Viral Marketing for Small Businesses

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Viral marketing took little-known companies such as Hotmail, Yahoo!, and Google, and turned them into household names. Not bad for companies spending minimal marketing dollars. If you're on a budget, as you should be, use viral marketing to increase customers effectively. It works this way: Most people have a network of 8-12 people in their close network of friends, family, and other associates. Depending on their status, people can also have several hundred or thousands of acquaintances in their extensive network. By tapping one person, you can tap the entire network. It Multiplies To illustrate, imagine this: A company builds a relationship with Sally. Sally loves the company, and recommends its products to 10 of her friends. The company then builds a strong relationship with those 10 friends. The 10 friends too love the company, and each recommends it to 10 other associates. The list grows to 100. And so on. How do you run a viral campaign? It depends on your industry. For some, it's as simple as giving something for free -- such Hotmail advertising free e-mail at the footer of all e-mail messages. For others, it takes more patience such as spending time to build relationships with customers.

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Posted on February 18

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