the web or exiting buses. The closest thing to strolling is browsing. People browse the net all of the time. Search engines on the web can be compared to two things, strolling and the yellow pages. It all depends on whether you're browsing (general search such as hardware stores) or searching the search engines (a more specific search such as Joe’s hardware store).
Social networking online is comparable to word of mouth offline. In fact, a friend of mine named Richard Butler AKA the Success Coach describes social networking for business online as “word of mouse.”. According to Misner (2002) Word of mouth marketing “is the world’s best known marketing secret.”. Misner maintains that business professionals take word of mouth too lightly and some think it's to do with customer service. Although customer service is important and may save your hide in negative situations, word of mouth is more than customer service.
According to Misner (2002), the happy client doesn't talk to as many people about his experience as the unhappy client. The unhappy client can speak about his bad experiences with literally dozens of people. Misner states that word of mouth must become an important part of marketing and can be achieved by practising and realizing three important things. Firstly, it's important to diversify your networks. This means getting out of your cave and gaining presence in the community. Secondly, you should develop your contact spheres and this is as simple as networking with businesses that are non-competitive with your business. In fact, these businesses will compliment each other and may help the others gain referrals. For example, Misner refers to a florist, a photographer, a jeweller and a travel agent as the wedding mafia because one referral becomes four. Lastly, realise that word of mouth is more about cultivating relationships than hunting for clients. In other words. You should focus on quality rather than quantity.
There are approximately 200 social networking sites available on the web. Approximately fifty of those sites are particularly focused on business. Examples of social networking sites focused on business are Delicious, Digg, Twitter, LinkedIn and StumbleUpon. Word of mouth starts with you so registering with these sites is highly recommendable. Become your businesses most valuable asset and let the mouse do the talking.
Misner, I. (2002). Word of Mouth: The World's Best-Known Marketing Secret. Retrieved May 23, 2009 from
Wikipedia (2009) Social Networking. Retrieved May 23, 2009 from