If you are a small business trying to survive and bring in more clients in a down economy, there are obstacles you will need to overcome. One of these is definitely competition, which, in bad economical times can get quite fierce. Add to this a bad location for your business or a limited reach for your products and you can find yourself in a dire situation, trying to keep your head up the stream. However, in these difficult times, there are still small businesses like yours that manage to double their sales or gain more leads than before the recession hit. And if you think they have used a secret recipe for that, think again.
They have made it with social media help
There are many success stories out there that your business can learn from. Let us consider this one that really stands out and is particularly relevant to any smaller business trying to survive in adverse situations. Have you heard of Feather your Nest? Chances are much bigger now that you have heard of it than a few years back. This small business is located in a rather crowded tourist resort, Eureka Springs, they sell homemade and vintage gifts. While operating in an area ripe with tourism gives a retailer access to a high volume of prospective customers, the biggest challenge you will have to face is that there are already so many other retailers competing directly for those consumers’ dollars.
The strategy used
The owner of this small shop, Gina Drennon was fully aware of the fact that she had to do something different to distance herself from the dozens of other shops in the area. She needed to reach potential customers in a way that her competitors could not or just would not. After a bit of research, the best advertising strategy presented itself in the form of social media marketing. By simply observing her competition, she was able to understand that most business owners in Eureka Springs still operate their businesses in the old fashioned way, so they were relying on direct tourist traffic and buyer recommendation. She also observed there were many businesses that didn’t even have internet access in their location. Using this knowledge as leverage, Drennon became an active campaigner for her business online and especially on social media sites. They are now present everywhere, from Twitter to Facebook. Drennon also has her own eCommerce platform as well as a small business website where she regularly posts blog entries.
The results were overwhelming for a smaller business. In only a few months, Feather Your Nest managed to gather 2,000 Twitter followers and 600 Facebook likes. But the most valuable result was the wide national exposure this social media presence brought. Apart from leads and new customers, the business gained a lot of national media friends. “I’ve made many meaningful connections with bloggers and magazine editors that have featured our products and our store, which bring us huge amounts of attention that you really cannot put a price on,” explains Drennon. Today, about 50 percent of all the Feather Your Nest sales are online generated and attention for the site and the shop come from social media participation. And they have achieved all this without spending anything on marketing budgets.
If they could do it, why can’t you?
Many small businesses like the one in the above example have managed to leverage their social media presence in a way that brought them more customers and increased their sales. If you are hesitating, you are doing it for the wrong reasons. Actually, most recent internet studies reveal that small retailers or producers that use social media tools as an eCommerce platform have found more success in them than the bigger companies. Without having you spend large, sometimes hard to afford sums of money on classical marketing campaign, social media has the potential of increasing the unique visitors’ number on your website. This will also influence on the number of prospected new clients who may be looking to purchase your product.
No matter what your small business does, your commitment to using social media tools such as Facebook or Twitter or even YouTube can practically make the difference between merely surviving and becoming known to a full range of prospects.