Thursday, January 5, 2012

How a boring buisness like a dry cleaner benefits from Social Media Marketing (SMM)

Social Media Marketing (SMM) has really changed the expectations of many businesses expect from their marketers.

Social Media Marketing has changed the way we can connect with customers.
For a lot of non-business, non-technical people, this really changed the game in their favor.  Many people who were not all that interested in using anything computer-related suddenly had easy access to platforms that are fun for them.

Once the "regular" person started wanting to use a computer every day, the already huge online market potential spiked.  This created an even bigger demand for businesses to get on the web.

In fact, it increased the number of businesses that benefited from advertising on the web.

Let's face it.  Before internet marketing, there was not much of a reason for a business like a neighborhood dry cleaners to advertise on the web.  Except for people occasionally going online to see where the nearest dry cleaners might be located or a get a phone number to call and get prices, most people did not make any dry cleaning business decisions via the Internet.

People generally went down the street, where they remember seeing a dry cleaners, and they would drop off their clothes there.

People stayed at their dry cleaner, unless they received particularly poor service.

What does this have to do with Social Media Marketing?

You might be wondering how a business, like a local dry cleaning business can be affected by social media marketing.

First, it is a lot easier for customers to exchange their opinions on places.

Most of the time, people feel more compelled to share poor experiences.

However, we also tend to buy from people and places that we like.

Now that there is social media, even a little unexciting place like a dry cleaning business can influence buying decisions online.

Most dry cleaners are pretty bland.  There is not all that much difference between them.  One might have a little lower or higher price.  Another one might have a little better or worse quality service than the others.

In the extreme cases, people will share this, and social media makes this easy.

Where does the marketing come into social media marketing?

Certainly, word of mouth marketing is very strong.  It is nice when people share nice things about you, but before social media, many businesses never made it into every day conversations.

THAT is exactly where an otherwise ordinary business can make a positive marketing impact!

The marketing aspect of social media marketing comes from the social.

This does not mean that the business is always advertising.  Many businesses make this mistake and totally lose sight of the big picture of the potential benefits of social media marketing.

With social media, a dry cleaner can have an online presence and show a personality.  They can engage people and find what they like about the business.  A better example and opportunity, however, is finding what they like about the community.  A dry cleaner can talk to people and share a thought of the day for no extra charge.  They can make a remark about a local government decision or give a construction update.

There are many more people who are interested in talking about everyday things with the guy who happens to own a dry cleaner than there are people who want to actually talk about dry cleaning.

However, once these people are ready to talk about dry cleaning, who will they think of first?  If someone they know asks them to suggest a dry cleaner, who is most likely at the top of the suggestion list?

Of course, it's the business they see and "know" often.  Remember, most of us like to do business with people that we know and like.

Social media marketing gives business owners the perfect opportunity to engage our customers about topics that excite them so that they become excited to visit or refer people to our business, which excites the business owners.

Once a business has shared a lot with its online community, how upset do you think they will be if you offer a discount for your service when they use a promotional code that you gave them online?

Not only do they like you, but you've provided them with a reason to like giving you business--or at least want to try your business.

Isn't this a whole lot better than having to see unsolicited blatant ads for a dry cleaner that you barely know, if you even know them at all?

Is your social media marketing campaign more social or anti-social (simply blaring ads)?

Make sure that you don't forget the social part.  This is the biggest potential benefit of SMM, but it is too often an overlooked and neglected approach, even though it's there for us to use.

To see more Marketing Ideas, visit Chris' Marketing Ideas.

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