14 Jan Impact of Open Source Intelligence Sources on Your Business
The world is a huge place. There are billions of people out there who have needs that you can meet if only they knew about your business. You may be thinking, “I’m never going to find those people.” You needn’t worry! We will talk about how open source intelligence sources can help you get in front of more potential customers and generate revenue for your business.
- Social Media Is Incredibly Powerful
Social media has been with us for a long time now, and it has only grown more effective as an open-source intelligence source in recent years. Let’s face it. Social media serves many purposes: you can use social media to have fun, build valuable relationships with other people who share your interests or promote yourself or your brand. These days, there are many different social media platforms out there- Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest – the list goes on! Also, consider sites like Reddit that may cater to audiences who are not well-served by mainstream social networking sites. If you can’t find one that meets your needs, why not set up your niche site?
- Traditional Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Is Still Essential
Search engine optimization, or SEO, refers to using social media and other methods to make you more visible in search engines like Google. The goal is to occupy prominent positions on specific keywords so that you can generate high-quality traffic for your website. For instance, if your business provides dance lessons, then it would be good to use key terms like “dance classes” or “dance studios near me.” Or, if you are a dentist offering dental implants, you should leverage familiar keywords like “dental implants cost.” If you don’t use these words when describing your business, potential customers may never see your site because they will search for those keywords using Google or another search engine.
- Find People Who Are Already Searching For You
You can find customers by simply watching out for the kind of activity happening within social media platforms, across the web, and in other places. Do customers visit your website? Do they follow you on Instagram? These actions represent interest – an intent to purchase or be contacted. Other ways to connect with your ideal audience include putting out ads, maintaining a blog, or using well-placed derivatives like directories or reviews. You can also take advantage of promotional newsletters that send scheduled emails to your prospects every month; you write the content, and they handle all the outreach (we offer these types of services at Big Belly Marketing). The opportunities are virtually endless.
- There Are Lots of New Opportunities to Work with Your Competitors
Are you and your competitors doing some of the same things on social media? Well, why not work together to co-promote your businesses and posts? You can even reach out and offer to write guest posts for their websites or blogs. This way, customers who already know you are introduced to your competitor’s business, making each of you more visible. As mentioned before, there are all sorts of ways that social media platforms share data, so you can use multiple sites at once without worrying about redundancies.
- Not Every Lead Has To Turn Into a Sale Right Away
If you find that certain people seem very interested in what you have to offer, but they never end up becoming customers, why not reach out to them in the future with offers for similar products or services? For example, if you sell dance shoes and somebody was browsing your website but left without making a purchase, then it would be worthwhile to send them an email, letting them know about some new dance clothes that they might like as well. You could even offer a limited-time discount code.
- Networking Is One of the Most Valuable Things You Can Do
Social media has had such a profound impact on business networking because it enables you to connect with more people than ever before. Of course, not everyone will want to partner up and collaborate with you. Still, there’s always that chance that just one connection can move your enterprise forward dramatically- especially if you are working in a particular niche. For example, let’s say you are trying to sell web design services to dentists. Suppose you can find even one other dentist on Twitter or Facebook who wants to discuss the possibility of building a website for their practice. In that case, that has massive potential because there are roughly 70,000 dentists in the United States alone! It doesn’t take much imagination to see how that single connection could turn into several clients for your business.
- Social Media Is Not Just About Sharing Content Anymore
You might have noticed that some companies limit their social media efforts to posting links and keeping their profiles up-to-date with company news or carefully selected bits. This isn’t necessarily wrong, but it probably isn’t optimal, either. Remember that social media is about being social, which means participating in conversations with your current customers and those you are trying to attract. You don’t have to return every tweet or comment, but engaging with strangers is an excellent way to move beyond the “wall of silence” that some companies experience on the web.
- Your Business Doesn’t Have To Be Perfect
Some people see all of these successful posts across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other platforms and think they need to replicate what their peers are doing to achieve success. But this couldn’t be further from the truth! Plenty of businesses use social media successfully, even though their profiles are far from perfect. So don’t beat yourself up if you mess up, need to change your profile picture, or get a few negative comments. There is no “gold standard” for social media platforms.
- You Can Use Social Media for Research
This might not sound like the most obvious benefit of using social media, but it certainly has its place in today’s marketing world. Why does this work? Well, let’s say you’ve got a new product ready to launch, but you aren’t sure what types of videos would be best for promoting it on Facebook or which hashtags are currently trending on Instagram. If that sounds vaguely familiar, then it should be mentioned that there are lots of tools out there that can help answer those types of questions and more.
- Negativity Can Be Handled Carefully
Before we end this article, I feel obligated to warn against rashly blocking people who criticize your business online. It might not be fun having disgruntled customers hijack your social media account with angry comments about a faulty product or bad service experience. Still, if you handle the situation with tact and diplomacy, you can use it to your advantage.
If, for example, the person has a valid complaint about something that happened in the past (and can provide proof), try apologizing and offering them some compensation. Then take whatever they post on social media as an opportunity to improve your business so that similar situations won’t happen with future customers! You might not be able to please everyone. Still, suppose you act like a real human being who truly cares about what is said instead of dismissing comments as unworthy of your time. In that case, people will naturally gravitate towards supporting you. So don’t lose sleep over constructive criticism- turn lemons into lemonade instead.
I hope these tips will help inspire your next social media campaign as you use open source intelligence sources to gather more insights about your business! While it might seem like the web is now overrun with ads, it’s still possible for businesses to make an impact by simply focusing on creating value and participating in conversations. The big companies wouldn’t be doing it if it wasn’t successful, so why not try for you?