Content Discovery Smackdown: Hootsuite vs. Buffer vs. KloutContent Marketing Minds: Ingredients of the Tastiest Content [Nutrition Label]From the Corn Field to the Digital Era: Content Marketing Starts with TrustContent Marketing: Is 2014 Really Shaping Up to Be the Year of Video?
Your Customers Aren’t Listening! How to Create Consumer Dialogue that Converts4 Tools for Nonprofit Social Listening and Reputation ManagementThe Promising Role of Social Listening in Treating Health IssuesThe Importance of Social Listening for Brands
- Public Relations
Facebook Testing a Way for Users to Buy Products on the Platform7 Website Tips to Attract More Shoppers to Your PagesHow eCommerce, Augmented and Virtual Reality Will Redefine the Retail ExperienceSearch Query Analysis to Increase eCommerce Website Conversions
- Content Marketing
Technology & Data
Social Startups: Bizible Connects All the Dots from Marketing Contributions to RevenueCreating the Perfect Profile for Your Social Media Marketing EffortUsing GPS and Localization for Social AnalyticsAnalytics and Prospect Intel: Discovering Your Ideal Prospect
- Big Data
- Tech & Innovation
3 Security Risks You’re Taking Every Day While Using Social MediaShould the President Have the Power to "Pull the Plug" on the Internet?How Safe is Your WordPress Website From Hackers and Other Malicious Attacks?
- Software & Tools
- Small Business
- Social Organization
Celebrating the Grand Re-Launch of Social Media Today! SBH Podcast Episode 8Why Should You Care If Your Employees Are Thought Leaders?Beyond Engagement: The Art of Managing Social-Media Risk in Employee Advocacy
Why All-in-One Social Media Management Systems Don't Cut It for Social Customer ServiceWhat You Should Know About Customer, Digital, and Contextual ExperienceSurging into Q3: How to Make It Better Than Q2Is How You Serve Your Customers Costing You Business?
Join us September 15th in Atlanta for The Employee Advocacy Summit and learn how to unleash the power of your employees.
Post your event here and we'll share it with our community. If one of our members is featured, we'll promote as well on their profile.
- Marketplace & Webinars
The SMT Marketplace
Your resource for exclusive content and insights from Social Media Today, and opportunities to reach our community of professionals.
The Social Business Book Club brings you books, discussions, and insights from today's to business thought leaders.
Join interactive talks and and panel discussions with leading thinkers and practitioners on social media and networked business, or browse the catalogue of recorded sessions - all completely free.
Reach Social Media Today's community of marketing and communications professionals in an editor-approved context with a native advertising package.
The Power of Online Communities for Local Businesses [INFOGRAPHIC]
Posted on February 14th 2013
When it comes to online communities, local businesses have something of an advantage over big brands. Local businesses are already accustomed to creating meaningful relationships with their customers and often know them personally.
A new infographic from Eventility does a great job in emphasising this and the role that SoLoMo (Social Local Mobile) now plays in helping local businesses connect with existing customers and reach out to new ones.
Perhaps the most important stat to highlight is that the majority of small businesses actively using social media are gaining over a quarter of their new customers as a result. Generation Y in particular are using social networks to inform purchase decisions, with 61% turning to social media to decide where to go when going out. Online reviews also play a significant role in this, with 52% of consumers saying that positive online reviews make them more likely to use a local business and 72% saying they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
The infographic also demonstrates the importance of Mobile for local businesses. There are now over 1 billion smartphone users globally, and according to Google, 40% of mobile searches are looking for local businesses. Add into this the fact that 73% of smart phone users access Google Maps and the potential to reach and attract new customers is easy to see.
Online promotions are a popular and effective way to attract new customers. 73% of consumers say that they search for discounts and promotions online and 59% say that they have gone into a store as a result of finding a coupon online. Clearly, attracting new customers is not the only goal. Local businesses are also striving to retain existing customers and build customer loyalty. With that in mind, it’s encouraging to see that connecting with customers is the number one reason why small businesses are using social media.
Of course, businesses can’t rely solely on social media to stay in touch with their customers. With roughly 3 billion email users in the world and 19% of all time spent online devoted to reading and responding to emails, email marketing can also play an important part. It may not offer the same two-way interaction of social media, but 77% of small businesses say it has helped to increase their revenues and 85% plan to increase their use of email in 2013.
SMS marketing is often an overlooked medium, but if you have a promotion you want to advertise to your customers or you want to send reminders, you can’t argue with an open-rate in excess of 95%. What’s more, 90% of text messages are read within 3 minutes.
Perhaps the key takeaway from this infographic is that whilst so much of marketing is the exclusive property of big brands, there is plenty of opportunity for small businesses to take advantage of the free marketing channels available to them. With the right tools, some planning and a bit of creativity, a small business could quite easily run a high-value, multi-channel campaign that mirrors the sophistication of the big players in their industry.