Targeting the Connected Consumer

For better or worse, the days of potential consumers utilizing traditional media and advertising are long gone. Today, a consumer has endless tools at his fingertips from Consumer Reports to Angie’s List to Yelp to Trip Advisor… The list is overwhelming! Consumers are more informed and more empowered in their decision making than ever before. Heck, a potential customer can walk into your place of business, conduct a quick search on their smart phone and make a decision about your business while standing in your store. As I’ve discussed a thousand times now, there can be a major advantage for small businesses in this new world. All the different social media platforms allow small business owners to create significant buzz around them. If you manage your web presence, this is priceless. Here are some techniques to reach these empowered potential customers.

Traditional advertising just doesn’t impact the way it used to. If you over package your brand, consumers will be suspicious. Potential customers put more stock in endoresements from their peer group. Like-minded consumers who share their experience because it made a difference in their lives are what get attention these days. Think of it as an electronic word of mouth endoresement. Paid endorsers have lost a lot of their shine. If he was around today, Joe DiMaggio’s days as Mr. Coffee may be numbered! So remember, “advertise-y” endorsements and posts do not build trust among today’s consumers. Personal statements from your customers are the impact statements on the web.

Social media diversity is the name of today’s game. Almost 90% of consumers almost always have their mobile devices with them allowing them to access apps anytime, anywhere. It is important you maintain a presence on multiple sites such as Yelp, Foursquare, Trip Advisor and others in addition to the usual Facebook activity. Do the work, stay active and you’ll maximize your business’ benefits in the social media world.

Consumers today can be a little greedy! WIth discount codes and free gifts with purchase, you may want to consider sweetening some of your deals. You’re working so hard at your social networking and mobile engagement, take your work over the top iwth some inventives. In fact, you can maximize your coupon/incentive impact by tying it to your existing social media efforts. “Join our email list for special coupons!” “Mention this ad for BOGO!” “Check our Facebook page for special discount codes!” One you may have started seeing more is the “Share this (Facebook or email) with your friends for an extra % off!” What better way to advertise than encourage your customers to tell their friends? It meets the consumer’s desire for organic endorsements from actual clientele. Everybody wins!

Obviously there are good and bad aspects to our social media world. While it has become critical to maintain a social media presence, it can help you remain engaged with clientele. Small businesses rely on re-engagement by their customers. One-time deals will not keep a small business afloat. Work at your relationships, generate loyalty, and LISTEN to what your customers are saying. While receiving a negative comment or review can hurt your pride, it’s also nice that you can immediately address it and (hopefully) remedy the problem while also maintaining your client-base. Marlin has pushed the social media presence for our clients for years, let us help you take that next step!




Source: MarlinCS Blog