Businesses always seem to be giving away products and services in order to entice people into wanting to buy from them. Many offers are made through social media. The initial offer is free but what is the cost after that?
The same concept can certainly be appliedonline as well as the tools that are available to the general public. Technology is so advanced and new pieces of information are being offered all of the time. When you connect online, the majority of them won’t cost any money to join; however, that doesn’t mean that there is no cost involved.
The investment that you have to make is in time and effort. When you make a commitment to social media for your business, you must consistently devote a specific amount of time interacting with your online connections. Once you have started to do that, you will see that your consistent hard work and dedication to social media for your business will begin to pay off.
As you are designing your social media involvement plan, there are several points that you should cover. You need to establish your social media goals for your business, such as branding, the generation of sales leads, etc. This will dictate which tools you will need to accomplish these goals. Another thing to think about are your resources. Do you have in-house capabilities or do you need to outsource? Of course, if you do end up having to pay for some of your social media tools, the length of your project will affect the cost.
Most business people now understand that social media is a serious means to potentially increasing your business’s revenue. The idea of social media from a financial perspective seems very appealing but there are so many other ways in which you end up investing something that is important to you.
When businesses today give away products and/or services, they have two goals in mind. The first goal is that the people to whom they have given away free items will love the products so much that they will be inclined to pay money the next time that they need something from that business owner. The second goal is that they are looking to acquire data about the people with whom they are interacting. Usually, whatever the business owner is willing to give away is a simpler and more limited version than what they are offering at a price. A large number of people will eventually be convinced to buy something.
After receiving free products and services, is there always money involved?
The answer to that question is that there isn’t always money involved. However, there usually is at some point. Nowadays, with Inbound Marketing (a marketing technique that gets the customers to come to you) being on the forefront of many people’s minds, mass marketing no longer has the same appeal and persuasion that other, newer types of marketing have. Online marketing and traditional marketing should work in tandem in order to have the most effective marketing campaign for all businesses.
The current approach has much less to do with the hard sell and much more to do with building relationships with people. It is understood that building relationships with people leads to trust and trust leads to buying and selling eventually. People don’t buy from people whom they don’t trust.
When a business gives something away for free, the reaction that the recipient has is an emotional one. It makes them feel good to be getting something for nothing. The root of all relationships is emotional. Of course, the ultimate goal has always been to sell products and services. However, the road that is now taken to reach that goal has changed dramatically.
If, as a business owner, your ultimate goal is to acquire data and building relationships is not important to you, you most likely do not have a good chance at succeeding. As was stated earlier, one of the very important elements that you must consider as you are working on relationships with others is trust. If it seems as though all you are interested in are people’s data, you will have a difficult time getting people to trust you and you won’t be able to build any sort of significant relationships.
Although it is a wonderful concept that many of the social media channels as well as tools that are being offered are free, it is important to remember that the success of social media and what it can do for your business is a long-term commitment. It will never be enough for you to register on the popular social media websites and then walk away. Social media will only work for your business if you continue to be involved on an ongoing and indefinite basis. You should definitely take advantage of social media and make sure to fill in all of the details that are required. It is important for you to really acquaint yourself well with the various social media websites with which you want to be involved. The more you understand them, the better your relationships will be. The more you work social media, the better it will work for you and your business.
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About the Author.
Michael Cohn is the founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of CompuKol Communications LLC. He has over 25 years of experience in IT and web technologies.
Mr. Cohn founded CompuKol Communications to help small businesses and entrepreneurs increase their exposure and reputation on the Internet. CompuKol consults, creates, and implements communication strategies for small businesses to monopolize their markets with a unique business voice, vision, and visibility.
Prior to that, Mr. Cohn spent a significant amount of time at a major telecommunications company, where his main focus was on initiating and leading synergy efforts across all business units by dramatically improving efficiency, online collaboration, and the company’s Intranet capabilities, which accelerated gains in business productivity. His expertise includes social media marketing strategies; internet marketing; web presence design; business analysis; project management; management of global cross-matrix teams; systems engineering and analysis, architecture, prototyping and integration; technology evaluation and assessment; systems development; performance evaluation; and management of off-shore development.
Mr. Cohn earned a Master’s degree in project management from George Washington University in Washington, DC; and a Master’s degree in computer science and a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, NJ.
Mr. Cohn is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).