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Social Media Trends for Small Business

DATE PUBLISHED: February 24, 2012
 
I hear this all the time: “I’m supposed to be using social media, but I’m just a small business. Is it really something I can use effectively?”

Ok, once and for all, here’s my reply: YES!

Currently there are over 24 million small businesses using social media in one way or another. There are probably millions more, but 24 million is the “counted” numbers at the moment – those businesses that in one way or another admit to using social media.

Let’s take a look at what they’re doing. First, they’re online. 70%+ have a website, and over 50% have a profile page. And for those who don’t currently have a website, almost 40% say they’re going to have one within the next 6 months. Why? Forget analog media like yellow pages and local newspapers. People are looking for you on the web. Period.

But don’t put all your eggs in the Internet basket. Why? There are 10 billion (yes, billion) smart phones predicted to be in use within the next 5 – 7 years. That’s 10 times the amount of PCs in use. That number is staggering – you will have the potential to connect with hundreds of millions of consumers through digitally driven phone calls. That is phenomenal!

And if you think it’s just numbers, think about this: 95% of people with smart phones admit to having looked up LOCAL information on their phone. Want some numbers? Try this: 54% went to a website; 58% looked up a business on a map; 59% visited a business. And 61% called the business after looking them up. One look at those numbers can lead to just one conclusion: if you’re not using the social media tools available to you, may your business rest in peace.

What’s happening out there is a convergence of old and new: media, like yellow pages and newspaper are giving way to transactions, identified by clicks, calls and visits. Once a consumer has made contact with a business, there’s “engagement” – reviews, reminders, “likes” and on and on it goes.

Here’s what you need to do: you need to develop opportunities for consumers to rate and review your business. You need to have a system in place for customer reminders and updates, including email campaigns. You need to develop a social media retention strategy, just like you used to have an analog media retention strategy in place. You need to train your personnel to capture email addresses of customers. And you need to have a strong presence at the point of sale to offer customers a reason to provide their email address to you. Once you have that – you can implement all the strategies we’ve just discussed.

So, do you need a social media presence? The answer is unequivocally Y – E – S !

Contact us for a free consultation!