What were you doing the day after your 10th birthday? Maybe you were building something with the Erector Set that Uncle Ernie gave you, or breaking in that new basketball at the park, or doodling in Pokémon Art Academy on Nintendo. What you probably weren’t doing was comparing how your 10th birthday stacked up against the 9th.
For the 10th birthday of CyberMonday in 2015, that is exactly what analysts were doing on Tuesday. Taking stock of data from the macro of overall dollar spend to the micro of whether mobile devices used were iPhones or Android. And as more and more of our lives are spent in the social media world, analysts looked at if and how it affected the shopping we did while alone and staring at a screen of some sort.
And when it came to CyberMonday and social media, its overall share of sales increased 33 percent in 2015 over 2014 (according to data compiled by Adobe https://www.adobe.com/news-room/pressreleases/201511/113015AdobeDataCyberMondaySales.html). Additionally, social’s share of sales had a large increase at 6:00 pm in the post work period (which was significant since overall CyberMonday traffic began its second climb of the day in the 6:00 to 11:00 pm period).
A small businessperson doesn’t need to be a number crunching analyst to recognize that having a social media presence is important to online sales. But what you do need to analyze is how your small business will present itself on social media platforms. In a 2014 Gallup poll, 94% of consumers said they used social media to interact with family and friends. And becoming a part of those conversations isn’t as simple as just sharing daily posts and tweets about your small business.
One of the most common mistakes of small businesses is treating a social media presence like its advertising. It is marketing (i.e., “social media marketing” aka “SMM”) but its not traditional advertising as we’ve come to know it (for our purposes here we’re not talking about display ads, etc.). The mix-up is understandable in that new small businesses usually go through the learning curve with traditional advertising and discover how that does and does not work for their business (the ubiquitous “return on investment” aka “ROI”).
And they usually go through that learning curve process prior to undertaking a SMM program. As a result they use advertising lessons learned in regard to what messaging and “calls to action” connect with their consumers and simply insert such into social media posts and shares. “People respond to our message that they ‘deserve the treat of a massage after a hard workweek’ so let’s share that in our social media every Thursday evening” is the type of approach that results.
By and large, consumers are not fans of being continually bombarded in their social media feeds with direct advertising messages. At best, they will tune it out and at worst, they will not interact in any way with your small business on social media (e.g., not follow you if their feed is clogged every Thursday night with your “Get a massage this weekend!” tweet). Which is why the above referenced Gallup poll (http://www.gallup.com/poll/171785/americans-say-social-media-little-effect-buying-decisions.aspx) also found that most consumers “say” that social media doesn’t influence their buying decisions. The nuance there is that consumers mainly have in mind the directly promotional social media shares that they constantly receive from businesses.
So you’re probably thinking, “If we can’t share social media posts about our business, then what are we going to talk about?” Before answering that question, it’s important to know what consumers do want when interacting on social media. They want content that provides information that they’re interested in and adds to their lives. If they’re a marathon runner they might be interested in knowing that the benefits of regular massages during their training will help get them to the starting line in top form.
Your SMM program should at the start be talking about what interests your consumers about the “type” of business that you are in and how such can add to their lives. Create blog articles (e.g., “New Research on Benefits of Regular Massages for Retirees”) and post social media links to them. Find pertinent online content and present links to it (i.e., a link to Medicare press release on reimbursement for massage therapy).
A safe rule of thumb at the beginning of an SMM program is that 80% of social media shares by a small business should be of this non-promotional variety. So you can toot your own horn and directly promote your business the other 20% of the time. That’s said a bit tongue in cheek. A good approach is to analyze which of your non-promotional shares achieve a response (e.g., re-tweets, shares, etc.) and tailor your promotional shares accordingly. If your shares about massage for the adult athletic competitor get traction, then share a promotion touting that local running club members receive a 15% discount.
If you’ve achieved any level of success in your small business, over time you’ve likely done a good job in figuring out how to reach your target consumers with traditional marketing methods. With the right approach you can achieve the same success via social media marketing for CyberMonday and the rest of the year as well.
LAD Solutions has a team of professionals that can assist you with Social Media Marketing best practices as well as quality content creation for your small business. To learn more about these services, please call (888) 523-2926 or submit your request and one of our representatives will be in touch with you shortly!