According to the 2013 Yellow Pages Social Media Report, 30% of small businesses, 47% of medium businesses, and 79% of large businesses have reported having some form of social media presence, a trend that has continued to increase in 2014. For the businesses surveyed who are engaged in social media, Facebook is still the dominant force, with over 85% of all businesses sizes, having a Facebook business page, followed by Twitter and Linked In. So, we know more and more businesses are getting on board with social media as a way to connect with customers, but what is it that customers actually want from businesses?
The table below extracted from the report shows customers are looking for discounts and giveaways when it comes to interaction on social media, with product info, and tips and advice also rating highly.
- Promotions (discounts and giveaways)
For most businesses, that doesn’t mean you rush out to create new discounts to post to your Facebook account each day. You need to carefully chose a variety of content that you believe your customers will be interested in. If all you do as a business is provide discounts and offers all the time, that’s what customers will be trained to expect, and having them appreciate the quality of your product / service may be difficult. Having said that, it can also be a nice touch to reward loyalty by providing a special discount or giveaway from time to time – just try and ensure it’s relevant to the product or service your business is marketing.
- Product Info
Depending on your business, info about your products may be specifics on a new item in store, the current range you hold, or details about your services. If you sell online, research has shown that people prefer to transact on your actual website, so where ever possible, use social media to drive traffic through to your site to complete a transaction. Just remember, whilst customers like being kept in the loop about new developments, they don’t want to be sold to all the time. Focus on the 80/20 rule, with 80% of your content focused on being useful and informative, and 20% tailored to selling or getting a specific interaction.
- Tips and advice
This is a very broad category when it comes to content, and could involve an “ask the expert” section giving customers the ability to ask advice, right through to specific tips related to your business to make your customers’ lives easier. Remember, put yourself in their shoes and ensure your advice is truly useful, and solves an issue or problem they may be having. For example, a hairdresser may provide specific tips on blow drying hair via a you tube video, a butcher with advice on which cuts of meat are best for specific dishes, and a chiropractor may look to give tips on healthy eating and exercise to stay fit. The opportunities are endless, and apart from writing your own content, you may also like to look online for relevant articles / tips that already exist in your business area (just remember to attribute these to the content owner to avoid any copyright issues).
Each business proposition is unique, and if in doubt, run a survey with your existing customers (online or offline) and ask what they’d like more information on – what are the issues they are facing, and determine how your product or service can help provide a solution.
If you’d like to read more in-depth analysis of the Yellow Pages Social Media Report, to get a better understanding of Australian consumers and businesses on Social Media, you can download it here: