social media sites

When Times Slow Down, Does Your Business Move Forward?

As Fall begins to wind down and we bring this season to a close, it’s that time when we start thinking of all of the activities that the Holidays will soon bring. Do you own a business that has outstanding revenue from the summer months, such as a store near a beach setting, or waterfront restaurant? If this happens to be your situation, hopefully you had a very successful season of booming business, even if you’ve had little downtime to actually brainstorm your future business goals and upcoming profitable ideas. Maybe you find yourself on the opposite scope of this scenario and are in a business that doesn’t have a busy season until winter begins? If this is geared toward you, it’s always important to keep those wheels spinning on how to not only retain your favorite clientele, but how you can also continue to grow your customer base.

As a business owner, I can honestly admit that I’ve encountered both ends of the autumnspectrum. Here are a few tips that I would suggest to make the most of the months when you have a little more spare time than normal. Some of these can actually be extremely simple, beneficial, and super fun!

Tips to Take Advantage of Down Time:

  • Take advantage of learning something new! There are so many social media sites now days, are you familiar with them all? Have you ever heard of Vine or Instagram? Maybe it’s time you sign up and start the world of uploads.
  • Have your customers send pictures from their summer or winter vacations. Post the pictures on your favorite social media website in coming months and remind them of what they have to look forward to next year. This keeps you engaged in their lifestyles and demonstrates your loyalty to them as well.
  • Update your cover page on Facebook to reflect seasonal changes that relate to your business. An easy one: If you are in the gardening business, something pumpkin related in the fall, and tulips in the spring. This shows you are trendy and keeping up with what is popular at that time.
  • Offer a “Join My Mailing List” at the top of your website and set up creative newsletters.
  • Run specials or brainstorm specials for upcoming months. Never discount too much and if you are offering specials through websites such as Groupon.com, set limits to how many deals can be purchased.
  • Grow your email list of contacts. This can be as simple as dropping off a paper sign-up list at your favorite coffee shop, hair salon, or restaurant. Ask for a name and email address, and even hometown. This would show if they’ve learned about your business locally, or maybe instead while they’re on vacation.
  • Take advantage of review sites such as Yelp, where personal recommendations and reviews could take your business to the next level of success.

These are just a few of the ideas to keep your clientele interested and engaged when you might not be having the busiest of times at your small business. Whether you are busy year round or a more seasonal business, all of these points can be helpful in increasing sales, or spreading your qualifications by word of mouth.

You should be able to take a few of these tips away and get a head start on coming up with that next Groupon, or idea on how to market that special sauce ingredient. And in the meantime, enjoy and have a safe rest of your Autumn.

Shopping Habits and Social Media

It is a well known fact that to remain competitive, stores must utilize social media sites for marketing and promotions for consumers to purchase new, as well as aged, products. Do you find that you are making online purchases through your favorite social media sites? To clarify, what I am asking is when you view an ad on Facebook that displays a coupon for Bath & Body Works, Starbucks, or another favorite store; do you immediately click on that ad to get the coupon? Or do you find yourself driving to the closest store to venture around and see if anything new captures your attention? Is it just as convenient to go to the store’s website for a direct purchase?

For me, I’d say that I do a combination of all. If I see an amazing deal, I wouldn’t hesitate to click on it and shop right from the link, but I also have no issues with a retail mid-afternoon getaway!

A new global study from PwC, the global consultancy, reports that last year, only 12% of consumers bought anything through social media and only 18% of those consumers active in social media made a purchase as a result of information they got via their social-media connections,” states mediapost.com.

What I find interesting about this is that we all use our favorite social media sites to follow or hear about up and coming brands. I know there have been multiple times that I have seen a new trend on Pinterest, or read through a friend’s tweet, that I immediately found myself further investigating to determine where I could directly purchase the merchandise. I’m sure I am not alone in this…or am I?

PwC claims there are three different types of shoppers that purchase from social media sites:

• Brand Lovers: These are die-hard shoppers. These shoppers frequent stores and make online purchases on a weekly basis. These people are not afraid to make direct purchases from social media sites and they do so often.

• Deal Hunters: Half of the population surveyed falls into this category. If they find an appealing offer, they click through to the store and make that special purchase. Personally, I think I can be found in this category. Who doesn’t like a good deal?

• Social Addicts: This group makes up the smallest percentage of shoppers, according to PwC. They use social media to talk about their experiences with brands. They learn from these sites which brands their friends love and will recommend. They submit questions to customer service channels and submit product feedback to the companies. Although a small percentage of social media site shoppers, they have a large influence on the online world with their frequent posts and comments.

It really just comes down to where do you personally trust to shop? Sometimes it’s just extremely convenient to buy merchandise when you’re already physically in a store and can compare prices, or better yet, compare to other stores’ merchandise pricing in general.

Yet sometimes, it’s just the most opportune to click “buy now,” right at that very moment when you see the merchandise pop up on the computer screen. I think it’s these unique personal preferences that in turn, ultimately, set the next shopping trends that we end up later reading about. If there is one thing that I am sure about, it’s that social media sites certainly influences what we buy, it’s just where we buy that is still up for debate.