Guest post from our friends at SCORE
W. Kenneth Yancey, Jr., CEO
Ken Yancey is responsible for developing SCORE’s business plan and vision as well as coordinating national program efforts and all the association’s management operations. He also directs the efforts of the headquarters staff to serve and support the 370 chapters across the country. Prior to joining SCORE in 1993, Ken was Executive Director at the National Business Association. A graduate of Texas A&M University (BBA/Finance), Ken is a recipient of the USA Freedom Corp Award of Excellence, the ASAE Summit Award, and the BSA Goose Creek District Award of Merit.
Could your sales use a boost during these summer months? Small businesses across the country often experience a slump in sales during this time. Here are 3 tips that you can put into effect to jumpstart your summertime sales right now.
Tip #1: Use the Power of Facebook
One way to use your business’ Facebook page is to run a contest that ties in directly to one of your products. The object of the Facebook contest should be twofold – first, engage your existing customers and make them feel more invested in your business, and second, showcase one of your products. But most importantly, you will have the chance to get to know your customers and respond to their posts and submissions. Once you set-up the contest, you can easily check your business’ Facebook page in a few short minutes to track the progress.
Tip #2: Start an email marketing campaign
Email marketing is one of the most effective methods for reaching your customers; and, if done correctly, can increase the number of visitors to your website and help jumpstart your sales.
Your email should provide useful and relevant information. Make it easy for your recipients to take action. Each of your emails should include specific calls to action with hyperlinks to the appropriate page on your website. The frequency of your communication is important as well. You do not want to overwhelm your readers but you want to stay top-of-mind. Best practice for inviting them to take action is 2 weeks prior, 1 week prior and 1 day prior to the event. Using an email service helps to reduce the amount of time you invest on creating an effective email design, adding hyperlinks to your email and helping you comply with the FCC’s CAN-SPAM Act.
Tip # 3: Use Twitter
The broadcasting power of Twitter has dramatically increased over the past few years. Your business can “join the conversation” and reap the benefits. Use Twitter to send out messages about interesting, useful and relevant information to your followers, not to directly market a product. Tweets that are clear, interesting and clever and that link to a useful and relevant source tend to be re-tweeted. The importance of crafting your message and including a working link cannot be overstated.
Try using a descriptive hashtag for your tweets to gain maximum exposure. Any Twitter user searching for that particular hashtag will automatically see your tweets. Finally, remember to re-tweet your followers’ tweets and any tweets with your hashtag that seem relevant and interesting. This can serve a dual purpose of encouraging others to re-tweet your tweets and pushing out new tweets to your followers on a day when your business may not necessarily have anything new to say.
To find out more tips on how to jumpstart your summertime (or anytime) sales take a free online workshop www.ebusinessnow.org/workshops/use-technology-to-jumpstart-your-sales. You can also connect with a SCORE technology mentor who will gladly provide you with free advice on how to jumpstart your sales. Go to www.ebusinessnow.org/find-a-mentor to schedule an appointment now.