Your Customers are Listening, Just Not to You

socialSay goodbye to traditional advertising and hello to word-of-mouth marketing.

Today’s consumers no longer reach out to businesses for information. Instead, they consult their peers and networking circle when making a purchasing decision. In fact, 92 percent of all consumers report that a word-of-mouth recommendation is the “leading reason they buy a product or service,” according to Nielsen and Roper Reports.

So how can businesses join in on the chatter and engage consumers? Two words: social media.

At today’s Market New York Expo, during the breakout session “Build Your Marketing Toolkit: Grow Your Business with Email and Social” Wendi Caplan-Carroll, an area director at Constant Contact, discussed the power of word-of-mouth marketing and how social media plays an integral role in spreading the good word.

While there’s no doubt that social media has become a valuable tool for businesses—after all, 93 percent of marketers use social media—companies are experiencing “social media marketing anxiety,” Caplan-Carroll said. “Businesses do too much without thinking. Most organizations have zero success because they don’t have a plan, and some are doing nothing at all because they are afraid.”

So what suggestions did Caplan-Carroll give to small businesses owners who are looking to capitalize on the social media craze? First and foremost, be yourself.

“Small businesses have a unique advantage over bigger brands, because they can be authentic,” she said. “Be yourself and showcase your personality because you are the reason people will want to do business with your business.”

Second, be consistent on all networking sites and cut the used-car salesmen act. Your content should be 80 percent educational and 20 percent promotional.

Remember: Small business marketing is all about nurturing relationships, delivering on your promise and getting measurable results. So get out there and grow your business with social media.

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