To better understand top of mind awareness and social media marketing let’s play a game. When I say a term what is the first thing that comes to mind? For example if I say “Fast Food,” you might think “McDonald’s.”
The companies you listed have captured your “Top Of Mind Awareness” or “TOMA” They are the first product, service or company you think of when a product, service or industry is mentioned.
Interestingly enough, many times TOMA can be directly related to market share. Think about it; let’s take the second item I listed for instance, what do you think of when I say “recliner?” I’ve yet to meet anyone who, when I asked them the same question, did not immediately think of Lazy Boy. In fact, I don’t even know who else makes recliners! Lazy Boy has a large percentage of the market share on recliners, as well as TOMA in the minds of most people in the United States.
Many companies such as Coca Cola, Geico, McDonald’s and others spend millions of dollars attempting to capture TOMA and Market Share. Is it possible for your business to compete with marketing budgets that may dwarf your company’s annual gross income?
Good news: Absolutely!
First you need to realize that there are a few different types of TOMA you can achieve. Along with that, realize the difference in industries that can be used to capture TOMA. An example of this is that a soft drink is a national type product, and companies like Coca Cola have huge advertising budgets. However, if I asked you who you thought of when you think of a specific barber, or a specific real estate agent, you most likely instantly thought of someone local. This brings out a very important point: it is easier to capture local TOMA vs. national TOMA.
Whatever your product and service, you have a specific advantage if you are attempting to capture local TOMA over national TOMA. In this case you don’t have to care if someone in another state or city knows about your product or service, because most of your customers are local.
If you fit this category of only really caring about local TOMA, your targeted marketing can surpass other business in the city, even companies with national TOMA, giving you TOMA in your area. “The riches are in the niches,” as someone once said.
The better your marketing mix, the more likely you are to capture TOMA in your area. While there are many traditional methods such as billboards, radio, TV and newspaper you are by no means limited to these methods. In fact, going into 2010, Chicago Now reported that 37% of businesses were planning on putting more emphasis on Social Media. A year later, heading into 2011, social media is just continuing to grow.
What does this mean for your business?
First, companies are beginning to reach out to people where they are spending time: twitter, facebook, youtube, etc. These sites are great for building relationships with people, capturing TOMA, getting referrals and increasing word of mouth. What is the really great news about marketing your company online? 92% of all business searchers now start looking for products and services online, according to Yahoo! But only 26% of small businesses have invested any time or money in online marketing. That means if you are present and marketing online you have a huge advantage over other small businesses!
Second, we all know that word of mouth is the most powerful form of getting referrals and new business. Many times, however, unless something comes up directly related to your product or service, people are most likely not going to mention you to their friends and family, even if they think your service is great.
Social Media, on the other hand, provides a great way to spread the local word of mouth about your company, without people having to go out of their way.
For example, take a local auto mechanic where you get your oil change because quite frankly, he does a good job and you like his service. While you are in the waiting room, you get on your smart phone and cruise Facebook. You find that your auto mechanic has a business page on Facebook where he offers coupons from time to time, so you click the like button to be notified in the future when he post coupons to Facebook. Suddenly, all your friends and relatives who live in the local community see that you liked that auto mechanic and know you like to have your car fixed there. Next time one of your friends’ cars break down there is a higher percentage chance that they will try your auto mechanic because of your recommendation.
This is just one of the perks of being found in the Social Media world. Others include being easier to find on search engines, the ability to offer discounts and coupons to your existing customer base to cross sell and promote your business and…well, you get the idea, there are limitless possibilities.
So why not add Social Media Marketing to your marketing mix? It is sure to increase your Top Of Mind Awareness and help grow your business, as well as build a more trusting relationship with your current clients.
We at Be Sighted Social Media are offering a free white paper to help you get started, simply visit our website!