As a small business owner, you might think you don’t have a lot in common with major corporations. But when you get right down to it, you are both trying to offer the best possible products at affordable prices to your clients, and you are both devoted to doing everything you can to make your company succeed. With this in mind, you can take some of the marketing approaches that larger companies use and apply them to your own small business. The following major companies are doing some things that are worth noticing and emulating:
Taco Bell and DriveTime: doing social media right
When it comes to reaching new and potential clients, social media is downright amazing. You can create business pages on popular websites like Facebook and Twitter and use them as part of your marketing plan. As Fool notes, the restaurant chain Taco Bell does an outstanding job with social media. In addition to posting funny comments and replies on Twitter to both fans and frenemies of the fast food restaurant, Taco Bell has also done some pretty notable things, like unexpectedly give away gifts to some of its customers on Valentine’s Day. DriveTime’s Facebook page is also a great example of how a company uses social media effectively; the company routinely engages its customers and other visitors to its page by asking questions, thanking clients for their positive reviews, and answering questions that are posted on the page. Business owners can follow these two companies’ social media leads by responding to as many customer comments as possible—both good and bad—giving away goodies to people who “like” your pages, and using sites like Facebook and Twitter for fun as well as business.
Zappos: a role model for SEO
You’ve probably put quite a bit of time and money into making your small business website look really good. Now it’s time to make sure customers will actually find it when they are searching for your products and services. Thanks to search engine optimization, you can incorporate certain keywords and backlinks that will optimize your site for search engines like Google. For example, Zappos’s website not only features a huge selection of shoes and other products, it also contains an amazing number of backlinks, Promodo notes. These backlinks and keywords work so well the website is now highly ranked for not only general clothing terms like “shoes,” but also for specific brands of shoes like “Nike” or “Asics.” Spending some time on the Zappos website and see where and how the company uses SEO strategy and adds keywords on certain pages to learn how to use them on your own business website.
Amazon: know and love your customers
Nothing will make or break a company as much as customer service, Fast Company notes. Treat each and every client like your most important customer, and he or she will be sure to return again and again. On the other hand, if customers are not treated with kindness and respect, chances are good they will shop elsewhere. One company that really hits the customer service ball out of the proverbial park is Amazon.com; the company strives to do everything it can to take excellent care of its customers. From its popular Amazon Prime program that offers free two-day shipping on products, to its team of friendly and knowledgeable call takers who answer questions and concerns, Amazon is a great example of a major company that knows that it would not be where it is today were it not for each and every customer.
Use these small business marketing tips to help boost your visibility in both search engine optimization and social media efforts. One area small business should always win out is the very personalized, and sometimes overlooked area of customer service - it can truly be your competitive advantage!
If you enjoy this article, I hope you'll check out our other marketing and branding tips on the Verge Pipe Media blog, especially when you ask the question, "How do I market my small business?"