Social networking aka Web 2.0 and search engine optimization have become the most effective and cheapest form of advertising that a small business can invest in.
• 53% of people on Twitter recommend companies and/or products in their Tweets, with 48% of them delivering on their intention to buy the product. (ROI Research for Performance)
• 81% of respondents of a survey said they received advice from friends and followers relating to a product purchase through a social site; 74% of those who received such advice found it to be influential in their decision (Click Z)
• Nearly two-thirds of consumers (61%) use search engines to help them in their product research decisions leading up to purchase. (eConsultancy)
As the information sharing and community-based models defined by Web 2.0 have significantly changed the online behavior of consumers, a new evolution is similarly occurring in the business world to target potential clients. Users expect contextual information to be a click away, whenever and wherever they need it. Applications need to be easy to use, and they need to conform the way users work. These users depend on the experience of peers in many aspects of their daily lives — whether looking for advice, purchasing a product, maintaining their network, or sharing information.
Through the most active social networks such as Facebook and YouTube, users will spread your brand and your products to their friends like wildfire. The power of social networks can be compared to that of billboards. The average user is connected to about 150 people that they know personally but their true reach exceeds the hundreds reaching as high as 2000-3000. 1 like on Facebook will be displayed on 3000 profiles instantly; included in the free advertising is word of mouth exposure which is the most effective form of expanding your business.
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