The best way for small businesses to advertise online
By Jason Buckland, Sympatico / MSN Finance
I have a few friends on Facebook who keep trying the same infuriating trick.
Every week I’m swallowed up by chain interactions from those friends who fancy themselves young real estate agents or aspiring photographers, prodding me to check out their listings website, online gallery or Facebook group.
That group is usually highlighted by a cheesy, arms-crossed promo headshot or pseudo-artistic photo that’s really just anything I could take but, whoa, have you gone and turned it black-and-white and played with the sepia slider in your downloaded version of Photoshop? Somebody call the CMCP!
Listen, guys, I think I speak for everyone you’re sending these requests to when I say, stop.
Yet, the more I consider the flip-side to this coin, I keep coming back to one realization: social networking sites are such an easy way to reach a mass audience, they’ve now become too precious a commodity for new entrepreneurs or small business owners to pass up.
At the same time, the last thing you or I want to see when we log onto Facebook is spam or ads shoved in our face. Those are our networking sites and that would, in turn, be an invasion of our personal space (that’s not really that personal.) There has to be some middle ground.
So, I did a little searching and it seems Mainstreet.com has beat me to the punch with their pretty handy tips for how small businesses can capitalize on social networking sites.
They list Facebook as an easy way to promote, which I agree with, in part. There are over 200 million people on Facebook. It’s massive, easy to navigate and filled with word-of-mouth potential. Just be subtle. Know what’s at stake by pushing a product or service on your friends and be mindful of what’s to be their reaction.
My favourite suggestion on Mainstreet’s list is to demo your products on YouTube. Making an online video to pimp your business is a great, inexpensive idea and has the added prospect of going viral, which could be a huge bonus.
Considering radio, TV and print ads can break the bank these days, seems like this is the future for start-up companies to get the word out.