The Internet has changed the fundamental way that business does business. Traditional marketing involved getting the word out to the consumer so that they became aware of your product or service. The Internet has changed that. Advertising and products by the millions are displayed across a broad array of markets daily making it difficult for any one product to stand out. To adapt businesses have moved to customer engagement. Customer engagement means a company has to establish relationships directly with the client, and directly with the consumers. Social media, expert columns, and blogs have become a mainstream way to develop a client and customer base for a product or service. Conferences and regional meetings that invite other businesses have become more than just training sessions. Business deals, collaborations, and business networks form during informal gatherings.
An engagement test begins with the company itself, and who it has relationships with. No one business makes it on its own. It forms relationships with its vendors, suppliers, and present customers. It develops social capital which means it builds a trust and takes interest in the people whom it comes in contact. All factors being the same the contacts will choose that company over all others to do business with. Passing the engagement test here is a beginning.
To stay in business one has to develop new markets which takes a different type of engagement test. The easiest way is to make relationships with possible new consumers. Here social media has become the new tool to attract a following. If a core group begins to follow a Facebook, Twitter, or blog postings offering high quality interesting content, it insures your name or your business name becomes known. It is by far the best kind of marketing, and does not cost a business money. Recommendations from family and friends holds high value with consumers and even future clients. Sharing knowledge, responding to comments on posts, and reading others social media output is investing in your business and a form of advertising.
Find some time to tweet, to post, and to read. It makes money.
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