G-Amzon RD: Social Media: How to Skyrocket Your Business


MARKETING 101 
As defined in the website business www.dictionary.com, marketing is an activity or process conducted by management in which services and goods are transferred from the concept stage to the hands of the customers.  

This process includes managing 4 crucial elements of marketing, also known as the
4 Ps. These are product, price, place and promotion. 
So before we go to the nitty-gritty of social media marketing, let’s first take a quick look at these 4 important elements of marketing to better understand social media marketing principles later on.

PRODUCT 
In marketing terms, product refers to identifying, selecting and developing a service or a good that will be sold to customers.

To come up with very good products that will sell, business owners and managers must learn to see their business' products from the point of view of an outsider, which takes into consideration their planned or current products' ability to meet their target market's needs and wants as well as the available competing products in the market. To do this successfully business owners and managers would do well to be skilled in putting themselves in someone else's shoes in order to make an informed and objective choice on what product they might be able to sell well. 

They also must be able to scope out and analyze their competition- a duplicate, or superior product being sold by a competitor for a similar or better price is a surefire way to ensure your own product's failure. Since anyone marketing their product needs to optimize their potential sales, ensuring you offer products with better quality, prices, or convenience can be vital in ensuring that you overtake your competition, instead of the other way around.

PRICE When talking of price, we refer to the value at which you’ll sell your services or goods.

Of all the important features of your services and products, price is probably the most competitive one. What this means is many businesses often compete for customers by trying to lower prices. When it comes to business, there are situations where prices must be lowered in order to remain competitive and survive.  

There are situations too, when raising prices is perfectly acceptable, even recommended. If your business happens to be in a very competitive industry, you're most likely marketing strategy is keeping prices low. If your business is in an industry with very little or virtually no competition, you may enjoy the luxury of increasing your goods or services’ prices.

Keep in mind the price of your products or services isn't just about the monetary value but also takes into consideration the overall value, which includes flexible and easy payment terms and free items, among others. Special promotions, be it rebates, coupons, or other temporary sales, can help to ensure your customers that they are getting the best value for their money. 

Everyone loves a discount, so marking something down to a lower price, provided you ensure you charge enough to make a healthy profit, can really get your clients excited about making their purchase and raise the odds that they'll recommend buying from you to their friends and family, thus gaining you further customers. 

PLACE Place means selecting a distribution channel for making sure that your services or products reach your customers’ place or where they’re actually sold. 
As a business owner, you should regularly evaluate your sales people and customers meeting points. 
There are situations where you need to change the location of your business in order to experience significant growth in sales. 

The primary consideration in terms of choosing a place from which to distribute your services or goods is your customers’ convenience. It doesn’t matter if your product or service is the cheapest on earth if the customer has to go through so much inconvenience to buy or avail of them.  

Think of it this way, would you buy a brand, spanking new iPhone 6S for only $100 if the store is located in Iraq or Syria?
I don’t think so.

Of course, selling from a prime location usually comes with higher costs for you, but people will pay quite the premium to avoid a time-consuming or unpleasant trip.
We all are familiar with the old sayings 'That's the price of convenience' and 'Time is money', and when it comes to place, these sayings will be proven true time and again. It is usually well worth the greater initial investment for the benefit of getting away with increasing your prices over the less convenient shops.

Additionally, if you are located in an ideal location, you will be visible to more potential clients, thus raising awareness of your business without needing to spend so much on advertising to do so. As we move ever more into the digital age, physical location is no longer as essential as it once was.

There is so much we can accomplish online, enabling us to cater to even people on the other side of the planet. Additionally, with the advent of handheld technology, including advanced phones, touch pads, and tablets, people can access information and shops stored online no matter where they roam or what they are doing.

When we talk about promotion, we refer to the activity of formulating strategies and implementing them in order to make people aware of your products or services. Promotion basically includes all the different ways you can tell your current and prospective buyers about your services or products. And an important part of promotion is positioning, which is the art of placing your service or product on top – or near the top – of your target and current markets’ minds.

Promotional changes – regardless of the size and scope – can significantly affect the level of your sales. An example of this is how experienced ad copywriters can significantly influence or affect a product or service’s sales simply by changing one or two words in the headline of their advertisements.

As a business owner
You should regularly experiment in terms of various approaches in promoting your services and products. And keep in mind that while many approaches can work for your business, all of them don't work forever. If you experiment on a regular basis, you can enjoy the benefit of having several promotional alternatives ready on hand to replace your current promotional approach the moment it becomes stale.

By ensuring your products and business seem fresh and adaptable, you put yourself ahead of your competitors.
Even small changes, if well applied, can cause prospective customers to notice your business while overlooking the businesses of those around you, leading you to become the dominant supplier in your area with just a bit of clever marketing. 

In this book, we’ll focus on this last P, promoting your products or services by getting them to your target markets on virtually every smartphone, tablet and computer in the world that’s connected to the Internet.

With the ubiquity of the Internet these days, this allows your business to reach out to customers in a way previous generations could never have imagined.
A whole new world of possibilities exists with this software, and with a bit of work and imagination, it can be harnessed to create profit and success for your budding business.

SOCIAL MEDIA 101
As an activity or process, social media may be defined as an interaction tool used by people for exchanging, sharing or creating information and ideas in virtual or digital communities over the Internet.

From an invention point of view, we can look at social media as web-based applications that provide us with opportunities for interacting and connecting with many people.
It is also a platform by which communities and individuals are able to modify, discuss, co-create and share content that are generated or created by other users. Immediacy, usability permanence, reach, frequency and quality are just some of the qualities that make social media significantly different from – and superior to –industrial or traditional media.

You may already be familiar with the most popular social media websites like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, and there are many others out there that also enjoy great or growing numbers of followers and fans just waiting for you to utilize. 

When you look at it, the number of people on social media websites can be quite staggering and as such, they’re considered to be any marketing professional’s heaven. To give you an idea just how staggering, it’s estimated,

For example, that Facebook has more than 1.3 billion active users, about half of which log on to their accounts on a daily basis. It is also estimated that Twitter has more than 615 million active users, and this is only a glimmer of the billions of active social media accounts your customers are using all around the world. 

With such kinds of numbers, marketing professionals can swim in an ocean of prospects. Another important difference between social media and traditional or industrial marketing is the engagement of customers.

By engaging 
Customers, social media marketing provides customers the opportunity to participate or take ownership of a particular brand, message, service or product by liking them, commenting on what's happening to them or asking questions about them. Because customers and potential customers get a sense of ownership or partnership in a brand, message, service or product, the possibility or likelihood of increased sales is significantly higher. 

This can be easily accomplished by communicating with your clientele, and is further promoted by polls or other promotions that allow your customers the opportunity to really feel involved and valued by your business.

THE ROLE OF SOCIAL MEDIA IN MODERN DAY BUSINESS MANAGEMENT:
Back in the day, any interested customer or prospect can only get information on a product, service or the company providing them by contacting the company directly or through their representatives. Industrial or traditional marketing focused its resources on trade shows, mass advertising,

print media and PR to create and build awareness of services and products.
It used to be too, that the primary way for business owners and customers to interact was through cold calls and direct mail only, where any potential customers or fresh leads were just passed on or transferred to a company or business’ sales team for following up.

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Naturally, this resulted in inefficient, indirect communication, which rarely benefits either companies or customers. But Google changed all that. Because of Google, companies began to look for new ways of generating sales leads, particularly through the use of email marketing, pay-per-click (PPC) advertising and search engine optimization (SEO), all of which served to funnel sales prospects to their respective websites. While email marketing is today's version of what used to be called the direct mail marketing, pay-per-click, also referred to as cost-per-click, is a way of advertising that seeks to funnel prospective clients to their businesses’ websites by paying websites owners whenever people click on ads that appear on their websites.

Search engine optimization refers to the process or activity of managing a particular website's content in such a way that it places highly in search results for particular keywords or topics in different search engine websites, particularly Google, Yahoo! and Bing.

There are code words and strategies that companies can master in order to ensure their website will be amongst the top results for the exact customer base they are trying to target, ensuring the greatest likelihood of those who come across their website actually making a purchase. 

These strategies enable businesses to, by utilizing the technological wonder of the Internet, target customers on a more personal, individual level, lessening the need for mass advertising and instead honing in primarily on the people most inclined to appreciate your specific product. With the advent of the Internet, businesses have also learned to generate content such as white papers - also known as authoritative reports on particular topics of interest for certain target markets - and webinars, which are live or recorded seminars that are shown over the Internet.

These two help businesses convert visits to their websites to sales leads.
But the efficiency of the Internet also brought with it some very interesting challenges. One of which is sending sales leads to salespeople prematurely and such relatively quick send-offs led to wastage of sales leads.

As a result, businesses learned first to nurture their leads and were forced to create programs that were able to better qualify hot sales leads from those with low or no potential – at least not yet. Doing so allowed businesses to refer to their sales teams only those sales prospects that have high potential.

And by identifying those leads that don't have much potential yet, they can first nurture them through regular communications until such time that they become qualified hot leads.

This enables businesses to avoid wasting their sales team's potential on currently unfulfilling clientele, but to gently groom such clientele for future advertising campaigns, leading to eventual sales. And it’s in this nurturing process where social media comes in. 

It does so by engaging potential customers with regular communications that are designed to convert them into hot leads or leads with good sales potential. 
In particular, up-and-coming and small businesses benefit greatly from using social media because unlike big corporations, they normally don't have big budgets for marketing and advertisement.

This is why social media can be a great starting point for attracting customers and growing your business. The ease of the process and the low cost make it an affordable investment that can enable you to expand your business more than our predecessors would have believed possible.

WHY USE SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING?
For many modern-day entrepreneurs, the big marketing thing these days is social media. For some, it's just a temporary but the very powerful business fad or trend that every entrepreneur and marketing professional must take advantage of while still hot. 
But to others, it's just a popular word that offers no practical advantage and can be a very complicated and steep learning curve. Social media has somehow earned a reputation with some people as simply being a passing marketing fad or trend and as such, one that's unprofitable – simply because it appeared rather quickly. 

Few companies are inspired to work through learning a new and sometimes challenging system when the older methods seem tried and true, especially if they do not expect such a method to be sustainable. They view it as a flash-in-the-pan so to speak. But statistics tend to offer a different take on it, a very different one.  

Popular inbound marketing software platform Hubspot noted that 
in 2014, 92% of marketing professionals said that social media marketing played an important role in their businesses with as much as 80% of them claiming that their websites’ traffic went up because of it. 

Social Media Examiner – a United States-based media company, said that 97% of marketing professionals use social media marketing, although 85% of those they surveyed admitted not knowing which social media tools are the best ones to use. 
Clearly, this shows that social media marketing has great potential for jacking up sales but on the other hand, the ability to use it optimally for achieving such results is still lacking in general.

If you’re generally clueless as to how you can use social media marketing to your business’ advantage, here’s a list of that can help you become familiar with the benefits your business may enjoy from using this kind of marketing activity.

BETTER BRAND AWARENESS:
Consider every chance you get how to increase your business's visibility and the syndicated content is very valuable. And one of the best new ways to showcase your business's content invoice is through your social media networks. 
Using them can make your business more accessible and easier to contact, making it more recognizable and familiar to your current, as well as prospective customers. 

A good example of this is a regular user of Twitter, who finds out about 
your business and its products or services only after he or she stumbled upon it in his or her Twitter news feed. 

Another good example would be an otherwise apathetic potential customer who may become more familiar with your product or service only after he or she sees it on multiple social networks. 

In these ways, social media can allow you to attract a far more widespread customer base as it enables you to get your business out there on the social feeds of your potential clientele- even the ones that would have been challenging to target without this technology. 

By seeing your brand appearing as they browse through Twitter or by noticing that some of their friends liked you on Facebook, you are attracting more and more people to your business, ultimately resulting in more sales for your business.

HIGHER CUSTOMER LOYALTY
A published report by Texas Tech University noted that businesses that use social media to engage customers to enjoy more loyalty from them compared to those who don’t. The report’s conclusion is that businesses must make full use of available social media tools to connect with their audience.

An open and strategic social media plan can be greatly beneficial in terms of improving customers’ brand loyalty. In another study, this time by Convince&Convert, reported that about 53% of Americans who are followers of particular brands in social media tend to be more loyal to such brands compared to those who don't.

The result of these studies likely is linked to the fact that social media can target customers on a more personal level than all previous forms of advertising. 

It enables you to solicit public opinion via polls, games, and other fun and engaging activities that attract customers to your business, and then maintain their attention. This is accomplished by the fact that social media allows your clients to feel like they have a role in shaping your business, your products, your methods- they feel valued and important to the processes your business goes through, and as such they become Buy the full on Amazon for $0.80 Cents only loyal to the businesses that 
enable them to experience such positive feelings.


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