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Back in the day, companies thought nothing about throwing tens of thousands of dollars at their marketing campaigns, but the current economic downturn has caused many to re-think that philosophy, and look at drastically tightening up the budget. It has been particularly tough on small businesses that have had to become more creative when it comes to getting their word out, and with social network marketing, they may have found their answer.

For those who may have been living under a rock for the past few years, social network sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have skyrocketed in popularity and have become a great, free way for businesses to get information out about their product or service. Companies have long known that word of mouth may very well be the best free marketing tool they have, and by employing the most popular social network sites, those very companies can create a virtual word of mouth campaign with a simple Facebook update or tweet.

Choosing to go the social media route also allows companies to have a much more personal relationship with their customers and clients. They can answer any questions and get feedback, all in a real-time environment, which can put an end to many problems or issues before they even begin. YouTube is also a great way to post videos about how to use a product, or answer questions with demonstrations that are clear and easy to understand. In short, a company can get word out about their services whilst building a client relationship that can knock down many of the traditional customer/company barriers.

To get an idea of how well a social network marketing campaign can work, you only have to look at the first Paranormal Activity, which was made on the cheap and almost solely promoted through the social networks via a “Demand It In Your City” campaign that had people buzzing about the film, and competing against one another’s cities to see it first The fact that it has since spawned 2 sequels is testament to the results that can be attained by using social media in the correct way.

The best part of all of this, besides the low cost, is that there is no need to run separate campaigns on each of the social networks. All that is required is to add social network buttons to your website or blog, so that people can follow you with a single click of each of the buttons, depending on which of the networks is their favorite, meaning that you can have campaigns running in every one, but all basically powered by followers of your site.

Many businesses, especially smaller, single owner outfits, rely on positive word of mouth to succeed, and with social network marketing, they can achieve that without having to wait for someone to come strolling through the front door of their establishment.

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