What happens when you bring college life online? You’re given social networking websites—multitudes of them. What happens when you bring commerce into the picture? Things flow naturally. Perhaps human beings are made to “market” their faces, skills, accomplishments, goods, etc. When you look at the social networking culture’s success, it’s as if the internet never existed before the era.
Does this mean that the most popular stores online are the richest? Not necessarily, but sometimes they are. What really matters, though, is that they’re the most exposed among every other brand competing in the same niche. Social media gives them free airtime. While it costs a lot of money to buy advertising time on air, social networking websites can give small owners the needed exposure for free. Businesses can also get extra marketing tools (a banner, etc.) by paying a minimal amount of money.
If you think the marketing possibilities through the social media stops at status messages, short notes, and still image catalogues, you’re wrong. As long as you have a camera and enough video editing skills, you can make your own ads, upload it on a free hosting website (like Youtube) and connect it to your social networking page. Most of these social media websites actually have built-in “sharing” buttons. You won’t have to worry about messing with your profile’s html or CSS codes. There’s absolutely no programming skill necessary.
All you have to do is click on a button and voila! Your newly uploaded video is ready for viewing and posted directly to your online store or fan page. These things are easy because while the social networking culture has retained its “sharing” principle, it has also allowed some commercialism to enter the picture. Online entrepreneurs are no longer rejected from online communities. Instead, they’re not tolerated, if not welcomed by consumers.
However, it is important for store owners to keep their customer’s trust intact. The real value of the social media is in promoting and maintaining the reputation and popularity of the store. These things are all very dependent on trust.