Today’s consumers are increasingly using social media and search to establish ‘relationships’ with businesses, research products and ultimately make buying decisions. Businesses that are seeing results are adding resources to their online marketing plans to connect with this audience and boost revenues. A recent study found that 94% of small businesses use social media as a marketing tool and 81% use it to to drive growth. As social media replaces word-of-mouth marketing, it is critical for small businesses to integrate a social media plan into their overall marketing strategies. Consider the following:
- 80% of internet users visit social media sites and blogs
- 70% of people trust online reviews by strangers
- 90% of people trust online reviews by people they know
- 89% of consumers expect businesses to have a website, regardless of size
- 97% of consumers search for local businesses online
- 90% of mobile searchers took action within 24 hours
- 61% called a local business after searching online
The biggest challenges for small-medium sized businesses are finding the time to devote to social media markeiting and then doing it right. While people may be comfortable using their personal Facebook page, there are critical differences in managing a business online. Before jumping in you need to make sure you know how others in your industry are approaching social media and how to properly use the advertising platforms that are being developed to help businesses reach the right customers. We can help you answer:
- Which social media channels should your business be on?
- How can you leverage your mailing lists to drive business on social media?
- Should your business have a blog?
- How does social media drive revenue?
- How will social media integrate with your existing marketing plan?
Businesses that do well on social media are finding new customers online, developing hyper-loyal followers, generating a buzz around their brand, and boosting revenue. We have our finger on the pulse of the ever-changing social media industry, and are keenly aware of what works for small businesses and what doesn’t. Our team incorporates the best practices of those brands, in the work we do with our clients. Here are some specific examples of how small businesses are having success with social media:
- Inns and B&Bs use Facebook advertising to target specific demographics. For example, a small inn could advertise to have a promotion appear on the news feeds of women between ages 35-60, who live within 500 miles of Pittsburgh area, and who are interested in ‘travel’ or ‘bed and breakfast.’
- Restaurants and cafes use Twitter to identify when someone is using specific keywords near their store. For example, a restaurant could target people within a 5 mile radius, who mention the word ‘hungry’ or ‘lunch,’ responding directly to that person with a special or recommendation.
- Retail stores use Pinterest to set up a visually appealing portfolio of their products, taking advantage of ‘Rich Pins’ to drive people directly to their website for purchase. Merchants also add ‘PinIt’ buttons on products right on their website, enabling customers to easily Pin products to their personal ‘wish lists.’
Our small business marketing services go beyond managing social media tools. We work closely with clients to learn their products and services, understand their marketing goals and tune in to their best customers. We’ll create a customized online marketing plan for you and help you figure out which online channels your business should be using. Plus, our professional services are often less expensive than hiring someone internally.
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