As a small business, consistently posting content on social media worth giving a damn about is near impossible.
The truth is, no one really cares about what you have to say; they care about your product.
There are no secret tips, tricks, infographics, or articles that will instantly save your business. The only recipe for social media success is time and resources, which you simply don’t have enough of. With the everyday grind of owning a small business, coming up with engaging content is the last thing you’re worried about.
So does this mean stop using social media?
No. Social media is an extremely valuable tool for all businesses. However, in 2014, it’s almost like the yellow pages. Everyone’s there and posting the same content. Most of your followers are friends, family members, and random people that follow 300,000 accounts.
Why waste your time creating or sharing content that has a small chance of actually reaching or influencing a valid customer?
Then what should small businesses do on social media?
The overall goal of social media is to build impressions and increase awareness, with the hope of converting that into more sales.
The most valuable social media posts don’t come from your own account, they come from satisfied customers.
Social media users don’t trust businesses, they trust their friends. Word-of-mouth recommendations from friends and family is the most influential avenue of advertising, with 84% of consumers noting it the most trustworthy. Earning your customer’s trust is the holy grail of a successful marketing campaign.
So now that we’ve established that customers are the most influential advertisers for your business on social, how do we get them to tweet, post, and tag your business? Where’s the one place you can guarantee to find your customers and encourage them to engage?
Inside of your business.
Digital signage allows you to inform, persuade and remind customers inside of your venue to post content about your business. Your account (@LAPorsche) and unique hashtag (#PorscheLosAngeles) are displayed to your customers, urging them to share on social and instantly appear on the display. This creates an incentive for customers to post, and provides them with instant gratification for doing so. Customers want to be a part of the conversation and see their words and images displayed instantly on your wall.
Customers can be reached on all major social media platforms, including a live Twitter wall, Instagram wall, Yelp feed, Facebook feed, and Swarm feed, that displays posts in real-time, as they happen. When a user posts about your business, all of their followers have a chance of receiving that post in their timeline, and there’s a good chance that they live near your business.
These high quality impressions count as free and incredibly effective advertising.
We’ve seen it work over and over…
Over the past 3 months, Blockheads Ice Shavery, a popular shaved ice spot in Los Angeles, generated 1,495,884 impressions on Twitter alone, while their account has only 294 followers and has posted less than 20 times. The screen is automatically marketing for them.
Sweet! My customers are sharing. Now what?
With customers now spreading the word for you, the heavy lifting is done. Forget about dumping time and energy into your social media platforms to start a conversation; the conversation is already happening. Next, simply respond and reward your customers for sharing!
Responding can be as simple as favoriting, re-posting, or replying to customer posts. No matter good or bad, it’s crucial that you always respond. Your main goal is to develop a relationship with these referrers, and responding will help you create that. You should also be rewarding your frequent customers by responding with value through actions such as shout outs, small gifts with your branding, and coupons. That’s how you create brand evangelists who spread word-of-mouth about your business and become customers for life. If you reward them, they’ll continue using and posting about your product. Here are some examples of how Enplug venues are responding to their customers:
— Q’s Billiard Club (@QsBilliards) July 6, 2014
Congratulations, Yolanda Chow! Thank you everyone for playing, and keep your eyes peeled for next month’s contest! 🙂 https://t.co/0TaWdbufqT
— IOTA Brew Cafe (@IOTABrewCafe) March 14, 2014
“@ramcambam: @EmporiumThai big shout out to whoever is running this twitter. You’re awesome”Thai iced tea for you next visit!! U da best!
— EmporiumThaiCuisine (@EmporiumThai) August 17, 2014
Responses can be simple as a “thank you” or a free iced tea. When the conversation is already happening, these responses take little time, and help you to develop strong relationships and brand evangelists.
Digital signage with social media not only saves you time and money, they help create the conversation, which in turn increases sales. The best part? There’s no risk.