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Small Business Marketing Secret – Bridge The Digital Divide

PRWeb Small Business MarketingJust for fun, answer two questions to test your small business marketing social media IQ –

  • What percentage of Internet users like or follow a product to receive special offers and rewards?
  • What percentage of brands believe their customers are looking for those rewards and offers for liking and following them?

The answers, according to a 2011 research study by the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council and social technology firm Lithium isn’t just interesting, it’s downright surprising. 67% of customers want brands to reward them for their loyalty, yet only 33% of brands believe this to be so.

How can this divide between expectations be so great?  As we move out of the experimentation phase of social media marketing and into the new reality of consumer engagement online, marketers haven’t yet bought into the newest marketing parameters.

Yet here is the lay of the social media land in 2012:

Brands need to not just understand but leverage the reward response factor of social media – that goes for large and small business marketers, alike.

Need more convincing?  More than half of consumers surveyed (65%) said they liked or followed a brand to access games or competitions.  In other words, they are giving the clear signal that they want to be engaged with their favorite brands, yet amazingly, only 27% of marketers felt their customers desired such increased engagement.

So, it’s clear that there is no time like the present to follow your customers’ leads.  Here are 4 ways you can boost your social media engagement factor:

1. Reward Your Customers

Start right now.  Provide special offers, rewards or experiences for your customer engagement.

You can create contests encouraging special participation by consumers, such as inviting them to upload videos or photos of them using your products in unique locations.

2. Get Your Customers Talking To Each Other

The beauty of social is the aspect of connection.  The CMO study found that 60% of customers like brands on Facebook to connect with other fans.

Tap into this connectivity factor by encouraging communication amidst your audiences through forums or Q & A content.

3. Ask Your Customers For Advice

What better way to create products that best appeal to your customers than by getting feedback from the buyers and users themselves?  While 41% of consumers want to share product ideas on Facebook, only 9% of brands actually ask for that advice.

Ask your customers about what they want and be one of the first in the marketplace to get real- time input to increase your innovative success.

4. Help Your Customers Out

One of the biggest desires of customers online is to get support via social media channels.  Yet once again, brands are dropping the ball.  50% of Facebook users desire support.  Only 10% of brands oblige.

Once again, here’s your chance to not just beat your competitors but outpace them with an established tool of success.  Even if you can’t provide 24/7 support, you can offer specific problem solving tips on your Facebook page or via your Twitter account.

The beauty of having a higher small business marketing social media IQ is that you’ve got the inside track on what your customers are telling you what they want.

You don’t have to go out fishing and hoping you’re on the right path.  They are standing before you waving your brand in their direction.  What more motivation do you need?  Follow them!

For more help in building your social media knowledge, check out our learning center post, To Spin Or Not To Spin – A Social Media Question.

Tags : social media

About Cision Contributor

This post was written by a guest Cision contributor.

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