But what about local business? How does (can) social media best help local businesses prosper?
Location-based applications may be the best idea. In fact, many small businesses (and large ones) have already begun to capitalize on this by integrating sites like FourSquare into their marketing campaigns.
Not only is this a good idea for large businesses, it’s a great idea for ALL businesses.
In this article, Mashable.com breaks it down for us, with a few specific examples:
One of the ironies of the Internet is that, although it has the power to connect consumers across the world, it also has the potential to make local connections more intense. This is particularly true thanks to the advent of location-based services, which can make users passively aware of each other’s nearby presence (i.e., you can know what a friend is doing without making him aware that you know).
For small businesses, the appeal of such a service is obvious: There’s an opportunity both to draw in new customers and forge deeper connections with existing ones. But, despite the fact that using such services is free, the vast majority of small businesses haven’t taken advantage of location-based services. Here are five that have.
1. DBA Barbecue — Atlanta, Georgia
DBA Barbecue offers customers an extra reason to use their Foursquare checkin: free food or at least discounts on food. Sometimes that means boiled peanuts, other times it’s a discount on a beer or cocktail. Either way, it’s a powerful incentive. Owner Matt Coggin says that he often gets the highlighted item for free from suppliers who want the exposure, so he’s not losing any margins. Another selling point of using Foursquare, Coggin says, is visibility: Since no one likes to eat in an empty restaurant, users can see how many people are currently checked in and then decide whether to swing by.
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