21st Century Marketing for Emerging Small Businesses

21st Century MarketingIn a recent interview with the Dallas Business Journal, entrepreneur David Kiger discussed his use of online media to educate an upcoming generation of businesspeople. The Worldwide Express Operations, LLC, founder and CEO started the freight shipping company in 1995 with $5,000. His business has grown to become one of the largest resellers of UPS services for small-to-medium-sized businesses, with more than 10 million packages handled per year.

On his newly launched website, David Kiger responds to questions sent to him from new business owners all over the country. The site developed out of his desire to personally assist the numerous individuals who had contacted him through social media. His hard-earned knowledge comes from his own experiences. In 2008, his major business partner suddenly abandoned operations in the United States, and Kiger was faced with rebuilding and re-marketing his business.

One of the most important activities any small business owner needs to focus on is marketing, which increasingly involves the use of social media. A recent study found that small business owners would rather gain large numbers of Facebook “friends” for their companies than be featured in a Super Bowl commercial. Yet more than 25 percent of those were not sure how to be successful in social media promotion.

Some experts recommend selecting one platform that can best assist the business and using it well. Twitter may be the best choice for entrepreneurs who offer professional services and want to be seen as innovators in their fields. Pinterest is a good fit for those with a customer base focused on consumer products. Facebook can work well for companies in hospitality or retail, particularly those who want to extend special offers to the public.

Concentrate on sharing relevant, timely information customers can use. Ask them questions to keep them engaged, and time posts to the busiest traffic hours for the platform.

Give social media campaigns six months or more to demonstrate results. And keep 80 percent of content focused on customers, and only the remaining one-fifth on the company.