Just this month, TAB released a Small Business Pulse Survey which revealed how business owners view social media, and how they’re using it to forward their business goals. Surprisingly, the stats revealed that most business owners (59%) are not prioritizing social media, despite its enormous influence on customers and today’s digital society.
Why aren’t business owners investing more time and money into social media? According to our latest poll, they’re having trouble measuring results. “Six percent of small business owners are still using vanity metrics (shares, likes, views) as a way to measure ROI for social media,” says TAB Chief Marketing Officer Jodie Shaw, “and 43% are not measuring ROI at all.”
AT TAB, we believe so strongly in the power of social media, we interviewed 10 entrepreneurs to see how social media directly impacts their sales. Here’s what they said:
- Yelp helps jumpstart our business
Gene Caballero, GreenPal
With good reviews comes more business. We encourage customers to leave us positive reviews by surprising them with small gifts. For example, we send dog bones to our homeowners with pets along with a Thank You card. Not only is this very affordable, but it lets our customers know we care. Each gift is followed up with an email asking if they received the gift along with a link to our Yelp page.
- We used Instagram to reach our first client
Rachel Coley, The Brandiful Group
By using relevant hashtags, constantly engaging with potential clients, and posting valuable information on our page, our first client found us! She left a comment under our post, and we followed up with her with a reply. Soon after, she sent us an email, and the rest is history!
- Reddit resulted in a sale for us
Max Robinson, Turnbull & Scott
Reddit helped establish our business as an authority in our industry. We began by offering free advice to fellow users via relevant subreddits. A few weeks ago, we had a customer read one of our many comments on a thread and approach us for work. It proved to us the value of using social media for business and the value of providing as much free information and advice as you can afford. We now have a member of staff who monitors our Reddit profile regularly to pick up on any leads that we might’ve missed. We currently generate a few leads per month on average through the platform.
- We build customer trust by responding to their comments
Brittany Arnold, Catchie Concepts
The #1 way that we obtain sales is when someone comments on our social posts (either Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc). We always respond within 15 minutes to say thank you and encourage them to share the post by offering a special promo. Customers love this, and we spread the word of our brand – it’s a win-win!
- A relevant social following led to five figures worth of sales
Sebastien Dupéré, Dupray
Ashton Kutcher will not be your friend online, nor will Kim Kardashian. BUT, the local bakery owner will. Interact with people who you have already done business with. This base will usually translate into actionable sales conversions. For example, we published an article on how to clean up after the Super Bowl. When our social audience started tweeting about it, we were contacted about our cleaning service. We directed that interest to our website and made five figures worth of sales.
- Our timeliness fostered a purchase
Sherry Holub, JV Media Design
I was managing a client’s social media and fielded an initial question from a tweet. The interaction went on for about 10 minutes, and the person ended up making a purchase over $50 from the client’s website. With social, it pays to be on top of customer interaction and provide timely and helpful responses that can turn into a sale.
- We track social ROI by using promo codes
Zondra Wilson, Blu Skin Care
I post coupons on my social media sites with a specific code that isn’t offered anywhere else. Customers enter the code during checkout, which makes it really easy to measure ROI on each social promotion.
- We sync email campaigns with social ads to generate sales
Andrew Choco, Directive Consulting
We combined an email blast with Facebook ads to promote a 10% off sale. We created a custom audience on Facebook based on the email list (around 6,000 people). From there, we synchronized a giant email blast with an ad campaign highlighting the sale, and only targeting those 6,000 people. We used a budget of around $25 a day, and ran the ads for 4 days, spending $100 total. This ensured that our audience would see the ads at least twice during the whole campaign. The sale performed very well, generating over $400 of sales just from the Facebook ads.
- We find customers via hashtags
Arsineh Ghazarian, Zveil
We search for unique hashtags such as #YesToTheDress which are often used when brides announce they’ve found their wedding dress (which happens to be the time when brides begin their search for a veil). We then engage with these brides by congratulating them on the instrumental milestone and add provide them with a discount coupon that can be used towards any veil from our collection.
- Snapchat closed a deal for us
Nicole Bermack, Editor at Edwardsturm.com
A few months ago, we used Snapchat to land a video production client who was on the fence about signing with us. We had a large shoot for another client at the time and sent the potential client snaps of us directing the crew, as well as the lights in our huge studio. The intimacy of Snapchat made the sale feel a lot more personal. Based on the initiative we were taking, the resources we were using, and the passionate crew we were working with, the client signed with us.
If you don’t believe social media is beneficial for your business, there’s a good chance you don’t really know how to maximize it. Try some of the above tips to boost your sales via social media, or contact a local TAB board. A board of fellow entrepreneurs can help you better navigate social media, as well as your long term digital marketing strategy. Get in touch!