Here’s a recent report from MarketingCharts.com that paints a good picture of where small businesses are today with their usage of social media and how according to Facebook the trend is up.
From the article,
Small businesses are behind in their adoption of social media, finds Hiscox in survey results released in December 2012. Just 35% of the respondents said they are actively using social media (a figure that appears rather low), although 16% are interested in learning how to use social, and 7% would like to but don’t have the time. But, while small businesses might not yet be fully cottoning on to social media, Facebook claims to have seen a rapid rise in the number of local business pages. As reported by TechCrunch, Facebook’s head of small business, Dan Levy, says that there are now 13 million local business pages, and that represents a jump of more than 40% from January. What’s more, the number of local business pages buying ads on Facebook has close to doubled in that period.
While social media should not be the most important marketing tool a local retailer uses it certainly should be in the mix.
The problems we hear from dealers match this report in that many dealers don’t understand the value of social media and even if they’re tempted to use it don’t know how.
Because social media pages are free of publication costs and it’s been proven that consumers use social media and can be influenced by a local retailers content, it’s worth the effort for a brand to help their best retailers go social.
Unfortunately, most brands when it comes to local marketing are still exclusively encouraging retailers to use traditional media, based on the marketing tools they provide to dealers and the way the co-op rules are written.
Providing customization for newspaper ads and radio spots in a marketing portal for dealers just isn’t enough anymore. You need a local digital strategy and the tools to let retailers build landing pages, Facebook pages, banner ads, e-promo pages and more to reach today’s consumer.
The good news is that the technology is here now that can address this issue. The real challenge is to admit that you have to change and then spend the time to think through the process.