In Enterprise business technology, the world of Social Marketing is white hot. Salesforce.com has been feverishly buying up the pieces for their social marketing solutions. Their $3.5 Billion bet is that the fundamentals of how businesses interact with their customers and prospects are changing forever, driven by the new social mobile consumer.
Salesforce’s entry point is labelled “Social Listening”, employing the old axiom listen first, then act. Armed with this knowledge, they provide action-oriented tools for participation in customer marketing and lead generation through social marketing channels. But what about small business?
Breaking Through The Wall of Noise
At the core of social listening is the ability to sift through the wall of noise and find the information that directly applies to your business, and your competitor’s businesses. So when it comes to small businesses, does this present yet another threat of the big guy being positioned to outmaneuver the little guy?
On the surface, the answer might feel like a resounding yes, but we think not!
Small Businesses Can Now Listen More Closely!
Our company, aptly called Closely, has spent the last couple of years working with small business social and mobile local marketing. We came to understand the unique challenges and differences in local business marketing.
So, we built a unique product tailored to “local marketplace listening” for business owners and marketers. It’s founded on the same principle of social listening, but it’s adapted to the unique nuances of local business marketing.
With small businesses, there are 2-3 “non-social” activities that we found to be equally important to marketing success.
- Consumer Reviews – Small businesses are deeply impacted by reviews from consumers. Being aware of new activities on websites like Yelp and Google Plus is critical everyday marketing information.
- Deals and Promotions – While we all have our opinions about Daily Deals, knowing when and what your competitors are offering to consumers [and your customers!] is critical marketing intelligence.
- Pictures – Instagram has more than one billion photos. More than 300 Million pictures are uploaded to Facebook ever day. These photos are an increasingly important part of how consumers learn about your business.
- Local Events – When people are congregating nearby, how do you know? More and more, those people can be found using social media to interact with each other, which presents great new ways to “place your promotion” in their midst, and grab some of the foot traffic opportunity.
Social Listening Mobile App
Last Fall, we launched our free mobile application for small businesses, called Perch providing a birds eye view of your business neighborhood. We pull all of these sources of marketplace information together, and give it to you in one simple smartphone application.
You can create your own personal “Watchlist” to give you a live view of your business, keep close tabs on your competitors, and know when consumers post reviews, comments and photos.
Simply, we think that being in the know is the key first step in making the best use of all the new digital marketing opportunities.
So, while those big chains spend the next couple of years honing their “social listening” skills – you can operate from your personal Perch, constantly watching from the relevant social, promotion, review and event activities around you.
The Social Media Agency Angle
One of the best use cases we’ve found for Perch is for local social marketing agencies. Think about your first meeting with a new small business client. Before the meeting, ask them a simple question of who they compete, and who they watch the most closely.
Configure a watch list for them on Perch, and show them a live view of everything going on, including those businesses they most fear or admire! For post meeting follow-up, send them the download and log-in information, and you’ve done them a great favor!
It’s a great way to make a great first impression, and it gives you some great tangible evidence of why they need to step up their game! Oh, and don’t forget to add yourself and your best clients to the Watchlist, so they can continue to learn from you too 😉
Voted the #1 Mobile Business App at SXSW in 2013
To Download the Perch Mobile App, go to one of these links: