It always pays for your clients to tell their friends and family about why they use your particular business. And it could even pay for your client if they let their social networks know that they’ve been to your business. This is called social media marketing.
A new type of social media effort spearheaded by American Express is making that happen.
Earlier this year, American Express launched a partnership with Foursquare, the popular social network where its users “check-in” at different places, earning points along the way. While the points don’t really get you anything besides the satisfaction of having them, American Express’ model could help your clients save some money and help get some free advertising for your business.
Here’s how social media marketing works:
Lets say your small business is a coffee shop that also sells various boutique goods. If a client walks into your shop and checks in on Foursquare, they would see a special note from American Express saying, if you spend so much here and pay with your American Express, we’ll credit you with a certain dollar amount – anywhere from $10 to $20 on average.
Right now Foursquare has about 20 million registered users worldwide. Whenever a person checks in and uses the American Express deal at your small business, their friends will not only see that they were there, but that you took advantage of the deal.
This is a great example of how social media can be effective for even the smallest of businesses. There of course would be some paperwork to fill out and hoops to jump through with the American Express and Foursquare partnership, but there are free avenues that are much easier — like Twitter — that can have you utilizing social media for the good of your small business in no time.
“In today’s business environment, the ability to be available online for your users 24/7 is increasingly seen as a given,” according to a survey and report by Computer Weekly. Of course, you won’t be there to reply to every tweet or Facebook message, but it’s important to get into the mindset that we live in a social world and you can’t be left behind.
You can run a similar campaign that American Express and Foursquare are doing on your own with Twitter. It’s as easy as starting an account, building a follower-base and keeping those followers engaged.
How can you do this?
Promotions are a great way to not only start your follower-base, but really put your business out there. Everyone loves a great deal, so think of something creative to kickoff your Twitter campaign.
If you run a restaurant, ask your followers and the “Twitter-verse” to mention your small business’ Twitter handle in a tweet of their own. If they do that and come in that same evening, you might give them a free appetizer or a discounted bill. It’s all about creativity. The more people that take advantage of that promotion means your business’ name is out in the social network even more.
Social media allows you to get closer to your customer base in a quick and efficient manner. Simply accepting friend requests or tweeting back to a client shows that you’re interested in your clients. Everything takes time, but social media campaigns to put your business’ name out in the public can be quite simple.