Consumers Research Local Businesses On Social Media Before Shopping

These days, many Americans use social media for a wide variety of different things. As such, it might be wise for small business owners to realize that researching companies in their areas is one thing for which many consumers use these popular sites, and therefore they might need to revamp their approaches to such platforms.

Today, more than 3 in 5 consumers say that when they want to find out more about their local businesses, they will do so via Facebook, according to a new survey from G/O Digital. The next two social media sites fell far behind, with Pinterest coming in at 12 percent, and just 11 percent for Twitter.

Meanwhile, 80 percent of respondents also said that if they saw positive comments on a company’s Facebook page from other consumers, they’d be more likely to make a purchase, the report said. Another 41 percent said that the ability to read other reviews and ratings on these sites remains an important aspect of the decision-making process.

So what should companies do?
As a consequence of these consumer preferences, it might be smart for small businesses to focus more on customer service and regular updates through their Facebook pages in particular, the report said. It seems that for the most part, restaurants are the best at this kind of thing, because they tended to attract the most attention via these sites. As such, other small businesses might want to look at what that kind of business in their area does to engage customers, and see how that can be applied to their own firms.

“If you’re looking at it as a small business, there’s a sense of fear and nervousness when it comes to a small business owner deciding to spend $500 or $1,000 on marketing,” said Jeff Fagel, G/O Digital’s CMO. “The fear isn’t about the marketing strategy, but about tossing money down the drain. Offers really provide a proof of success, that if you’re spending $500 or $1,000, then there’s actually a return on it. There’s less room for error with small business.”

Owners looking to free up a bit of money that they can then put toward such endeavors might want to start by finding more affordable small business insurance. Slashing costs for general liability insurance, for example, can save them thousands of dollars every year.