Small Business Fails To Score In The Big Game
It’s the day after the big game and I’m reviewing local social media participation in the Super Bowl festivities. Sad to say local small businesses missed an enormous opportunity to play in the social media game.
One would believe that in a town of nearly 50,000 (regional population nearly 100,000) and a major university in residence, businesses would be falling all over themselves to connect with town and gown on social media, especially during a big event like the Super Bowl. Not so. How did local businesses fail to score?
Let’s start with Twitter. Of the local businesses I monitor on Twitter, less than 1% tweeted any Super Bowl related content. Of the tweets with a Super Bowl mention, the most frequent were food service specials targeted at menu items and special incentives.
Facebook fared a little better with some businesses posting a mention of the Super Bowl on Friday but little or no follow-up posting the rest of the weekend. There was barely a mention on Sunday, a prime day to hit the social media channels with some type of game day content.
The winner of the Super Bowl local social game and scoring a touchdown was location-based app Foursquare. Customers participated and tweeted check-ins on average four times more than on business social channels. And, while check-ins were high, some businesses neglected to follow through in their Foursquare or Yelp profile description and include a website link.
Businesses who did provide a link to their website failed to include their social platforms on landing pages even though, for example, they had a Facebook business Page or Twitter presence. In one case, a business included a website link, but the link directed the customer to an invalid web page.
A search using search.twitter.com was much more revealing. Local tweeters (non-business) consistently tweeted Super Bowl comments and pics. Similarly, on Facebook, personal account users were posting status prior to and during the game and particularly during the power outage.
While it’s true that every social platform is not appropriate for every business, it’s clear that while the local population is engaging in social media conversations with friends and using local check-in features, businesses are not joining in the conversation.
Let’s look at the Facebook cumulative statistics of one local business through Sunday.
Notice the check-in number of 27,324, nearly 350% more than the “likes” and the PTAT (People Talking About This) is barely registering. Without having visibility to their analytics, what that says to me is that there is no conversion taking place. Customers visit, check-in, and the conversation ends. Imagine converting the “were here” to people “talking about this” or liking the page and increasing Page reach!
Compare this to Walmart’s Facebook Page cumulative statistics during the same time period.
Walmart began reaching out to their customers with Super Bowl targeted posts on Friday before the game and continued up through game time. Walmart’s PTAT of 2% is about the average for a Facebook page.
I’m flummoxed as to why local businesses are hesitant to participate in local social media conversations and seize their social media opportunities.
In an article published by marketingcharts.com, quoting a study by Balihoo.com,
1 in 2 National Brands Plan More Spending On Local Marketing Next Year.
47.3% of national brands are expected to increase the amount of digital advertising at the local level. Brands indicated they would be placing more emphasis on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn with focused marketing on mobile, local blogs, online customer reviews, and localized websites.
Social Media is big business. The opportunity exists for small local businesses to join in the social media “super bowl” and realize a return on investment just like the big name brands. Small business customers WANT to engage with their local brands on social media but have nowhere to go to join in the conversation.
Small business must start thinking big and include social media strategies in their overall marketing plan. Your business has 364 days until the next big game. Will you be there as a social media player?