Well over half of the local merchants with larger budgets that we surveyed for a report last year indicated that paid Facebook ads constituted their top marketing tactic. That’s a pretty heavy dependence on a company that’s been in the news for all the wrong reasons lately.
Instead of integrating multi-media news consumption with entertainment, community conversations, events calendars, advertising, and a buyers and sellers marketplace, Facebook is isolating them as components. While this is consistent with its separate apps approach, it likely won’t result in as much audience cross-fertilization as it should. Nor does it feel at all local advertiser-friendly.
Surveys suggest social media is pretty influential for shoppers, particularly young ones, although they gravitate to Instagram and Snapchat. Big brands are taking heed. Although packaged goods giant P&G said it was paring back its most highly-targeted Facebook ads, it recently confirmed that it was maintaining its overall Facebook spending.
“All social media is a funnel,” says Chris Warren, owner of Marjory Warren Boutique in New York City. “You’re trying to get someone to buy something.” Warren connected with other local shops via Townsquared, hyperlocal networking platform for small businesses, and joined a sort of “Instagram collective” with other store owners.
The fourth edition of Street Fight’s Local Merchant Report shows a continued movement to social media as a preferred marketing tactic among local merchants. They deem it their most effective tactic, so they’re increasing their spending. Analysis of the survey suggests that would-be marketing suppliers can help them integrate social with their own site and email campaigns, as well as assisting them with reputation management and reviews.
When consumers commit to joining a gym and paying a fixed rate each month, they’re indirectly confirming their loyalty to the business. But after years of working with clients at Gold’s Gym of Jersey City, sales manager Mauricio Calmet noticed that a secondary loyalty market exists, one that’s rarely tapped by businesses once they’ve signed customers up for yearlong contracts or memberships.
Small business owners have a reputation for being do-it-yourselfers, particularly when it comes to marketing and advertising. But with social spending on the rise, more of those business owners seem to be saying that if they want social media marketing done right, they need a professional to handle the job. Here are six full-service firms operating in the space right now.
National brands rely on a complex web of local affiliates for representation, distribution, and channel marketing and sales. In these sometimes shaky partnerships, it turns out that massive resources in the form of co-op and market development fund (MDF) programs often go unused or get misdirected, largely due to misalignment between brands and their affiliates.
Local merchants in every vertical are relying more on social media marketing for customer acquisition and retention, but restaurants in particular have become heavy users of social platforms. This year, 50 percent of casual dining and fine dining operators said they planned to devote even more resources to social media marketing. Hyperlocal vendors like Perch are providing business owners with a way to consolidate most social marketing tasks in one centralized app.
Small businesses continue to be in love with social media. In the first in a series of surveys Street Fight will be conducting with Alignable, we asked approximately 100 small business owners to rate their most effective marketing tools and tactics among a list of a dozen. Two-thirds of respondents selected social media as one of their top three. SEO and email rounded out the list of leading techniques.
A new report from Street Fight Insights found that many local businesses don’t feel they’re getting return on their social media efforts. That’s in spite of the fact that two-thirds of them are using social media for marketing, and many plan to increase their efforts. Companies in the connected local economy value chain looking to best serve merchants should supply them with tools and services to measure the impact and efficiency of their social media marketing programs.
Walk into any coffee shop in the late afternoon and you probably won’t have a problem finding an open table. That afternoon lull can be tough to overcome. At Sunshine Coffee Roasters in Northern California, owner Mike Doherty’s approach adds a shot of technology to established customer outreach tactics. He relies on his cloud-based POS system, ShopKeep, for the majority of his promotional work and business management.
Social media has become an essential part of the local marketer’s playbook. But with so many platforms and networks to choose from, and so many metrics to measure, it’s challenging for small business owners to know what they’re getting in return for their budgets. Here are six platforms with advanced tools for measuring results on social spending.