Small Businesses Getting More "Social" to Stay Afloat

2010 is becoming the year of the Social Shoppers for larger retailers. Smaller Retailers are becoming more receptive to the idea of Social Media being a major tool in their marketing strategy to boost sales.

In the current state of the economy, retailers are finding that social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter are helping them to keep track of current customers by generating buzz to boost sales. Customers are relying on social media to find the best gifts and to find the best deals, thus social shopping is the future of word of mouth for many smaller retailers.

From Facebook fan pages, Twitter updates to promotional coupons on top deal websites such as Groupon and LivingSocial; independent retailers are seeing that the conventional media forms that they have come to know and trust are becoming less and less effective over time. Some of the largest retailers such as JCPenny, BestBuy and Dell with millions of followers, small retailers are easing their way from traditional advertising campaigns to their own social platform.

According to a survey conducted by the business school at the University of Maryland, small retailers that have a presence in social media have noticed a significant jump in sales. 2010 looks to be the tipping point for small retailers who once thought of using social media to market themselves as an “ok” idea to using it as a major tool for staying afloat.

According to CEO of AIS Media, an interactive marketing agency located in Atlanta, Thomas Harpointer:

“We’re going to look back a couple of years from now and cite 2010 as being ground zero for social media usage,”

Some however are worried that businesses will completely abandon traditional marketing methods. Americas Research Group, Britt Beemer has stated that he has seen an increase in small businesses using social media but has stated:

“I’m not saying I wouldn’t do it, because it’s important, but you can’t use it as your only thing and win,”