If you own or manage a small business, Twitter and Facebook are tremendous tools to grow your business. The Economist Magazine’s newest special report covers the effects of social media in our society. One article in particular covers social media’s effects on small business. This post summarizes and builds off the examples and suggestions in the article.
1. Even The Advertising Playing Field
Social media is free (so far). This means that the budgets of huge companies like Comcast, Starbucks or Dell doesn’t matter that much anymore. There is nothing that these companies can do that you can’t. All that matters now is your creativity, not your budget. So if you didn’t have a marketing budget before tools like Twitter and Facebook this is your chance to increase your customer base. If you do spend money on traditional marketing, the article mentioned a survey reporting small businesses in Britain have saved over $8,000 by using social media.
2. Get Feedback From Customers
If you don’t know what the customer wants your business is going to be at risk. Social media gives you access to customers that already appreciate your service or product. Use them to better understand their needs. If you can improve existing customer’s experience of your brand, they will be more likely to tell their friends about the great things you do.
If you are at a small business or building a start up, by definition you won’t have a budget for market research. Thus making social media so important. Social media can be a useful substitute for intense market research.
3. Promotions Made Easy
The Economist article reported that 44% of Twitter users who follower brands do so because of the exclusive deals offered.
The most famous example of a company using Twitter for promotional uses is Kogi BBQ. They are a mobile Korean food company. They use their tweets to alert followers to where their trucks are located.
If you offer weekly events like book readings or musical acts social media are great ways to promote these activities. Maybe you offer an awesome happy hour, twitter to remind followers about it. Another idea mentioned in the article is to offer a password to followers which can be redeemed by a select number of customers for cupcake in this case.
Most of the example here are about increased access to your customer. Whether you want to know more about them, tell them more about your company, or promote your product, social media does the job. Use these tools to growth your business on a shoe-string budget.
If you are lacking a direction or just don’t know where to begin your social media campaign contact us and let’s see if m2volt can help you out.
This post was written by Cameron Plommer, Project and Social Media Manager at m2volt.
Follow him on Twitter.