Sunday, March 1, 2009

Using Social Media To Grow Your Business

Recently I was talking with another business owner about how a small business, or any business for that matter, can hope to make it in 2009 given the current state of - well everything. He strongly felt that patience was key.

Patience yes, but also hard work. I agreed with him that the economy would not fix itself overnight and also that there are opportunities out there - ample opportunities. The people who will come out the other side of this will be those that not only recognized the opportunities that existed but who also promoted, sold and produced.

That will be true not just for finding new customers but for retaining existing customers.

Retaining existing customers will be key since everyone is logically looking for ways in which to cut back. Providing excellent customer service is a tried and true method of making sure your services do not get cut when someone is reviewing where they can trim the fat.

However, business owners are also going to have to start looking for ways to reach more people with less money. The Internet is a great resource for exactly that if harnessed correctly and the many different social media tools such as Facebook not only offer venues for the sharing of ideas but also for PR and marketing directly to consumers.

I have always relied on word of mouth as my mainstay but am also constantly looking for new ways to get the word out on my business and the businesses of my clients. After seeing what I was able to accomplish for my clients simply through social media and online PR actions I was impressed. The trick is simply knowing which tools to use and how to put them into a plan that will help a business maintain and strengthen existing relationships while building new ones.

An online PR strategy using social media, coupled with sound financial planning, hard work and a willingness to sell will ensure a business rides out the current economic storm.

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