The city I live in (Temecula Ca) is a destination for many day trips in southern California (Casinos, Wine Tasting, historical Old Town). With the advancement of Real Time searches, I see a big potential for those businesses that are engaging in social media. Visitors naturally want current, time relevant information to make the most of their stay. Erin Harrison talks about the positive impact real time searches has on social media and Pat Romanski describes extending your reach (geographically) to bring awareness.
It will hopefully place the onus on brands to maximize their marketing output in social media, as they stand to benefit from this activity now more than ever in terms of achieving consumer engagement and driving traffic to their Web siteThis is why social media marketing gives neighborhood businesses a competitive advantage over the super warehouse stores. The quotes below are courtesy of Manish Mehta and the Huffington Post.
The appearance of social media content in search engine results will serve to enhance the reach of social media chatter, and will therefore enhance the benefit of positive conversations
The "Mom and Pop" businesses in our neighborhoods have always followed sound and pragmatic business practices, rooted in developing, maintaining and strengthening relationships with customers. The customers and the businesses valued those relationships because "Mom and Pop" offered convenience. They listened to their customers and used their suggestions to improve the business. They provided great service and found ways to thank their clientele. Social media is really nothing more than the simple application of these business practices in a digital form.
As with the corner store, if your business uses social media to engage in conversations on a human level, you strengthen your business and allow your strategy -- both corporate and social media -- to evolve based on customer feedback
Reading this quote by Linda Evans from today's article, you can begin to understand why this is the case where small is big. If you need more excitement, read what foursquare is doing for business.
Small businesses have some huge advantages in social media over the Walmarts of the world. Businesses like this karaoke company example are nimble enough to go out, shoot video, and turn it out the next day to their YouTube channel. They also have a much easier time personally connecting with their audience because, more likely than not, they know the majority of them personally.Overall it’s about selling awareness
Those personal connections make it much easier to build your communities in social media sites like Facebook and MySpace. People readily become your fan, recommend you to other local friends, and tag and submit their own photos that help promote your local business
I can't tell you how many time residents in my own town of Temecula, California told me that they didn't know we have a vibrant, unique, historical "Old Town" packed with specialty shops and diverse dining. It usually takes a large community event to bring out the locals but these events don't happen frequently enough to promote consistent revenue for those businesses.
My guess is that as business owner, you already own the tools needed to promote awareness to a large geographic area. blogtrepreneur.com makes this bold statement: "The fact that you are engaging in social media circles is effectively marketing enough for you. In other words, your presence is your marketing tool. By all means provide great quality information and get involved in a conversation relevant to your product or service, but never, ever direct sell something. Note that the minute you do this, you have lost all the credibility and trust that you have been working hard to build up through these social media channels." In essence social media marketing is about that kick back SOCAL attitude that’s not pushy yet is recognized for its rightful value. Lawrence Perry writes in his article, "Social media marketing is all about image-building and trust-building. You can use social media to broaden market awareness and that awareness will lead to sales." When people travel or purchase products they usually go for locations brands that they know and trust.
It’s just human nature to be "Social". Combine Technology, Economy (or lack thereof) and you have the ingredients for a Super medium that will trump Television, Newspaper and Radio combined. What you are hearing, reading about, or engaging in (for the advanced) is a new medium that was not created at some executive power luncheon; it is being developed, implemented and re-created daily by us . . . the collective consumer, customer, owner, retailer, entrepreneur. Wrap your mind around these fact and figures by tweetbloggin.biz under the heading "Here are some interesting and somewhat disturbing facts about Social Media as a marketing and advertising vehicle"
1. Three out of four Americans use social networksStrategy
2. Visiting social networks is more popular than personal email or online pornography 3. Facebook is used more than 80,000,000 hours daily
4. Michael Jackson, Barack Obama and Vin Diesel have close to 30,000,000 fans combined on Facebook. That’s the equivalent of the entire population of Canada
5. Generation “Y”ers will outnumber Baby Boomers in 2010.
6. 96% of Generation “Y”ers has joined a social network
7. Studies show that Wikipedia is more accurate that Encyclopedia Britannica
25 more interesting facts
Social Media Marketing Compass by BryanNewMedia: "True North" in Social Media Marketing is developing a magnetic presence that leads your community to Know, Like and Trust your brand. Bryan has very simple (good thing) definitions regarding social media strategy. While he is finalizing his graph try this dynamic social marketing funnel and add How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie to your business library.
*Listen - "First seek to understand then to be understood".
*Engage -"They don't care how much U know until they know how much U care"
*Connect - "Be the perfect host, build a campfire for your community to sit around and swap stories"
*Share - "Become a trusted source by regularly and consistently sharing market leadership content".
We are getting our first real glimpse at the impact social media will play on commerce as we enter the next decade...quote from ComScore Chairman Gian Fulgoni and article by Inyoung Hwang
Having a social media marketing strategy makes sense for retailers in this environment because it’s cost-effective and shows an effort to get closer to one’s customersCommerce
The momentum continues this holiday season as companies really start to value two-way communication,” said Tom Arrix, vice president of U.S. sales at Palo Alto, California-based Facebook. “Social shopping” is the main new e-commerce trend on the site
Our customers are spending a lot of time connecting with each other in these online communities, and we want to be there,” said Nick Bomersbach, director of jcp.com. “Oftentimes they’re talking about brands, and we want to have an open avenue to have that dialogue.”
Social media helps this online-only company go from 0 ---> 1.2 billion in sales. I am talking about Zappos, a company you can read more about from Jeff Bullas's blog article . Just for the record, I want to say the Zappos is the only billion dollar company that tweeted me after a previous blog I posted about the company. This is a company whose actions surpass their words. Here are a few of the 17 revelations of this “etailer”:
The Differentiator: Customer service and interaction
It’s not even looking for a return on that investment (ROI). “We don’t assign metrics to it,’’ Hsieh says. “It’s really just about our unwavering belief that making the customer happier is going to win in the long run.” There’s no way...to trace a straight line from all this dialogue, digital or otherwise, to the company’s ability to sell shoes
Social Media Marketing Campaigns: This is built on building up the human side of Zappos, as if showing humanity and personality is totally counter-culture amongst faceless private (or public) companies. And asking only one thing of employees: “Just be yourself’’
Zappos’ 4 keys to great online retailing:
1 Do what you say you’re going to do, promptly.
2 Deliver the exact products ordered, on time.
3 Take returns without a hitch.
4 Avoid complaints and frustrated customers, with angry (and costly) messages