Posted by: Bret Simmons | September 10, 2010

Your customers are all online, why aren’t you?

by Heather Crosby and the team at BrandCraft Inc.

Social media has become a rapidly expanding (not to mention cheap and easy) way for a business to grow its customer base. Geographically, Facebook would be the third largest country in the world, with over 500 million active users. And with over 150 million active mobile Facebook users, we have the ability to share content with them 24/7. And were not just talking to college students anymore.  The highest percentage of social media users fall into the age group of 35-44.

As we transition into a world of online communities and networks, it is now even easier to find your target audience and speak directly to them. Here are seven ways social media can help develop your business in 2010:

Niche marketing: Finding and targeting the specific audience you are looking for based on their specific interests is easier than ever.  Joining and following groups links you to wealth of users who all share similar interests.

One-to-one customer interaction: This is the easiest way to speak directly to a strategically selected consumer. In mass media, you are talking at a wide audience, with social media you can actually talk to a more specific, interested group.

Visibility: The more connections you make, the easier it will be for others to find you. Use your friends to find new friends. The more you interact with others, the more others will want to interact with you.

Brand recognition: The more your brand is seen, the more people will remember it. Don’t forget to communicate exactly the way you want to portray your brand. A survey by Razorfish showed that this year alone, 40% of Facebook users “friended” brands, while 25% followed brands on Twitter. Of both groups, the most common reason was for exclusive deals or offers.

Brand monitoring: See exactly what others are saying about you. This can increase your customer service as well. Even though you may not be involved in the conversation, users may be discussing or complaining about your product online. This is a great way to immediately fix any problems they may have and show you truly do care about the consumer.

Increase search engine rankings: A social media presence often ranks highly with certain search engines. Be sure to integrate keyword-rich pages and profiles.

Branding yourself as an expert: Interacting with other people and groups online makes your brand appear savvy, and also increases visibility.

Digital couponing: Position your coupons on numerous online platforms. Users can select and print coupons while they are looking at a friend’s Facebook page or checking the weather. Coupons can even be loaded onto store rewards cards with the click of a button. A recent Knowledge Networks study shows that more than a quarter of all customers who use coupons are exclusively using digital coupons.

Transparency: If customers can watch what you do online, they maybe more apt to trust you.

Social networking sites may be easy to set up, but they can take time to properly position your brand and expand your audience. Don’t know where to begin? Attend a social media conference – like SM@RT 2010!



  1. It’s a win-win concept!

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