July 4, 2011

Minorities; Social Networking and Marketing

Social Networking/Marketing is booming for minority
small businesses and minority entrepreneurialism
is on the rise because of the integration of technology.
Blogging content is important in business
and market planning to establish credibility and a presence
online. Technology, an ever developing tool, important for business
contacts, building business relationships, creating collaborations,
expands the reach of business cards, email addresses, and cell numbers.

Minorities need to understand the time is now for business ownership to explore business options on social networks. It does not take a technology degree, or a marketing degree (learning the basics is important) it’s as simple as gaining a basic understanding of using networking tools to expand beyond a handshake.
The misconception for business success online is joining every social network, making thousands of friends, gaining multiple contacts, and grow an email database bigger than the next person. Even if a network of thousands is created this may not work towards business success. There needs to be a plan, a procedure, a process to implement social networking and social media concepts and designs.

Content is very important, content is king; stated by:
Tiffany Duhart of Nokturnal Escape, “many business owners do
not value the content of their social media sites.
Businesses do not realize that all the fluff and pizzazz of Flash,
Shockwave, music and incorporation of graphics goes away
in the minds of potential clients, the client looks for content”
Nokturnal Escape view the content, use of graphics,
the use of content to drive people to the site to provide information.
As I lecture and present on the importance of content for businesses
and education, many business owners think they can drive customers to
their sites with lots of graphics, but this does not mean anything if a client
is not made. Having a web presence, social media presence or involved
in LinkedIn does not mean everyone knows who you are.
The goal is to have repeat visits and consistent clients.
Content is what attracts potential clients and keeps their attention,
the same with Blogging.
There is no compromise when it comes to the importance of content.

Stated by
Scott F. Geld, Director of Marketing for MarketingBlaster.com, Content is the thing that attracts customers and retains their attention. It is the one and only means, which would bring customers to your website and turn leads into sales through all your advertising campaigns.” The social networking scene has grown billions of people in 3 years, the explosion of the diversity of what is being called the Web 2.0 environment has allowed diverse communities to connect, work in partnerships, allow for peer collaboration on projects that minorities would never have imagined only years before. The Nielsen Company, showed through studies consumers spent about five and half hours on social networking sites ranging from Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. This is an 82% increase from previous years when users were spending just over three hours on social networking sites. The globalization of social networks and blogs are the most popular online category followed by online games and instant messaging. People have discovered through social networks there is no limit to what a person can participate in according to their professional curiosity and business desires. This is why when addressing business interests a plan with routines and procedures is needed. Businesses are finding that the instantaneous sharing of information about companies and products is prompting businesses to influence conversations through technology and new ways of thinking.

Businesses can be victimized by social media sites and the posted content from others online. Customers have a medium (tool) to criticize a product and communicate with millions in a matter of minutes. Customer satisfaction should be number (1).  Businesses are in constant cyber attacks, minority businesses particularly should take cyber hits seriously. They must be sure that employees keep their identities and access/network codes secret. The Internet and Social Networks open up doors for espionage, theft, slander, and potential criminal activities. Establishing a connection in social networking environments may allow for an entrepreneurial spirit to develop faster, but opens doors for other threats. Education and being proactive is very important.

This media is ever changing and developmental; looking at Google, Microsoft, Facebook, LinkedIn, Nokturnal Escape and others; their implementation of Social Media and Social Networks has changed the rules of businesses. In the book Business at the Speed of Thought (Bill Gates 1999) Gates highlighted that in order for any business to be successful, businesses must embrace technology. In order for any business to survive there should be an incorporation of business thought, technology implementation and integration. Minority businesses must learn to implement, incorporate, collaborate and educate themselves to compete in a global digital market place.

William Jackson, M.Ed.

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