As a small business owner, it’s an automatic fact that you are the underdog. That’s why it is essential for you to define your business and generate brand loyalty with your customers. To do that, you must engage on the web. Creating engagement for your small business - with your current customers and your potential customers – means having a strong digital presence and a well-defined strategy for interacting. These tactics will help you do that.
Social media may be the most obvious tactic to increase engagement for your small business, but there’s a lot that goes in to a strategic social media plan. It’s not enough just to update your social media accounts regularly. It’s called social media. The whole point is to engage with your fans and have your followers engage with you. Retweet, share and respond to comments, both positive and negative.
Some ideas to increase engagement for your small business via social media:
Surveys: Surveys are an easy, fun way to not only get customers involved with your brand, but to also find out what they like and dislike about your company. A few years ago Mountain Dew implemented one of the greatest Twitter surveys ever, DEWmocracy. Mountain Dew released three new flavors and fans took to Twitter to choose which one would make it to market.
Contests: Contests and giveaways may be the easiest way for small businesses to create engagement on social media. Chipotle ran a great social media campaign. The company invited its customers to participate in a contest called Wrap What you Love. Contestants were advised to wrap their favorite objects in gold or silver foil (mimicking the Chipotle burrito) and upload the picture to the company’s Facebook page. The contestant with the best photo won $10,000.
Customer Involvement: Customer involvement revolves around fun tasks for your customers to do just for fun! Mr. Rooter, a plumbing company, took customer involvement to the next level by utilizing Pinterest. The company created a board called Where in the World Is Mr. Rooter? The board features pins submitted by customers featuring a toy figure of the company’s mascot traveling all over the world with them. In one picture, Mr. Rooter can even be seen with the Eiffel Tower!
Positive Website Presence
Believe or not, websites can be used for more than just providing information to potential customers. By adding valuable content and interactive tactics, a website can be a great place for customer engagement for small businesses. How can you do this? Adding a blog to your website will not only help with search engine optimization, but it’s also the perfect opportunity to provide readers with valuable information and insights into who you are and is a value opportunity to engage your customers. Remember to allow commenting on your blog posts! It shows you value customer opinions and is an opportunity to learn about what they like, dislike and want.
Thinking way outside the box here, if you want to expand your audience outreach, consider partnering with a celebrity or another company to increase brand awareness. Why does this work? Well you’re not only reaching your current audience with new initiatives, but you’re also reaching an entire different audience as well. As an added bonus, your current audience will engage with your new marketing efforts. For example, Leaf Filter Racing teamed up with NASCAR driver Blake Koch as a sponsor. They are now reaching NASCAR’s huge fan base in addition to the consumers they already had. They utilize social media to increase engagement as well as attending each NASCAR race to connect with fans.
To wrap up here, all of these amazing companies mentioned have one thing in common; they got creative with their marketing tactics. While many of my examples came from big businesses, small businesses should take notes. Remember, a successful marketing campaign takes time, strategic thinking and two-way engagement. So, what’s your next step for your small business?
This is a guest blog post from contributor Michelle Smith.