Almost half of small business owners say they’re being overrun by basic administrative tasks. When Roo’s World of Discovery owner Michelle Pollak Landwehr found herself in that same position, spending hours each week on basic administrative tasks like tracking member visits, scheduling classes, and managing recurring payments at her Washington-based children’s indoor play space, she began looking for digital solutions.
This month’s Brand Battle, in conjunction with Brandify, compares the local digital marketing footprint of two popular apparel chains: Forever 21 and H&M. The Swedish clothing giant was the runaway victor in this contest, besting its rival in five of the six categories evaluated and tying Forever 21 in the sixth category.
Small business owners have a reputation for being do-it-yourselfers, particularly when it comes to marketing and advertising. But with social spending on the rise, more of those business owners seem to be saying that if they want social media marketing done right, they need a professional to handle the job. Here are six full-service firms operating in the space right now.
Local merchants in every vertical are relying more on social media marketing for customer acquisition and retention, but restaurants in particular have become heavy users of social platforms. This year, 50 percent of casual dining and fine dining operators said they planned to devote even more resources to social media marketing. Hyperlocal vendors like Perch are providing business owners with a way to consolidate most social marketing tasks in one centralized app.
Facebook is known universally for its social networking features, but the company has quietly but consistently been rolling out a set of tools to make it the go-to platform for SMBs. From social buy buttons, call functionality, and Pages to messaging and free beacons, Facebook is staking its claim to online, offline, and online-to-offline marketing and commerce for SMBs.
A new report from Street Fight Insights found that many local businesses don’t feel they’re getting return on their social media efforts. That’s in spite of the fact that two-thirds of them are using social media for marketing, and many plan to increase their efforts. Companies in the connected local economy value chain looking to best serve merchants should supply them with tools and services to measure the impact and efficiency of their social media marketing programs.
Walk into any coffee shop in the late afternoon and you probably won’t have a problem finding an open table. That afternoon lull can be tough to overcome. At Sunshine Coffee Roasters in Northern California, owner Mike Doherty’s approach adds a shot of technology to established customer outreach tactics. He relies on his cloud-based POS system, ShopKeep, for the majority of his promotional work and business management.
Social media has become an essential part of the local marketer’s playbook. But with so many platforms and networks to choose from, and so many metrics to measure, it’s challenging for small business owners to know what they’re getting in return for their budgets. Here are six platforms with advanced tools for measuring results on social spending.
One of the coolest things to come out Apple’s September product event was 3D Touch, which lets users indicate levels of intent based on how hard they press apps and links. Beyond the gadgetry of 3D Touch, one thing hasn’t been said: This is essentially deep linking, an area that will be a key battleground in local. 3D Touch could preempt the deep linking dilemma by peeking deep within other apps — a lighter and more elegant solution I’m calling “deep previewing.”
Small business owners don’t sign up with digital agencies for mediocre results. When SMBs pay for hyperlocal services like social media management, they expect to be wowed. For hyperlocal vendors working with SMB clients, failing to set clear expectations is a recipe for disaster.