I attended the Social Brand Forum, a two-day conference chock full of marketing intelligence and networking advice, a couple weeks ago. Like I mentioned in THIS previous post, I listened to talks from marketing pros like Mark Schaefer, Amber Naslund, and Justine Jordan… and I left armed with a lot of notes and ideas buzzing around my head. Now that I’ve had a chance to chew on these ideas a bit, I want to share some of my bigger takeaways with you.
So gather ’round, fellow small business owners and marketing professionals. This one’s for you…
An overwhelming amount of data (ahem, noise) exists out there, and we’re all yelling to be heard. When I think about the internet, I think about how much information exists here. Well, at the rate we’re going, the amount of data on the internet will increase by 500% before 2020. In other words, imagine the internet as we know it. Now multiply that by five. Think it’s hard to make yourself heard now?
To demonstrate this growth, Mark Schaefer gave the example of Facebook. Back in 2011, if you posted something on Facebook and didn’t run any promotions, you could expect about 26% of your audience to see your post. Fast-forward to 2015 and now you can expect that 8% of your audience will see it. Why is this happening? Because there’s too much content fighting for the spotlight. To combat this, Facebook has taken the approach of prioritizing those who pay to promote their posts.
So this is where I started to feel all doom-and-gloom. This to me says that the future of the internet lies solely with those who have well-supplemented marketing budgets. But thankfully, that’s where I was wrong!
I was wondering how this small business owner with a minimal marketing budget could possibly compete. The answer? Through social sharing! (tweet it!) How often have you clicked on something, visited a website, and maybe even shopped for something simply because your friend or esteemed colleague shared it on their twitter, instagram, facebook, you name it?
When someone ‘likes’ something you’ve posted (welcome, twitter heart!), it’s as if they’re patting you on the head and saying “ditto.” But when they directly share or repost something, they’re standing up for your content and saying that they believe in you, and they believe in your content.
Yes, the internet is full of data. It’s full of noisy chaos, trolls, and… your community. So respect and grow that community, because they are your marketing plan.
Hey small business and handmade shop owners! Did you like this post? If so, you might also like reading my related post: 7 things all successful blogs have (and how to incorporate them into your own website