Even for a small business the use of social media marketing can boost sales and increase customer retention and brand loyalty. While it’s difficult to evaluate the average performance of a Social Media strategy as it depends a lot on your industry and target audience, it’s a fact that many large and small business have benefited greatly from going Social. The main aspects where a sound social media marketing strategy most often benefits sales are referrals (or word of mouth marketing), improving your brand image and knowing your audience better.
By using Social Media your customers can become your best marketing department, and they won’t charge you for it nearly as much. While traditional small business relying on word of mouth to get new clients is not a new thing, Social Media opens a brand new dimension to it. For example, instead of your client mentioning your flower business to a friend that is looking for flowers for her wedding, you can have them post on their Facebook wall how much they like your website, or retweeting an article about flower arrangements. That means a link to your website will be placed in front of the eyes of everybody on that person’s network, and many people have several hundred friends on Facebook or followers in Twitter. Not everybody will visit your website or become a client, but those who do will naturally feel more favourably about your company because the referral came from a friend. Of course, this means that you have a good customer service and many happy customers that are pleased to recommend you to their social networks, specially if thanks to your website Social Media features they can do it with a single click.
People shopping on the Internet are spoiled for choice. There’s hundreds of websites offering products they may be interested in, and many on a similar price range. However, a small business that has a good Social Media marketing strategy and shows themselves as committed, open and generally nice will have more chances of grabbing their attention and make a sale. Many people like to trade with small business because they have the personal touch, and social media is a way of showing that there’s a person behind the business and not a great nameless corporation even on the Internet. If somebody regularly interacts with your brand, even through your Facebook fan page or following you in Twitter they will remember you when they actually need the products you offer or are ready to
buy. To accomplish this you will need to give them reasons to interact with your brand, such as providing interesting content and actually listening to what your customers and potential customers are telling you.
Knowledge of your audience
Social Media marketing has another benefit, which is that it gives you a direct communication channel with your target audience. If you interact with your visitors, ask them questions and listen to their answers you can gather a lot of information about their opinions about your brand, and what things would they like you to offer. For example, if you are in the business of selling chocolate you could ask your customers what kind of flavours would they like added to the shop, or develop a Facebook quizz to see what type of chocolate matches their personality. When they complete that game, everybody on their Facebook network will get a link to your quizz and your website and may feel tempted to buy some of it!
A social media campaign doesn’t need to be extremely expensive or massive. Just by having a website and making it easy for your clients to retweet your content, recommend it on Facebook or mail it to friends you are already increasing your chances of their network getting to know about you from somebody they trust. While large corporations can easily afford to have entire departments behind their Facebook and Twitter pages, and have complex games and microsites developed for every campaign, even small business can benefit from social media marketing to boost sales at a much smaller scale. So why don’t you give it a try and see how it works for you?