How Social Media Levels the Marketing Playing Field
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If you ask many startups and small businesses “where did you source new clients from,” most will say through word of mouth, their existing network of contents, or networking in general.
The answer is rather vague as many startups and small businesses, in fact, source new customers through a combination of timing and chance.
So how do startups and small business systematically acquire new customers, when they don’t have the advertising budgets of their larger competitors?
New customer acquisition is, after all, the most difficult part of marketing, simply becomes it requires more time, effort and money, than growing existing customer relationships. In fact, growing existing customer relationships is often the easiest way to directly increase revenue and profits; however, this isn’t an option if you don’t have an already established client base.
Larger established businesses usually rely on advertising for new customer acquisition. They have the budget for it, and are quite willing to spend it. However, the marketing landscape is changing.
Social media has become an inherent part of the way we connect with people, and market products and services today The best thing about it is that social media makes the marketing playing field fairer for startups and small businesses.
Social media gives us the ability to build a following, whether it be in the form of connections, friends, followers, or subscribers for little or no cost at all. Sometimes our message or content can even take off, and exceed the penetration of traditional advertising by going viral.
The challenge for startups and small businesses is to get the most out of their social media following, building engagement and trust, in order to identify and acquire new clients amongst their following.
Balancing quality and quantity is really important. We need to ensure we have an adequate number of followers, but that they are of a certain quality– in alignment to the type of ideal customers we would like to acquire.
There is no point having thousands upon thousands of low quality followers, or having only a handful of high quality followers, as either will miss the mark for acquiring new customers.
Amongst our social media following are a small portion of prize prospective customers just waiting for us. For startups and small businesses looking to acquire new B2B customers, start by understanding who your ideal customer is.
Go beyond the basics of a B2B target audience profile that only mentions things like the industry, company size, and job titles you want to target. Find out things like the customers’ appetite for risk, as well as the culture of the companies you want to target. The easiest way to do this is, of course, by talking to people, and asking them about this.
The more we know about our ideal prospective customer, the better we will be able to identify them amongst our social media following- and that essentially means more new customers we can acquire for little or no cost.