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9 MINI Cooper’s Ambient and Guerilla Marketing Ads

BMW MINI Cooper advertisements always hit a chord. Enjoy these 9 most memorable ambient and guerilla marketing ads and campaigns!

We are constantly amazed by the creativity of BMW MINI Cooper’s ambient and guerilla marketing ads campaigns and how they constantly improve the brand’s positioning and manage to capture our attention. These campaigns display an outstanding level of originality, vision and overall memorability. So, we decided to select a few of our favorite campaigns and share them with you.

TBWA, ‘It’s more fun in a Mini , BMW / Ambient’, 2003

TBWA, ‘It’s more fun in a Mini , BMW / Ambient’, 2003

MINI Cooper fun ambient ad ‘It’s more fun in a MINI’

Do you remember the fun times playing with those matchbox cars? In 2003 TBWA reminded us we can always desire a big boy toy. The ambient campaign featuring a real MINI Cooper in a box was able to send the message to the public of all ages: “It’s always more fun in a MINI.”

As part of the guerilla marketing ads campaign, MINI will be traveling from city to city offering test drives of the Countryman and 3 of its closest competitors.

As part of the guerilla marketing ads campaign, MINI will be traveling from city to city offering test drives of the Countryman and 3 of its closest competitors.

KISS helps MINI Rock the Rivals for a great cause

What happens when you combine trendy cars and rock and roll? You will get every grown man’s attention for a great cause. A great example is the campaign MINI USA had on 2011 in collaboration with the rock band KISS. Custom-painted and designed cars that resemble the famous painted faces of each KISS member were autographed by the band and prepared for their auction on Father’s Day.

Named “The MINI Rocks and Rivals” the movement aimed to promote vehicle wraps with the special KISS design, giving their customers another way to add a personal touch to their vehicles. Even more important for this campaign was to raise funds for UNICEF to support children in Japan.

Clever guerilla marketing ads Campaign | Empty packaging was left on the street in Amsterdam after Christmas to make it look like someone had received boxed and wrapped MINI.

Clever guerilla marketing ads Campaign | Empty packaging was left on the street in Amsterdam after Christmas to make it look like someone had received boxed and wrapped MINI.

Clever guerilla marketing ads MINI Cooper Box Packaging

This guerilla marketing ad for MINI Cooper is outstanding. Imagine finding someone in your city got a boxed and wrapped MINI for Christmas. The ambient ad held on the streets of Amsterdam related with the tradition of Christmas gift giving is extremely clever!

Best Latino Advertising Campaigns
Mini cooper ad "Let's Motor"

Mini cooper ad “Let’s Motor”

Ambient ads that go full speed ahead

A MINI billboard strategically placed beside two curved palm trees create an illusion of speed and power. It is a prove of ingenuity and vision. True, it can only be used where palms like these have grown by a billboard, but it works!

Real building turned into a giant MINI Cooper vending machine | Guerilla marketing ads

Mini Cooper Vending Machine Building Advertisement

Incredible ambient ads for the MINI Cooper

What better way to catch the eye of all passers and pedestrians in a busy city than turned a building into a giant MINI Cooper vending machine? This brilliant idea of Crispin Porter + Bogusky makes us wonder, could you really not notice it? And, which color to choose today?

 

MINI Cooper Tongue Advertisement | MINI Countryman Expect Big Things

MINI Cooper Tongue Advertisement

MINI Countryman Expect Big Things

A large lizard trapping a birth with his tongue might have persuaded you to search for ‘MINI big things.” If you lived in London, Birmingham during the Tongue Campaign of MINI Countryman, then you are one of the lucky ones. Only four customized billboards that incorporated half life-size fiberglass models of the MINI Countryman were placed along the city. This advertisement was able to make people notice the considerably larger size of the MINI Countryman when comparing with the standard MINI Cooper.

Best Halloween Ads: Trick or Treat?
Roundhouse Mini Cooper London guerilla marketing ads

Roundhouse Mini Cooper London guerilla marketing ads

Roundhouse Mini Cooper London ban boredom

This is another example of how to use an amazing ambient ad and get a great response from the public. It comes from MINI UK. During the 2008 campaign “Ban boredom”, a MINI cooper was uploaded to the billboard at the Roundhouse in London. It uses the simple idea of targeting boredom with the entire arsenal.

Halloween Mini Cooper advert “We only come out at night.”

Halloween Mini Cooper advert “We only come out at night.”

Halloween Mini Cooper advert

And we continue with fresh and fun ideas. This particular one exemplifies how creativity combined with knowledge of your target costumer and their culture work perfectly when advertising a popular product.  Halloween Mini Cooper advert states “We only come out at night.”

This is not a Mini it's a Subway entrance! Add people climbing in and out suggests the space in a Mini! | 9 MINI Cooper ambient and guerilla marketing ads

This is not a Mini it’s a Subway entrance! Add people climbing in and out suggests the space in a Mini!

MINI Cooper Train Station Ad

Another advertisement that clearly out stands was placed at the train station in Zurich. Creating the impression of people going in and out of the MINI Cooper clearly helps us find the MINI Cooper surprisingly roomy. This one is definitely one of my favorite advertisements by MINI Cooper.

Bus advertising examples that go the distance!

MINI Cooper sells fun to this loyal and bonded group of customers. They identify themselves with the quirky, trendy, retro and one-of-a-kind vehicle line. This message must continue to resonate through its overall marketing theme of the company’s successful word-of-mouth campaign.

Let’s MINI!

 

Quote of the Day: Everybody loves you until you become competition

Quote of the Day

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Image credits: inventorspot dot com, adsoftheworld.com

The 36 Rules of Social Media

#33. Your Fans OWN your brand

#33. Your Fans OWN your brand

Here is a compilation of the 36 Rules of Social Media from key social media gurus and marketers from all industries. It was put together by Fast Company and it illustrates some of the best practices to going about your social media strategy and execution. Even though some of these are not meant to be written in stone and you can break a few, we hope you find them as interesting as we did.

The 36 Rules of Social Media

    1. If all you do is respond to complaints, that’s all people will send you.
    2. Stop and Ask: Would and actual person talk that way?
    3. Everyone says they don’t want to be marketed to. Really, they just don’t want to be talked down to.
    4. The consumer is out for himself. Not for you.
Have a Social Media Crisis Plan

Have a Social Media Crisis Plan

    1. As monetization attempts to go up, consumer experience goes down.
    2. Don’t try to be clever. BE clever.
    3. Social is 24/7, not a one time stunt. (And it really IS 24/7)
    4. Always WRITE BACK. (This one is a must – but there are exceptions: See Applebee’s social media blunder)
    5. Have an ROI. Have an ROI. Have an ROI.
    6. People would rather talk to “Comcast Melissa” than “Comcast.” (So true!!! Had the pleasure of dealing with Comcast Melissa myself!! and she’s fantastic!))
    7. Solve problems for people who talk about you, even if they don’t address you. (Listen to the conversation and engage)
    8. Not everything will work and that’s fine.
    9. Embrace negative content about your brand.
    10. EVERYONE’S an influencer.
    11. If fans distribute your content without your permission, OFFER TO HELP. (Love this one!)
    12. It’s okay to drive people to your site instead of FACEBOOK’s.
    13. Update your page, or delete it.
    14. Don’t make people do x, y and z. Stick with X.
    15. Last year: Pump out content. This year: Optimize content. (May I add, or die.)
Everyone says they don’t want to be marketed to. Really, they just don’t want to be talked down to.

Everyone says they don’t want to be marketed to. Really, they just don’t want to be talked down to.

  1. Become BFFs with your Facebook Reps.
  2. Social Media doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Make traditional media and social media work together. (Please, integrate strategies!)
  3. Desktop is conquered territory. Mobile is the battlefield. (Don’t forget tablets!)
  4. If you don’t see financial results. You wasted your money. (Unless you want results overnight, then you need to check with a shrink as you may be delusional. I have never seen financial results of a marketing strategy happen overnight, unless it’s some kind of scheme.)
  5. People fight for their privacy.
  6. The only way to scale word of mouth: Paid Advertising.
  7. Have a crisis plan. (Please, do!!!)
  8. Don’t use ads to prop up boring content. Use ads to accelerate successful content.
  9. Forget individuals. You’re creating content that encourages groups to form.
  10. People don’t want to shop where they socialize.
  11. Contests and sweepstakes are fine, if you want to encourage short relationships.
  12. People care what you had for breakfast- if you are a food brand.
  13. Pinterest WORKS.
  14. Your fans OWN your brand.
  15. If you’re bored by social media, it’s because you’re trying to get more value than you create.
  16. Think past vanity metrics like followers.
  17. It’s an organism not a process.

Maybe it bears repeating: Pinterest WORKS 😉

as i always say in 3 months this will be peanuts

as i always say in 3 months this will be peanuts

Next Quote? funny inspirational quotes on every post! | Andy Warhol Famous Campbell’s Soup Cans

Sears Goes Social with Hispanics

Sears recently announced several social media efforts aimed at the Hispanic market, including new Facebook and Twitter programs. (It already has three separate Hispanic Web sites, including SearsPR, launched last year, which ships merchandise only to the island of Puerto Rico.)

Sears Goes Social with Hispanics

Sears Goes Social with Hispanics

Marketing Daily caught up with Oscar H. Castro, director/general manager of international e-commerce, for more details on how the Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based retailer hopes to woo the rapidly growing, social-media loving Hispanic market:

Sears Goes Social with Hispanics

Q: How do Hispanic shoppers differ in terms of social media use?

A: Social media is such an important channel for us right now; Hispanic growth on Facebook is eight times larger than the general population, and we know that Hispanic consumers spend more time on it each week as well. So for us, it seems the best thing to do is work with that higher level of engagement. We’re not creating these forums to push products so much as to build stronger relationships. And it’s pretty exciting. In two weeks we’ve gotten 16,000 fans, and a great level of engagement.

Q: But does that mean there is also an increased appetite for retail in social media?

A: Yes, I think Hispanic culture really is different about shopping. It’s much more of a family activity; the whole family goes out to the mall. They are more social about shopping, in general. They want to have more conversations. We want to join the conversation.

Q: Are there gender differences?

A: Well, younger Latinas are more likely to shop online than older women, or men. But other than that, there are not a lot of major differences.

Q: Is it effective for a marketer as large as Sears to focus on a single Hispanic market, when there are so many submarkets?

A: There are so many differences, and that’s what makes Hispanic marketing so difficult. Facebook is a great equalizer, and you can have general conversations with broader appeal. But there are many cultural nuances. What works for a Dominican audience may not for a Mexican one. So some of our efforts are extremely local.

We launched SearsPR.com last year to serve only the Puerto Rican market. We use local terminology, and a completely separate marketing program. Sears offers 290 million products online, and of course, our mission is to help our customer find things anytime, anywhere. But there are items on this site you can’t find in the continental U.S.

Q: Why so many different initiatives?

A: This market is large and projected to grow even further, and we are leaders in it. It’s not going to be a niche market, it’s going to be the U.S. market. And I can’t think of too many brands that have been very effective. McDonald’s now leads with its diversity insights, and Coca-Cola has done a great job in the Latino market. And I think we’ll see more Latin brands crossing over into the mainstream — like Corona beer.

A reminder

A reminder

Why Marketers Should Care About Reaching Latina Bloggers

Speaking about Latina Bloggers is Elianne Ramos is the principal and CEO of Speak Hispanic Communications and vice-chair of Communications and PR for LATISM.

Elianne Ramos is the principal and CEO of Speak Hispanic Communications and vice-chair of Communications and PR for LATISM.

The first gift of the season goes to my dear friend, Elianne Ramos.:)  Elianne is an incredibly talented, knowledgeable, and hard working human being, she is the Principal & CEO of Speak Hispanic communications and vice-chair of Communications and PR for Latinos in Social Media (LATISM.) She is constantly on the go, generating great ideas and positively impacting the U.S. community. As if this wasn’t enough, she was the vice president, creative director and founder of i3 Creative Group, managing production teams working concurrently in the United States, Mexico, Uruguay and Argentina. In over 15 years of  creative direction, copy writing, public speaking, public relations and TV commercial production experience, Elianne has developed broadcast, multimedia and social media campaigns for high-profile clients. Her writing has appeared in numerous books and publications including the Chicken Soup for the Soul series and now, for the first time-ever, on the Hispanic Marketing blog.

Please, enjoy Elianne’s article. Elianne, this one is with all of the Target Latino love.

Why Marketers Should Care About Reaching Latina Bloggers

Even with the well-documented explosion of the Hispanic market, Internet sources like Technorati, which by 2008 was indexing 112.8 million blogs, have never touched upon the topic of Latinas and blogging. With the release of the Latinos in Social Media’s Latina Blogger Survey, though, it is now official: Latina bloggers are increasing their numbers and spreading throughout the blogosphere.

The intrinsic characteristics of blogging, where the private becomes public and communities rally together around common interests, make it the perfect platform for Latinas to voice life from their viewpoint … in in two languages, no less!

Beyond the obviously good news that these bloggers now provide us with a new outlet for furthering our brands’ messages—what with ever-shrinking minority-outreach budgets—the implications of this Latina blogger explosion for PR and marketing professionals are many:

The Good

• In Latino culture, where word-of-mouth and group interaction are second-nature, the trustworthiness of a blog post wrapped in a culturally relevant package can certainly influence the value of a brand in the eyes of their thousands of followers.

• These bloggers provide us with micro-niche audiences and more targeted outlets for furthering our brands’ messages. Stories published and promoted online have the potential to reach a greater number of people in very little time. In this context, a Latina blogger outreach program puts us in an ideal position to secure widespread coverage for our clients.

• Most Latinas blog in English, followed closely by Spanish and peppered with Spanglish, which means that their potential reach is amplified. Their choice of language in this case may be more about connecting with their readership, not necessarily a reflection of the language they speak more fluently. The key is listening and doing your homework in order to find the perfect fit.

• Latina bloggers are actively engaged in social media, and they tend to belong to tight, supportive communities online. Besides the fact that your message will reach well beyond the scope of the blog, this also means that other influencers in their communities will help disseminate it.

• Their culture infuses their writing but does not rule it.  Contrary to expectations, Latinas blog about numerous subjects, which opens up possibilities for different types of brand engagement.

• These Latinas are at the epicenter of merging worlds: between traditional and modern roles, between English and Spanish, between American and Latino cultures. They will bring a fresh perspective to your message, one that most closely reflects the Latina experience in the US.

The Bad

• Brand credibility: With consumers now doing research online and even generating their own content, consumers are less likely to believe a product review that blatantly comes from a sponsorship.

• Relative lack of control over the message: Know that consumers will be getting and act on impressions about your brand from less than perfect sources. Bloggers are not necessarily a self-regulating bunch, at least not yet. The fact that they can and will write whatever they want in their blog might create public relations issues. Just be sure to monitor their blogs, so you can address any issues or comments and give your official brand perspective, if need be.

• Saturation: With the fast growth rate of this segment, the Latina blogger market is likely to become saturated fast, which means their individual reach will, at some point and with few exceptions, start to diminish. This being a relatively young blogging community also means that the time to reach out to them is now.

The Ugly

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is cracking down on so-called “Blogola” by regulating blogger/advertiser relationships. The rules were updated December 2009.

The new rules include the fact that now bloggers must disclose material connections with a brand: whether they are receiving payment or free products and the kind of relationship they have with the company. What’s more, now both the brand and the blogger are subject to liability for misleading or unsubstantiated representations made. This means that the potential of a company being held responsible for approving unfounded claims—not rare in this realm—is a very real one. While the FTC regulations are beginning to be applied, the blogger outreach game is still an evolving one. The main things to keep in mind seem to be transparency, clear objectives and open ears: a willingness to listen and adjust, if need be.

Though a blogging campaign may be a godsend of great, relatively inexpensive publicity, remember that it is also —or should be—part of a larger communications/PR plan. Make sure all other elements of the campaign support your Latina blogging outreach and vice versa. If you do it right, Latina blogueras will rally behind your efforts with the same pasión they pour into their Web writing every day.

What has been your experience in reaching out to Latina bloggers? Please share in the comments below.

inspirational quote

inspirational quote

Target Latino gives the gift of WOM this holiday season

We, at Target Latino, have decided to spread a little cheer this Holiday Season. And we want to give the gift of recognition and help promote our colleagues that have worked so brilliantly and hard this year to write their great articles on Hispanics / Latinos and, even better, Hispanic marketing.

So, if you would like us to give you this gift, send us your favorite article on Hispanic Marketing, Social Media, Latino life, demographics, anything related to the Latino community along with a short bio (photo, if you want) and we will do the rest!!! We’ll post it, promote it and credit you for being WHO YOU ARE!!!

Thank you for participating and allowing us to give, at least a little, on this Holiday Season!!

May the year that comes be even better than the one we are now!!!

With all the Target Latino love,

Claudia “Havi” Goffan

PS: Please, send us an email via the Target Latino page or via the contact form on the blog and we will reply so you can send us the rest of the materials!!!

never lose your sense of wonder

never lose your sense of wonder

Job Applicant, Beware: You’re Being Googled

In a posting at the Brazen Careerist Web site, Jason Warner, Google’s head of staffing for online sales and operations, contends that this trend “will become a non-issue as this phase of the Internet Age plays itself out.”

In a posting at the Brazen Careerist Web site, Jason Warner, Google’s head of staffing for online sales and operations, contends that this trend “will become a non-issue as this phase of the Internet Age plays itself out.”

It’s not just what you say that can be held against you when you’re looking for a job. It’s also what you post on MySpace, write in your blog and broadcast on YouTube.

That’s because if a potential employer uncovers salacious or otherwise unflattering material about you online, that job offer you were expecting could vaporize. With 77 percent of employers Googling and otherwise researching applicants, you never know what your future bosses may think about those times you ranted about your coworkers or got sloshed at a party. They may simply decide to avoid your questionable past and move on to the next candidate.

“Who wants to be the person in HR who brings in the kid who has bong hits all over his page?” says Michael Fertik, the CEO of ReputationDefender, a services company that helps job seekers clean up their online reputations.

A 2006 survey of 100 executive recruiters by job search and recruiting network ExecuNet found that 77 percent use search engines to learn about candidates. Of those researching candidates online, 35 percent eliminated a candidate from consideration based on information they uncovered online — up from 26 percent in 2005. ExecuNet predicts that the number of job seekers prejudged or eliminated due to this “digital dirt” will climb.

Is Ignorance Bliss?

Others say the trend may not be as widespread or as likely to accelerate. “I never run them through Google,” says recruiter Michael Kelemen of his candidates. “I call their references for background.”

“I think a lot of the stuff we read about recruiters doing background checks on their candidates online is more rumor than anything else,” adds Kelemen, who runs the Recruiting Animal blog.

Recruiters use Internet searches “to avoid major red flags, but it is just another assessment of a person,” says the anonymous blogger known as Your HR Guy. He adds, “My general view on Internet searches is that, for most positions, ignorance is bliss. Most of what is online for a majority of workers is personal, and most workers’ personal stuff [doesn’t play a role at work].”

But If Everyone Has an Online Past…

Others say the pervasiveness of social networking sites, such as Facebook and MySpace, and the way young people virtually live online mean employers won’t be able to judge candidates based on their digital dirt. If they do, the thinking goes, they will miss out on top-notch employees, given that just about everyone will have some incriminating information online.

In a posting at the Brazen Careerist Web site, Jason Warner, Google’s head of staffing for online sales and operations, contends that this trend “will become a non-issue as this phase of the Internet Age plays itself out.” He suggests five reasons employers won’t spend time worrying about “unfortunate online photos” and “other embarrassing antics”:

  • College students have always behaved in this manner.
  • More details about everyone will be online.
  • Searching for photos won’t be worth recruiters’ time.
  • The information is irrelevant.
  • It’s a slippery slope, especially if employers start to research existing employees’ outside behaviors.

Warner acknowledged the risks of having “those photos” online, and in a subsequent online discussion about his views at Brazen Careerist, others noted how interviewers and hiring managers may find it impossible to disregard what they learn online about candidates, even if the material falls into the category of forgivable indiscretions.

Clean Up Your Act or Stay True?

Certainly the possibility that a prospective employer can uncover things about your past can create anxiety about whether you should clean up your online image by revising Facebook pages, requesting that videos and blog posts about you be removed, or by hiring ReputationDefender or a similar service.

In a Brazen Careerist article titled “Twentysomething: Raunchy Old Photos Will Be Part of the Revolution,” Ryan Healy, cofounder of Employee Evolution, a Web site for Millennials entering the workforce, said he knows people who have removed materials “to save some face in the real world,” but has never considered doing so himself. “Why should I pretend to be one person for eight hours a day and someone else entirely the rest?” he writes.

And consider this: The generation moving into the workforce may not want to work for an employer that wouldn’t hire a talented 20-something for having a drunken photo on Facebook, suggests Scott Allen, coauthor of The Virtual Handshake: Opening Doors and Closing Deals Online. “The standards are going to radically change,” he says.

Source: Allan Hoffman, Monster Tech Jobs Expert

What are you made of?

What are you made of?

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Stella Artois Facebook campaign for Cannes

Stella Artois has launched a Facebook centered campaign to promote its 4% brand in the build up to the Cannes Film Festival in May.

Stella Artois launches Facebook campaign for Cannes

Stella Artois launches Facebook campaign for Cannes

The idea, developed by advertising agency Mother, is based on the premise that a famous french film director, Jacques d’Azur has gone missing, presumed dead and his estate has made an appeal to the public to find his heir.

The really clever social media bit is when you sign up to the competition through Facebook, your profile picture becomes integrated in a film taking place in his solicitor’s office about the possible beneficiary of the estate – very cool.

The winner of the competition takes Jacques’s place as a VIP at the Cannes Film Festival.

The campaign is supported with a Twitter page and a FlickR photostream of Jacques’s life.

The preposterously glamorous life of Jacques is detailed on his Facebook page, introducing him as a “French film producer/director/actor/tennis player/chess master/ backgammon champion/waterskiing pioneer and full time bon-vivant known for his work on the red carpets and swimming pools of the French Riviera.”

Stella Artois debuted their faux ’60s themed campaign in November, with the gameshow Le Recyclage de Luxe.

Source: Furlong PR

Stella Artois Cannes Facebook campaign

Stella Artois Cannes Facebook campaign

What is Social Media?

One of the key factors in Social Media Marketing is the measurement of its success or impact. In order to measure, you have to monitor engagement and sentiment.

Make sure your online media monitoring solutions are able to bring relevant results and analyze sentiment with a machine learning algorithm platform or you will find yourself immersed in a sea of non-relevant results.

Remember that in Social Media, people comment on your brand in the language of their choice and that over 53% of the U.S. population growth between January 2010 and December 2015 will be driven by Hispanics.

Therefore, try to include these comments not with a mere translating tool but a platform that comprehends idioms and cultural expression of the countries of origin and even Spanglish!

Video Source: Marta Kagan.

Why SMX Echo is the Leading Multicultural Social Media Monitoring Tool

I had the great pleasure of meeting Claudia Havi Goffan about a year ago. I quickly realized that Havi was an incredibly talented and driven person. She has been in the marketing space for more than 25 years — specializing in strategic planning. Havi has been recognized as an expert in Latino Marketing by CNN and more importantly she has been named one of the top 48 Public Relations Professionals by American Express.

Form relationships with other local businesses that cater to your customers. Ask them to offer a discount to their customers if they mention coming from their store when they purchase from you. Feel free to reciprocate. — Havi Goffan

When Havi is not busy with the Board for Latin Success or with the Argentine American Chamber of Commerce — she is busy running her company — Target Latino. As CEO, Havi has feverishly promoted the importance of the U.S. Hispanic market to American companies. She has worked with many top brands ranging from AT&T to XEROX. One of the most exciting partnerships that Havi and her team are working on is with SocialMetrix — developers of SMX Echo.

Read more of Ramon Nuez‘s article at the Huffington Post

Claudia Havi Goffan is the CEO of Target Latino and she specializes in generating Word-of-Mouth via Grassroots strategies online and off-line always with outstanding results.

Social Media Adoption Brings New Customers To Small Businesses

The third wave of the Small Business Success Index, by Network Solutions and the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business, reports social media adoption by small businesses has doubled from 12% to 24% in the last year. Small businesses are increasingly investing in applications including blogs, Facebook and LinkedIn profiles.

Small Business Social Media Sources and Usage

Social Media Exposure

% of Small Businesses Using
Company page on social networking site 75%
Post status updates and/or articles of interest on social networking sites 69
Build network through sites like LinkedIn 57
Monitor positive/negative feedback about own organization on social networks 54
Have blog on areas of expertise 39
Tweet about area of expertise 26
Use Twitter as customer service channel 16
Other 8
Source: SBSI/NetSolutions, February 2010

Key social media usage highlights (% of respondents)

  • 75% surveyed have a company page on a social networking site
  • 61% use social media for identifying and attracting new customers
  • 57% have built a network through a site like LinkedIn
  • 45% expect social media to be profitable in the next twelve months

Dr. Alan Glazier, CEO and Founder of an eye and vision care center, said “… I was forced to consider alternative options to keep my business visible… with a very small investment in social media marketing, I was able to generate new business opportunities… (and) most importantly, my marketing budget has been reduced by more than 80%… ”

61% of the respondents use social media to identify new customers. The biggest expectation small business owners have from social media is expanding external marketing and engagement including identifying and attracting new customers, building brand awareness and staying engaged with customers.

50% of small business social media users say it takes more time than expected. While social media adoption has doubled in the last year, there are still some roadblocks to small businesses fully exploiting its potential. Another 17% feel that social media gives people a chance to criticize their business on the Internet. Related to this, only 6% feel that social media use has hurt the image of the business more than helped it.

Janet Wagner, director of the Center for Excellence in Service at the University of Maryland, says that “Social media levels the playing field for small businesses… ”

Other key findings from the December 2009 Small Business Success Index:

Small businesses experience positive effects from the economic downturn:

  • 72% have found ways to operate more efficiently (up significantly from 66% in June)
  • 47%have been led to find new products and services that benefit customers
  • 43% have become better teams as hard times force people to work together

Building online presence continues to be key focus for small businesses:

  • Company Web sites seem to be the top technology investment in the next two years, with small businesses either adding new features/functionality to their existing Web sites or building one from scratch
  • The ability to showcase their products and services online to attract new customers is second in the hierarchy of technology investments
  • Social media investments rank third in small business investments to be made in the next two years

Customer service the biggest strength of small business owners:

  • Small businesses are highly successful at answering customer questions, ensuring customer satisfaction, showing empathy, providing consistent service, resolving problems and winning repeat business
  • Four of the six customer service dimensions have gotten stronger compared to a year ago, and one of these, ensuring customer satisfaction, is significantly higher

Connie Steele, Director at Network Solutions, concludes that “… social media can be the best friend for small business owners who constantly seek new ways to maximize productivity while keeping costs low… ”

Source: Jack Loechner