It’s sad to say, but summer is quickly coming to an end, and for many businesses, this means more than just the departure of warm weather. The summertime brings more pleasant temperatures but also increased revenue for small businesses. As the cold weather begins to set in and walk-in traffic starts to decline, business owners must think of new ways to get customers in their doors. Luckily, there are many ways for business owners to stand out amongst their competition.
Get Social On Social Media
To the surprise of many, social media is meant for more than political arguments and videos of cats doing adorable things. Social media is for sharing and promotion as well. As a small business owner or a commission based sales representative, don’t be afraid to promote yourself. Don’t be afraid to post about your company and the services that they can offer. Make sure that these promotions are relevant and attention-grabbing. For example, if you operate a duct cleaning company don’t just post about how you have a discount. Instead, talk about the safety and health aspects of having your ducts cleaned – especially during the winter time. You also want to give consumers a reason to keep coming back to your page.
Running with the example of an Air Duct Cleaning, there is a company based in New Jersey who is doing an excellent job on their social media marketing. Advanced Furnace & Air Duct Cleaning consistently posts satisfying videos of duct cleaning as seen from inside the ductwork itself. Being able to see the ducts go from clogged and dusty to clean and clear gains a lot of engagement because people enjoy this before and after style videos.
Make sure you take advantage of more than just one social media channel. The emergence of these social media platforms like Google+, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest has provided DIY marketers the ability to get their message out for free. There are more than 1 billion people on Facebook alone! Craft a message that is relevant to your market and distribute (for free) on every social media platform that you can!
If you are a service company that deals directly with consumers, ask them to participate in your social media campaign. For example, if you do home renovations ask your clients if they would be willing to take a photo in front of their newly designed kitchen. Ask them if it would be ok to publish this on social media and tag them in the picture. Most people will agree to that, and this provides you with potential for referral based jobs. When you tag the homeowners in your post – their friends and family will see it on their wall. Not only does this provide more brand awareness but it may encourage their friends, and family members who were looking for a remodel to call your firm.
Reviews, Review, Reviews
Building consumer confidence is one of the most important aspects of any small business marketing campaign. It is estimated that 75% of people will read the reviews of a company before deciding to contact them. Searchers want to make sure that the business they are about to visit is reputable and that they are going to get excellent service.
All small business owners know that it is impossible to please all of your clients all the time. That’s is why it is important to regularly reach out to your existing customer base and ask them for reviews. Aside from increasing consumer confidence, increased positive reviews will help you move up in the search engine rankings. There are plenty of resources that you can subscribe to make requesting Google reviews easier.
Now is the part of the blog where I do a shameless plug for our services. Planet 8 Digital just released a platform for our clients that makes asking for reviews easy and efficient. Our platform allows our customers to email their customers in bulk to request online reviews. An email arrives at their customers with a link that takes them right to your Google Map listing and automatically brings up the review form. Out platform also has a reporting feature which will alert you when a customer leaves you a review.
It's About The Customer
In conclusion, just remember that marketing has changed and the old idea of “build it and they will come” does not work anymore. To stay competitive in this new economy, you must become more engaged with your current and potential customers. Don’t neglect the power of reviews whether they are through Google, Facebook, Yelp or anyone of the hundreds of review sites across the web. Remember to use the power of social media for more than just memes.
Max Jennings is an Inbound Marketer and Lead Developer with Planet 8 Digital. Part of Max’s job is to make sure all the client websites are secure, fast and easy-to-use.