According to a February 2012 survey conducted by Merchant Circle, 70 percent of small business owners are using Facebook as part of their arsenal for marketing local deals. While some old-school businesses may still dismiss social media promotion as a fad that will eventually go the way of butterfly collars and MySpace, it would appear as though social media marketing is here to stay.

Leading by example

Melrose Jewelers, an online jewelry retail company, started with only 1,000 fans, but created a plan to draw more fans and, of course, an increase in sales. The retailer’s plan used a Facebook app that encouraged people to take a personality survey and post the results on their walls. This in turn encouraged others to share the personality survey app.

After five months, the retailer’s fan base grew to over 70,000. The company’s CEO estimated that Facebook fans alone spent $100,000 in December 2011. By providing a survey and deals, the online retailer created loyal customers through social media.

How it’s done

According to a Social Media Examiner report, 90 percent of marketers consider social media to be an important marketing tool for businesses. If a marketer wants to create a strong social media presence, he or she must create a marketing plan that draws people in. The marketing plan should offer specials, but should also include a fun survey or contest for a discounted or free item, with the objective of directing traffic to the retailer’s website to make a purchase.

Marketers might offer special sales through their social media pages to keep customers coming back for more. The special sale encourages a customer to purchase the sales item, along with other things. Businesses should market with an eye on creating lifelong customers. This means that someone must monitor the social media page and be ready to offer top-notch customer service and information regarding that business’s services and goods.

Why it’s effective

1. Attracts new customers and increases traffic to website.

For those who have decided to attract customers through social media, statistics show that 88 percent stated that social media sites generated exposure for their business. About 72 percent said they saw increased traffic and subscribers to their site.

2. Improves search rankings.

Improvement in search rankings is an important aspect of marketing. When a potential customer searches on the Internet, he or she will not usually look past the first two or three pages of search results. Many simply click the first link that they see. If consumers can’t find the company they are looking for, they are essentially lost revenue for the company in question. Using social media as a marketing tool allows for a 62 percent increase in search rankings.

3. Generate qualified leads.

To sell services or goods, a business needs qualified leads. A qualified lead is a person or business who has the budget, buying authority and need for the product or service. That lead must also meet a business’s customer profile. The average business using social media as a marketing tool found that the social media sites generated 51 percent of that business’s qualified leads. Sales improved by 43 percent because businesses used social media.

4. Save money.

Using social media also reduces marketing expenses. 49 percent of those surveyed said that using social media reduced overall marketing expenses.

With a good social media presence, a business not only increases sales, but decreases advertising and marketing expenses. It also creates customers for life through social media, which allows companies to offer more local deals to draw in more customers for life. With all of these benefits, what’s holding you back? Open a few social media accounts and get to work!

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1 Comment on Social Media=Word of Mouth Promotion

  1. That is the useful post and I like all the posts here at marketing by Deepak.

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