4 ways to win the race for new customers
On a nationwide grass roots tour, we asked small businesses about the hard issues they face advertising with social media. In this in-depth report, you’ll find the results of our survey and four recommendations to ensure your success on the campaign trail.
Share this Image On Your Site
Social Media Platforms – The Candidates
Facebook – The Incumbent
Facebook leads the polls with the majority vote for both free (49%) and paid (21%) social media advertising. No upset here, as it’s a low-to-no-cost marketing vehicle with minimal time investment. In addition, Facebook Insights provides businesses with demographic data of their audiences and how people find and respond to their Facebook page posts.
LinkedIn & Twitter – The Party Leaders
Challenging Facebook in the free advertising polls are LinkedIn (42%) and Twitter (36%), two candidates that run on very different platforms. LinkedIn enables businesses to build and engage their professional networks and establish themselves as industry thought leaders. Twitter lives in the moment, helping businesses increase impressions through real-time communications and unprecedented access to current events.
Instagram, Pinterest & Foursquare – The Dark Horses
While businesses use free advertising on Instagram (25%), Pinterest (22%) and Foursquare (16%) much less than other social networks, don’t count these sites out. With less advertising noise on these channels, you have more opportunities to reach and engage consumers. This could be your chance to swing the vote!
Tip #1: Follow Your Constituents
There’s no debate: focus your campaign efforts on the social sites where
your consumers are most likely to frequent. For example, if you’re a florist
that caters to brides-to-be, Pinterest, with all its dream wedding boards,
is the place to be. If you’re a roofing company, Facebook and other sites
with customer reviews are where consumers will search for your services.
Campaign Contributions – Social Media Budget
3 in 5 small businesses (59%) intend to spend their digital ad dollars on social media – the highest percentage since this annual survey launched in 2010. More than half of businesses (56%*) will measure the success of their social media programs in additional fans, friends and followers. The challenge remains on how this translates to extra revenue.
* Borrell SMB Survey; August – September 2014
Tip #2: Know Your Spending Limits
Restaurants and other low-ticket, high-frequency businesses should
delegate more digital ad spend to social media as these establishments
don’t require a lot of time consideration or research to stay top of mind.
Kitchen remodelers and other high-ticket, low-frequency businesses
should balance their digital ad budgets more carefully, as their customers
invest more time and exploration in making the “right” decision.
The Fight for Approval Ratings – Social Media Management
A robust social media presence with timely and relevant info will keep your business ahead in the popular vote, yet only 1 in 3 small businesses update their social media daily. Inconsistency and infrequency in posting leads to dips in approval ratings, poor consumer experience, unfollowing and missed opportunities to increase low-cost, word-of-mouth advertising.
Tip #3: Convene a Caucus
Get your team together (no mudslinging allowed!) to nominate an employee
or a house of representatives to update and manage your social media presence.
Make sure your platform and voice are clear, consistent and honest and include
social media calls to action (“Like us on Facebook,” etc.) on your advertisements
to increase awareness of your social media channels.
Tip #4: Choose the Right Running Mate
Many small businesses take no stance on social media advertising
or resign from it altogether because “the terms are too complicated”
or “running it takes too much time.” Valpak is the trusted media
consultant that knows your special interests and has the social media
marketing solutions to help you win the race for new customers.
We’re ready to introduce you to the neighborhood now.
Call 1-800-676-6878 or visit Valpak.com/advertise
About the Research
Valpak partnered with Research Now® to administer a nationwide, online survey to small business owners and decision makers. With each iteration, the respondents were nearly identical in terms of their business category, years in business, number of employees, revenue achievement, advertising spend and Valpak relationship status.