Monday, August 29, 2011

5 Ways to Attract Customers with Social Media

Business owners are always looking for new ways to attract customers. Newspaper, radio, and television absorbed media budgets until the advent of online marketing roughly ten years ago.  At Web4Retail (an online marketing firm), we educate and inspire small businesses on the benefits of social media and how it can attract new customers if managed correctly. Below are some first steps into the world of social media:

1. Create a Facebook Fan Page
There are lots of ways to get creative and engage your customers, and then their friends become your fans and customers too. It’s best to ask an expert to help you set up your page and manage the day to day maintenance.

2. Tweet Special Offers or Advice Daily Via Twitter
Sprinkles Cupcakes is just one business that encourages customers in its stores and on its Web site to follow the company on Twitter. Every few days, the company sends out messages such as “Celebrate National Chocolate Cake Day! The first 50 people to whisper “rich” at each Sprinkles receive a free dark chocolate cupcake.” That gets people into the shop — and most times they buy another cupcake and a drink.

3. Encourage Customer Reviews on Yelp

Some 90 percent of consumers say they trust recommendations from people they know, and 70 percent say they trust consumer opinions posted online, according to a Nielsen Global Online Consumer Survey. A Web4Retail client, Bedderbuy, utilizes Yelp beautifully for new customers and reviews. I encourage all furniture retailers to make Yelp a part of their online marketing effort.

4. List Your Business on Google and Yahoo

When we want to find anything, we turn to Google or Yahoo to search — and you can’t get any bigger in terms of Web sites than these. Google has a Local Business Directory where you can register your business absolutely free. And here’s what’s most interesting: You don’t even need a site to have a strong Web presence. It’s open to all types of small businesses — with hundreds of thousands posted. (Yahoo offers a similar service.) There’s no reason not list your business on both sites — whether you own a mom and pop hardware store or a bar, you want to leverage the extraordinary reach of these search engines. Check out Google’s tutorialto help you get started.

5. Be Your Own Publicist

Finally, the Web site ”Help A Reporter” is a free daily email service that delivers media queries three times a day right to your inbox from among some 70,000 bloggers, authors, TV reporters, and radio producers. Often the requests are for small business owners — recent listings seek smallbusiness owners to discuss creative financing in this economy; other queries are for gardening experts, jewelry makers; the needs are very diverse. This is a way for you to do your own publicity without the expense of a publicist to get your business mentioned in the media.

Web4Retail had designed and manages more than 100 Facebook pages for businesses. If you would like more information visit our website @ or call 877-536-4786