While UK small businesses understand the value of engaging with their audience, new research demonstrates that they don’t necessarily recognise when they are doing it well. Enter Engagement Marketing: How Small Business Wins in a Socially Connected World, the latest book from the small business experts at Constant Contact®, Inc. (NASDAQ: CTCT).
The book explains the theory of Engagement Marketing and offers practical tips and real-life examples to help time-starved SMEs find easy, meaningful ways to put that theory to work for them and engage online with their customers to generate word-of-mouth referrals and repeat sales.
“The great news here is that British small businesses are using Engagement Marketing to their benefit without even realising it,” said Tamsin Fox-Davies, small business evangelist at Constant Contact. “Building a passionate online fan-base is neither costly nor complicated. What the book outlines is how SMEs can build on their initial success and make it work harder for their business – the best part being that doing these things takes just a few minutes a day.”
The new book, written by Constant Contact CEO Gail F. Goodman, centres around the Engagement Marketing Cycle, a three-step approach to driving word-of-mouth referrals and turning them into socially visible, public endorsements that bring new customers to a SME’s door:
1. Provide a WOW! experience
Before even thinking about ‘going social,’ SMEs should turn to what they’ve been experts in for a long time: providing a truly fantastic experience for customers. WOW! moments can be big or small, and they don’t have to cost a lot of money. It can be as simple as greeting customers as they come in the door or providing (free!) advice to help a customer best use a product or service. Done well, WOW! moments turn average customers into raving fans.
2. Entice people to keep in touch
Once a customer has been ‘WOWed,’ give him a reason to stay in touch through social media or an email newsletter. If the SME doesn’t ask, the customer won’t connect. And if the customer doesn’t connect, he’ll forget about the SME – and pretty fast, too. Keeping in touch keeps a SME top of mind. To entice people to connect, give them something of value in return – a report, discounts, or information all work well.
3. Engage people through content that inspires sharing
In the world of social media, ‘content’ doesn’t have to be ‘big.’ Post new products or tips, share links to articles, share photos or videos. The goal is to create content that engages people through Likes, comments and shares – all of the actions that make you socially visible to your fans’ friends or network.
Fox-Davies comments: “SMEs are customer-centric by their very nature and many see the majority of their revenue come from repeat sales. For them, Engagement Marketing is simply growing the 99 per cent of their business that comes from repeat sales and word-of-mouth referrals – and when done properly, this can be a huge source of new customers.”
The Engagement Marketing Cycle is just the beginning. Engagement Marketing also provides actionable tips and real-life examples to help SMEs get moving and get successful – quickly and easily. To learn more, go to www.engagementmarketing.com or visit the Facebook Page.
SMEs can also take advantage of the upcoming Social Media Week London, taking place from September 24-28. Constant Contact’s social media and small business experts will speak at two sessions during the week-long conference, and will also host surgeries where small businesses can get one-on-one feedback on their social media and email marketing efforts.