Social Media Brings ‘The Backbone of Business’ Back to Life!
For a very depressing time period, living in various towns like mine, small retailers – those ‘Mom and Pop’ shops that had been in business forever – began to shut down as the large companies moved in and took over the customer base. The quiet little cafes, the neighborhood pastry shop, the small florist – all of those guys and gals that lined Main Street had to walk away and close their doors. Now, yes, WalMart will always be the cheapest, most likely, to buy from in an economy such as this, but there was also one thing back then that small retailers were missing and are just STARTING to utilize now which changes the business landscape.
The Internet Superhighway isn’t a joke. And it’s also not ‘just’ the place for everyone to get together and whine about their teachers or try to get a date with the QB on Facebook. In fact, the Internet is the world of Business. As social media grows, the small retailer is making a reappearance in a big way!
Believe it or not, during this day of the corporate magnate, it is actually the small scale retailer that has a very special advantage that helps them in the much-needed branding world of social media. They are far more flexible, they can be way more personal with the client – which, by the way, customers love. We are sick of having form responses sent when we have a question, ask for a catalog, have an issue, etc. And we want a real, live person and not an 800# hold playing elevator music just to receive someone on the other end (after thirty minutes) speaking in a language we don’t understand to answer our question poorly and then hang up on us with the problem not solved. A small retailer can implement all of their programs – from advertising and branding to customer service – much faster! Whereas a large company lacks all of this magic because of their size.
Be First Inc. and Simplify360 want small retailers to succeed. That’s why they run major marketing and advertising campaigns and have become the social media team that a retailer needs in order to grow their business and get only positive feedback where their product and brand are concerned.
Some of the tricks they understand include the fact that from day one a small business retailer must keep their marketing goal in mind. In other words, what do you want your company to achieve? Don’t ever spend money, not to mention time, on a social media campaign that doesn’t fit with your business goals. Organizing daily activities has to happen while keeping that business goal in mind at all times so you stay on track. You need to know why, exactly, you’re using Twitter and Facebook before posting blogs or updating product information. Who do you want to reach? Who, out there, do you want to see and understand your message and become one of those loyal customers that will never leave because they can’t get YOUR products that they’ve fallen in love with within the mighty walls of WalMart?
Social media increases awareness of your brand by increasing visibility – and that personal touch of being able to engage your customers is a big push when it comes to expanding. You increase sales by getting more people to buy your product, and that rapport with your customers is essential in making YOU stand out from all the rest. A Social Media team can help you do this and do this extremely well.
Content! When it comes to having an effective online marketing and advertising strategy, you must have content that your customer cares about! If you are really wanting to increase your business with social media, you must learn to create content that is far better than any of your competitors. Think about updates, newsletters, events, blog posts – with each hit of the key, you are creating that content that needs to capture the eye of your clients. A social media team, again, knows how to write valuable content that increases traffic and ups your brands visibility across the world.
Now, unlike what some people believe, the content is not all about your product or what it can do – content is actually supposed to focus on what ‘the people’ out there want to talk about. You want to motivate your clients with everything from technological understanding to comedy, if need be; you need to know what your audience is waiting for and give it to them. Again, the social media team can sit with you, go over your messages and goals and learn exactly what you’re trying to say. This way, they bring you closer to your audience and allow your customers to see that YOU understand THEIR needs.
And…don’t be an island! Being out there in the world alone is unnecessary. For a small retailer, you can let others share what you are saying. When bloggers and other participants and customers come together to share YOUR content with THEIR audiences (simply because they have found your company and your brand to be the best), this generates a great deal of web traffic using referrals and links that would be completely impossible for you to do on your own.
Use that social media team out there and bring back the ‘Mom and Pop’ retailers who always had a smile and a product that absolutely NO ONE else could deliver! (Not to sound like a political campaign, here, but the small retailers are the backbone of business and need to be resuscitated!
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