Whether you are in the factoring business or cater to another industry, without customers your chance of survival is basically nil. The cornerstone of any business consists of a solid marketing plan which focuses on attracting new customers in a cost effective manner to generate revenues and turn a profit.
Way back in the day, (maybe six or seven years ago), most marketing plans consisted of an advertising budget, maybe some PR, a newsletter and occasional updates to the company’s website. Depending on the size of the company, a marketing director could spend a small fortune on a basic “shotgun approach” where they place ads in local papers or trade magazines and hope that someone found it interesting enough to purchase their product or service. Just scan through the daily mail you receive at your home or office and you’ll find flyers and postcards from companies trying to earn your business. I’m not saying these approaches are not effective, but with advent of social media, many businesses with little or no budget can market their goods and services in a very effective manner.
Unless you live under a rock, almost everyone is familiar with social media and how it has changed the way we communicate with each other. Social networking sites such as Facebook have over 750 million subscribers with each user having an average of 130 friends. From a business prospective, entrepreneurs and developers from more than 190 countries build with Facebook Platform. Twitter, which celebrated its five year anniversary in May 2011, has about 175 million subscribers that send over 456 “tweets” per second! There are many other forms of social media other than social networks such as podcasts, blogs, and RSS feeds to name a few.
What makes this social media movement so exciting for factoring companies and other small businesses is that any company looking to get noticed can do so with little or no money. Setting up an account with Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn is free and a very good place to start. On LinkedIn, start by joining groups within your own industry to keep track of the latest news and events. Create a Facebook page for your business and get your friends and colleagues to “Like” your page. On Twitter, go to the “Who to follow” section and search for people and companies with similar interests.
Just as it is important to be a part of social media for your business, it is even more important to participate by posting information with good content. What exactly does good content mean? Here are a few general guidelines that I like to use before I post information on our website:
1. Post useful information–this may sound like a no brainer, but you would be surprised how often I come across posts from friends and colleagues with no real point.
2. Entertain–try not to be boring. Liven up your post with some humor, or a personal experience on how you might have done something better.
3. Be an expert — know your facts about the topic so your followers look to you as a resource when they have questions.
What makes social media appealing to so many businesses is that there is no barrier to entry, little or no cost and you can use it as much as you want. Not a bad deal at all.
We are happy to discuss our factoring programs between 9:00-5:00 PST at (800) 790-3419. You may also visit our website Oxygen Funding for more information.
This article was written by our president Don D’Ambrosio and originally published in Factoring Investor on August 15, 2011.