NEWS FROM USA TODAY
Small businesses use social media to grow
by Laura Petrecca on Feb. 16, 2012, under USA Today News
Hamburger chain Smashburger has become a smash hit, growing from three Denver locations in 2007 to 150 outposts nationwide. And while its Angus-beef burgers and unique toppings have helped to boost its success, its secret sauce is social-media outreach.
Smashburger offers coupons and trivia contests for its 67,000 Facebook followers, replies to questions and complaints on its Twitter and Facebook profiles, and actively reaches out to bloggers who might write about the new Smashburger restaurants opening in their areas.
“The brand was really built on social media and Public Relation strategies,” says Jeremy Morgan, senior vice president of marketing and consumer insights. “Social media is an opportunity for us to engage with consumers and have a conversation, which is different than paid media”.
Manipulated wisely, social media can help a growing business boost brand awareness, improve customer relations, gather market research, even encourage sales. As the number of people using social media rises, marketing experts say
“It’s essential for even the smallest of companies to consider diving in””
“Everybody should take a look at it,” says Dan Galbraith, owner of marketing support company Solutionist and a National Small Business Association board member.
“Whether they chose to jump into social media or not is a question that only they can answer,” he says, but all firms should at least explore how social media could work for them.
It just takes a few clicks to potentiality connect with thousands of business contacts and customers, he says. In addition to networking, business owners can use social media to gather useful insights by reading comments made by customers, industry... [continues]
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