Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Social Media

Get social, use social media to attract more people

Networking has become an essential aspect for MSMEs to thrive in today's competitive market. And to accomplish this, entrepreneurs should take advantage of the popularity of social media tools as they provide a great opportunity to link up with other people in the same industry and to reach new customers, regardless of geographical locations.

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SMEs hesitant to enter the world of social media should now think of new ideas and strategies because social networking can just be an extension of what SMEs are already doing. In short, small businesses need to treat social media as an integral part of their marketing campaigns. They need to take an active role in their social media campaigns and view their pages or accounts as extensions of the business, rather than just a passive ad campaign.

With doubt, with the advent of social networking sites in the world of media and their increasing use as marketing tools, SMEs, particularly those with small budgets, cannot afford not to harness their power.

Having said that social media is unlikely to produce positive results for SMEs who haphazardly launch Internet campaigns hoping they will resonate with consumers. One has to be very intelligent to use this media for their own benefit.

Today SMEs can effectively use social media tools to create a community related to one's own industrial sector, organise events, get help from other users to promote one's company and products, receive instant feedback, and do customer research before coming out with a marketing campaign.

Undeniably, social media is a low-cost or no-cost marketing tool and this media can be used as a platform to build awareness, and boost business. But it is imperative for MSME holders to understand how social media tools can strategically serve and support their business first, so that they can best implement social media strategies to sell their products or services.

Several Indian MSMEs are effectively using social media to build their online database of contacts and connections, be visible to prospective customers, and get the word out in creative ways like videos, blog posts, images, podcasts to spread the word on their offerings.

In a nutshell, for an entrepreneur it is worth the time to set up and maintain a network on one of the many social networking sites. So, why be left behind?

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