Let's say that you just opened up a new Hair Salon. You've put in hours of time developing your concept and your brand. You've spent a few thousand dollars placing ads in local newspapers and publications. You even got a local writer to feature you in her weekly newspaper column. You open up shop expecting droves of shaggy haired folk to come charging through your door.
Problem is, when you opened shop, things didn't exactly go as planned.
Sure, a few people showed up - but not as many as you were hoping. Since you're a small business owner, you can't exactly go back to your investment firm to get more money for marketing. You have to wait until you're able to generate enough income to spend more.
One week into opening, you're stuck. Not exactly the position you hoped you'd be in when you opened, is it?
Rewind the tape.
Starting over again. You're opening up a brand new Hair Salon with a unique brand and idea. Only this time, you augment your offline media spend with an investment of time into targeted social media marketing strategy.
- Grab a Facebook Page, Twitter Profile, YouTube account, and a Flickr account.
- Spend the month before you open growing your community. You engage with potential customers on Twitter and Facebook by running localized, real time searches for people talking about hairstyles, haircuts, and salons.
- Post videos and pictures to your YouTube account of you getting the location ready for opening day.
You notice that as you spend more time on these networks, more people are talking to you and you're expanding your reach.
One month before the grand opening, you start running a contest - upload photos or video of your worst haircut, and the winner gets a free fixer cut, plus free haircuts for life. Your Internet audience loves the contest. After all, who hasn't had a bad haircut before? Photos are uploaded, videos are posted and people are spending time with you and your brand. By the time opening day runs around, you've built up so much interest in your Salon that people are dying to find out more. On opening day, you send out a digital coupon to your social network - 20% off of a haircut if you mention the network you found it on.
The shaggy haired folk come to your Salon in droves, coupons in hand.
Even after opening day, your social media efforts continue to pay off as people talk about your Salon to their friends, and your brand starts to grow through word of mouth. You continue to engage in the coming months by posting regular videos and photos of the services you provide. You've even started a haircut of the month club where the top vote getting haircut each month gets a coupon for a free 'do. Your reservations book is filled for the next 6 months - and all because you spent a few hours with some social media tools.
Customer Service & Feedback
You've been running your Hair Salon for a few months now. Business has been good, and thanks to the successful grand opening, you've been able to pay off a few business debts. In fact, business has been so good that you're able to take a week off for vacation. During your vacation, you check your e-mail, and you're greeted by some negative news. According to the Google Alert you set up for your business name, someone wrote a blog post about a poor experience they had at your salon.
Luckily, since you set up the Google Alert, you're able to respond quickly to the person, instead of letting the negative review influence others. To rectify the situation, you create an account on the users website and post a comment on the post with your contact information. You speak directly with the blogger and offer a couple of free haircuts, so they can try your service one more time. A few weeks later, you get another Google Alert in your e-mail - turns out the blogger wrote a follow-up post about your great customer service, and a much better haircut the second time around.
Let's stick with the example of a new Hair Salon. Through the power of Twitter Search, you're able to search for people who are talking about bad haircuts within 25 miles of your Salon. Whenever someone mentions their bad haircut, you're able to start up a conversation, and offer them a discount on a "re-'do". You find that over time, about 50% of the people you offer this coupon to come in, and of those, 40% come back for another haircut. That's powerful.
You've maintained your Flickr and YouTube accounts since launch, and every now and then, you'll post a coupon code in a photo or video. You estimate that you get about 5 extra people coming in for haircuts each month, and the average customer value of these is about $20 more than standard walk-ins.
The great aspect of social media marketing is with proper attention, it significantly expands the entry points for your brand and business. Now, instead of customers finding you through just Google Search, or the Yellow Pages, they can find you through Search, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Flickr, and many, many more.
The possibilities are endless for grassroots, guerrilla style marketing campaigns. All you need is a little bit of creativity, and some time.
What's even more powerful with social media is its capabilities for goodwill generation for your company and brand.
Now that your Salon has built up a following through the various social networks that you're a part of, as you spend time interacting with them, they'll be more emotionally involved with you. What does this mean? More customers, more repeat customers, and more customer referrals. If people are involved with you on an emotional level, they will be much more likely to refer friends and family to your business, as well as talk positivley about your brand.
When it comes down to it, a good customer referral is the most powerful form of marketing there is.
Where We Come In
You get the point. Social media is great, and you need it for your business. But you're probably in one of two common situations. One, you don't have the time for social media. Or, two, you don't know how to make heads or tails of the social media scene. That's where we come into play. We have the time for social media, and we know how to craft an expert strategy.
If you don't have the time it takes to be active in social media, that's OK. We do. We'll create a social media strategy for your business, complete with targeted networks and strategies for each. We'll then execute the strategy, or train your internal staff in best practices learned over 10 years in the Internet marketing arena. At LevelTen, we're active in the social media scene, and we know how to plan, execute, and organize so it all makes sense, and so it becomes a productive tool for your company.
If you're interested in exploring social media marketing strategy, contact us today.
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