When small businesses conduct campaigns to market themselves and raise brand awareness, they are often held hostage by the platforms they use. The advertising that developed on television in the past five decades was heavily informed by the style of news and entertainment programs on that medium. The same is true of radio commercials, print media and promotional products, and it is especially true of rapidly developing social media organizations.
Recently, both Facebook and the hotly anticipated Google+ have announced that they will be integrating live video chat into their social networking capabilities. It is unclear at the moment how it will be used and if it will be a success. However, if anything is certain, it is that small businesses will make attempts to take advantage of this new technology. Though the early going may be unfamiliar, it is an important option to consider for companies that are determined to do whatever is necessary to raise their profile in the minds of consumers.
The idea behind video chatting on Facebook or other social media websites is that when two people are online at the same time, they can instantly decide to have a face to face conversation. In many ways, it will be like a telephone call and could be used to make plans or ask a question.
For small businesses, this seems to be a huge advantage. It is not difficult to imagine a scenario in which a customer searches for a product or service, finds the social networking page of a company and initiates a video chat to ask about prices, hours and other information. The ability to market a warm human interaction would be a very valuable tool for companies looking to set themselves apart from competitors.
If there is one thing that social media has provided people, it is the chance to form communities around points of interest or mutual needs. Instant video chat allows fans and contacts on Facebook or Google+ to quickly see each other and make inquiries about the level of service and quality of products that are available from a company. The most successful small businesses have a core of dedicated, passionate customers, and instant video chat is a cost-effective and organic way to quickly spread the word about an admirable organization. Instead of relying on written reviews or potentially artificial recommendations, consumers can instantly meet a real person who can speak to the level of care that a small business' staff puts into an account, meal or product order.