Smaller businesses need to start thinking big. Some local companies are hitting the nail on the head and getting social media savvy to interact with their customers. With 6.6 billion active mobile phone users it’s even more important they get social and create great business opportunities. Here are five small businesses with little budget, amplifying their brand online.
Emerson Salon are a typical SME. A lot of money was spent on giving the salon a makeover which didn’t leave much to spend on a marketing campaign, so they turned to social media and the results were phenomenal. At the centre of their success was a blog and website to generate great content, and Facebook and Twitter in turn was used to drive traffic to the sites and keep conversations alive by swiftly replying to messages.
They didn’t jump straight into it, they had a plan and it paid off. In just two years, 75% of clients came from the internet, almost 14k Twitter followers and 2k likes on Facebook were generated and a 400% increase in revenue. Emerson made it work by not over complicating their plan and making it easy for the client to interact with them. They used clear social buttons on their website, knew their target audience, openly asked for feedback and posted interesting content from their blog.
Quest School of Wrestling
Most people between the ages of 13 and 50 now spend much more time on their mobile devices and smartphones than on a computer, and there are few businesses that would not benefit from a mobile app.
The Quest School of Wrestling turned to an app to improve business performance, encourage new clients, keep existing ones and promote the brand. The app provided a convenient way to connect with customers and enhance sales with the latest news, simple registration or membership renewal, access to a calendar of events and quick links to their social media. Everything a current or prospective customer would need to know in one place.
They’ve tapped into a vital platform that allows self-promotion and acts as a one-stop shop for customers. The app provides an easier functionality to reach many more customers than with a traditional website. While current customers could spread the word, integrating major social networks within the app also furthers the scope and reach of the business.
Clover Food Lab
When the chefs at Clover Food Lab, a trendy food truck and regional restaurant, was experimenting on food, they used Twitter and their blog to gather opinions about the latest sandwich to be added to the menu. Based on the suggestions, the recipe was tweaked a couple of times and then a final one was put out for public tasting.
Clover utilised social media to not only improve the food they offer but also their connection with customers. After all, they’re the ones who will be buying the product. A local business can effectively build brand loyalty and lure new customers without pumping lots of money into marketing; some online confidence and self-belief is a good start.
PSA High School Trip
More than three-quarters of teenagers own a mobile device and will use it on average 60 times a day. One school embraced this and created an app to keep their students and staff up-to-date on all the latest news with a calendar, notifications and link to a Facebook page. They loved it so much they created a video about it.
PSA High School initially used the app to notify students about a school trip but have developed it further to encompass more of school life making it interactive and fun. Students have no excuse to forget a deadline and parents can keep updated on activities and events. And as you can see from the video, it’s been a massive triumph.
Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium
Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium was a success before it even opened in 2014. They were fully booked before their launch day and had a waiting list of cat fans wanting to stretch out with some feline friends whilst enjoying a cup of tea. Alongside caring for the cats and serving delicious hot drinks, they run 11 Twitter accounts for each cat, a Pinterest page and Facebook as well as responding to the flurry of customer queries they receive online. An impressive Instagram also shows off the enviable cats the emporium houses.
Getting customer’s to emotionally invest in a business is a challenge but understanding your target audience and using engaging content will concrete your presence online, something Lady Dinah’s has got spot on.
The real lessons to be learnt here for any local business thinking about using social media or wanting to improve their existing channels, is that half the battle is knowing who your audience is and understanding what makes them tick. It doesn’t have to be an arduous task; quality always beats quantity and that’s what will develop great relationships with customers. Once you’ve got that sussed, you’ll be surprised at the results!