Social Networking Marketing Presents Challenges For Small Businesses

Social networking marketing is the latest craze in web entrepreneurship. The technology of the market for these networks is maturing and as a result web entrepreneurs are quickly mastering the new tricks in order to profit. Small businesses continue to struggle to master the skills necessary to carve out niches for themselves on the major platforms. Short staffed companies have neither the time nor the necessary expertise to keep up with the multiple programs and as a result miss opportunities to reach their target audience and or fan base.

Online networking should be an integral part of any marketing plan these days. Given the high adoption rate of network platforms such as Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter it stands to reason that any business will find customers surfing these networks. The trouble for small business is to keep their fractured audience engaged and their pages updated.

Cost Has Had Major Impact on Adoption of Online Networks

One of the principal benefits of joining a network is that membership is free. Having no cost point and offering usage with as little as a name and email address removed the two major hurdles to public embrace: privacy and cost. These low hurdles have reduced the safety of networks like these but have all but doomed premium service sites of the last generation such as AOL, MSN, CompuServe (which I had to look up because I could not remember it), and Prodigy.

The Problem of Choice

The early simple functionality of the major social networking sites led to rapid adoption but problems have arisen. The advent of three major platforms has made it more difficult for friends used to using one platform to continue to stay updated with folks using other platforms. This fracturing of the social networking marketing audience will ultimately result in the merger or dissolution of one of the two major platforms. Facebook seems to be more popular today, but MySpace is much better funded (under the Fox Media empire of Rupert Murdoch).

How to Keep All Your Accounts Sync-ed

Bridging the gap between the major platforms has been a significant challenge for social networking marketing users. People tend to prefer one platform over another and are unlikely to cross over despite friends who opt to use different systems. For the business owner or entrepreneur the challenge then is to find efficient low cost ways to keep all their audiences updated.