The kids are back in school and Halloween and Christmas are just around the corner!
This is the time of year we start seeing holiday decorations and gift ideas all over the Internet. Our social media accounts will get bombarded with sponsored ads and posts.
This year we will be seeing less online coupons and more “suggestive” online marketing. Businesses know that online users have become much savvier with managing their ad preferences on their social media.
These days, smart shoppers are not so quick to click on an ad or “call now”. They are researching the ad information before they call the business or open a link that could possibly take them to an unsecured website. Chances are they’ll look for the business on Facebook or Google where they can read legitimate reviews left by others and of course they will check the website to see if the offer is valid and if the inventory exists before they walk in the door.
Reviews and customer experiences, good or bad, can be a good thing when posted online. It’s important that all reviews are acknowledged by someone in the company, and fast. Whether it is a simple thank you or a detailed resolve, people read everything! Even a bad business review can attract new customers if it is addressed promptly and handled well. Don’t think that prospective customers overlook these things. If a business has twenty reviews and zero are acknowledged what does that say about the company? They don’t care? They are too busy? Maybe the business doesn’t even know about it. A poorly managed online presence could mean a poorly managed business in general. Consumers usually have options (unless they’re shopping a niche market) and they will go elsewhere if businesses online presence makes them uncomfortable in any way at all.
Well-managed businesses are waking up and really taking advantage of social media platforms, not only for advertising and fishing for new customers but to maintain relationships with past and current customers. Conversations, questions, and opinions are happening everywhere online and business owners and employees are responding. Consumers are shopping on websites and many will click on the social media tabs to participate.
It is typical for many businesses to have a slowdown in sales after the holidays. Some shoppers are waiting for January promotions and year-end sales to shop for liquidated inventory. December is a month that a lot of businesses get more website traffic and social media inquiries than they do actual sales. This could be a win-win situation for both businesses and consumers if it is managed right. Businesses will be looking at their analytics and will be keeping an eye on the demographics of their online hits. They will then target their ads accordingly to that market in the weeks following the holidays which can mean huge savings for consumers and room for the next season’s inventory for the business.
Be sure to support your local businesses and #ShopLocal and also look for the #FamilyOwned hashtag online. When you’re shopping, tag local businesses in your posts on Facebook, Instagram, and Tweets. This supports the business’s online exposure and helps promote local shopping within your community.
Dock Line Magazine is a family-owned and operated business, with over 30 years of combined experience in advertising and customer service.
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