Businesses both big and small are flocking to social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. The fact is that a presence on these platforms not only allows companies to engage in conversations with consumers, but also serves as an outlet to drive sales through deals and coupons.
And while major brands like Starbucks, Virgin, and Levi’s have been participating in the social web for some time now, the rate of adoption among small businesses is increasing too. According to a recent University of Maryland study, social media adoption by small businesses has doubled from 12% to 24% in the last year. But as these businesses look to Facebook and Twitter to connect with customers, many are finding that some strategies work and some do not produce results. Some local and national businesses using social media effectively, whose case studies are below.
Joie De Vivre:
A company that operates 33 luxury hotels in California is using a variety of social media platforms to drive sales and marketing for its properties. Central to the hotel group’s strategy is disseminating deals and coupons to followers and fans on Facebook and Twitter. Every Tuesday, Joie De Vivre’s Twitter account will Tweet an exclusive deal to its nearly 10,000 followers. Followers have only hours to book the steeply discounted room rate. For example, this past Tuesday, it offered $79 rooms at the group’s Galleria Park Hotel in San Francisco in November and December. The company also operates similar deals for its 5,000-plus Facebook fans on Fridays.
In less than a year, Joie De Vivre has booked over 1,000 room nights through these types of deals—rooms that otherwise would have stayed empty. The company has also started a partnership with coupons site Mobile Spinach to offer coupons for the group’s restaurants. And the company has partnered with Foursquare to offer deals for check-ins at its various restaurants.
The company’s marketing VP Ann Nadeau tells that because of the economy the hotel industry’s marketing budgets have shrunk, and social media efforts have proved to be a great way to both drive sales and build loyalty. The company’s social media efforts are not solely deal based. In terms of using social media for customer service, Nadeau says that each property hotel manager is responsible for monitoring conversations and reviews on Twitter and Facebook.