As a small business owner, you have already figured out who is your “perfect customer”. Your next challenge is to determine how to communicate with that customer in the most efficient and productive manner possible.
The efficiency part of that determination is very important both from your point of view and that of your customer. How much time do you have to spend on e-mail marketing and social media platforms? Not much, if you are going to also be actively running your business.
Likewise, your customers spend their day with their own very full and busy lives and are not generally thinking about your business until they want or need it. The key is for you to get your message to them at that point of want or need, and on their preferred platform.
You have already been collecting e-mail addresses from your best customers – right? Of course you have, and they gladly gave them up in exchange for valuable information about new products and services, discount opportunities, and special events. They may also follow you on Twitter, particularly if your customers are in the target demographic that wants their information fast, quick, and on their mobile device.
Surveying your customers to ask them their preferred social media platforms can give you valuable insight – especially if you have been a bit late coming to the game. A good marketing plan will have you considering a combination of messaging platforms, with the length, timing, and platform of each message geared to a particular segment of your target market.
The key word in the previous sentence is plan. Whether you are a new business owner or have been in business for some time, it is important to take the time to look at your customer profiles and available communication platforms, and make a solid plan for how to improve your communications in 2016. Everyone in your organization should be involved in this effort, even if just at a kickoff “brainstorming” session. You may have a young employee who is the “whiz kid of Twitter”, or someone who would love to put together a regular blogpost or podcast.
We will be addressing many of these platforms in future blogs and in upcoming workshops, and one-on-one counseling opportunities are available to Alexandria’s small businesses through the Alexandria SBDC. Join us and plan to update your communications for the New Year!