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In: Social Media

So you've just started a small business and you have a fantastic product, but nobody's buying it. I'm here to tell you why. First, are you sure your product is actually fantastic? Because I know people like to embellish to make themselves sound cooler. Like, last week, I played HORSE with Kobe Bryant. And I won (okay, not really, but for a second you almost believe me, right?). So you've double-checked that your product is great. But still, nobody is buying and you can not really afford TV advertisements. What do you do? Go social.

What's social media marketing? It's the wave of the future! It's what Don Draper would be doing right now if he was not so busy being awesome and, you know, in the 60s. It's connecting you, me, and some guy down the street with little more than the click of a button. With social media marketing, you do not need to sell just locally. You do not even need to sell nationally. With the right marketing strategy, you can even go globally.

But that's probably more your ten-year plan. You want to sell now. I get it. But you've got no social media presence. That's a problem. Why? Because without social media, you're probably losing out on a lot of potential customers, like:

• Me! (That's right, I rarely watch TV for commercials anymore, they are so passé.)
• People under 25. (They're the people you probably want most as they're the ones most likely to spend their money stupidly.)
• That guy down the street. (He really gets around.)
• My grandma. (Yeah, even she has a Facebook page.)

Social media can do wonders for your business. It's easy. Write 300 words, slap a few pictures on it, call it a blog post, and suddenly you've got people talking about your new clothing line. Get a twitter account, start tweeting choice lines (it all takes is 140 characters!), And that self-published novel you've written about sparkly werewolves will be retorted amongstst all yourly diehard fans. Want that house in the quiet neighborhood with good schools to reach a wide market? Create a Facebook page, a social network that allows you to instantly connect to potentially hundreds, thousands, millions of people (you can even focus locally). They'll post on your wall telling you how awesome the house is, and hey, would it be cool if I came to the open house?

Social media is cheap (most of it is free!) And easy and you can focus as far away or as close as you like. That's the beauty of it: it's marketing tailor specifically to you and your business. It's personal marketing and it can make your customers feel like you're talking directly to them (but not in an annoying telemarketing way). And hey, with social media, your customers do half the work for you. Talk about a winning strategy.