This Just In: Marketing to Your Own Social Network Works and it's Cheap!December 30th, 2009 | Online & Small Business Resources,shopping,Small Business,Small Business Tips,Social Media | 3 Comments »
I was just reading an article in the Denver Post today that talked about how social networking sites, like Twitter and Facebook, may have played a part in boosting retail sales this holiday season. In my opinion it is a no-brainer for all retailers, but especially small-to-midsize retailers who tend to be more local and closer to their customers, to use these social networking tools to promote their current sales and to distribute marketing information through. Who is going to be more interested in coupons or promotional materials for your company’s products than people who have gone out of their way to include themselves in your social network using these online tools?
Not only is marketing to these individuals more effective but it is also more cost efficient when done through these channels. The article in the Denver Post mentions that ad spending in the U.S. was down 14.7% in the first 9 months of 2009, due in part to these retailers spending more time and money on these non-traditional marketing techniques. I would think that this type of social network marketing would be especially effective for online-only retailers since consumers could easily follow a link in the marketing materials directly to the storefront to purchase the advertised product. Another astonishing statistic that I saw today showed that online sales increased 15.5% during the period from November 1 to December 24th when compared to the same period last year and online sales now account for 10% of all retail sales during that time. I know that I personally did about 90% of my holiday shopping online this year and don’t plan on having that number go down anytime soon!
Retailers are also finding new creative ways to use social networking and blogs to interact with their customer base. As referenced in the same article above, Best Buy has a new group on Twitter referred to as “Twelpforce” that customer service agents use to tweet various product-related tips and suggestions. Qwest Communicationshas a Twitter team that scours tweets for issues that customers are having with their phone or internet service and contacts them directly via Twitter or e-mail to resolve them. Also, some online retailers (like Simply Astro and Oregon Seafood ) have chosen to use this very KikScore blog to promote their company online by letting us do a short interview with them so that you can learn more about their products and future initiatives.
Finally, in news related to a post I made on this blog a couple weeks ago, Google just announced yesterday that they are holding an “Android-related press conference” on January 5. Speculation is high that they will announce plans to roll-out their highly anticipated Nexus One phone (otherwise known as the G-Phone) that may have some features not yet seen on a Smartphone and this phone may be sold directly to consumers through their website without a dedicated carrier. I guess we will find out more next week!