Savvy Solutions: Social Media Marketing 101

Doing more online and off to attract customers

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To promote my character entertainment business I use a Website and MySpace account, and I frequently hand out fliers. Unfortunately, I’m having difficulty attracting customers. What am I doing wrong, or not doing at all?

— T. Johnson
New Jersey

You’ve built a business catering to perhaps the most important decision-makers in the family: the kids. They are your clients and go-to persons for figuring out what attracts them and their parents to your services. Although it may sound daunting, utilizing market research tactics can help you peer into the minds (and wallets) of your targeted audience.

Internet marketing–when done correctly–can yield the return you seek. Re-evaluate current initiatives, and look to develop an updated online strategy that would appeal to clients young and old.

Much of your business should be garnered by word of mouth. What’s the consensus following one of your gigs? Survey your clients right after with a follow-up phone call. What did they like? What didn’t work? Don’t be afraid to ask if they’d hire you again, or recommend your services to a friend. Their answers can help you tailor your approach and bring together the relationships you need to generate new leads.

Also, look critically at your competition. What are they providing that you aren’t? Are the price points on par? Offer discounts to returning customers, or savings coupons to first-timers. Remember, your total package needs to be just as approachable as your characters.

This article was originally published in the January 2009 issue of Black Enterprise magazine.

  • Maiyeko

    A Few Suggestions:

    The web is a massive place, and using only two sites probably isn’t going to be enough. Why not include Twitter, a FaceBook fan page etc? Notice that Black Enterprise has a number of resource/links on this very page to Digg, StumbledUpon, YahooBuzz, Technorati and a few that even I haven’t heard of, why aren’t you utilizing more of those as well?

    One of the most important factors is frequent updates. I don’t know what your site is, but is there a reason for me to return (as a potential customer) after I’ve seen it once? Remember if you can keep people coming back, at some point they may actually make a purchase or at least tell their friends. You want to keep them talking and engaged in what you offer or are doing.

    Is the design of the site user friendly? Have you sat down with or asked potential customers if they like the layout and or content? If you can’t meet them face to face create an online questionnaire on and link to it to gain feedback.
    Google Analytics is also a wonderful tool for showing you how long people stay on your site, what pages they visit, where they are located and a plethora of other information. In other words, are they reading and investing time or just clicking through.

    And last but not least, passing out fliers may be great, but why not advertise online? ProjectWonderful is a great and often affordable way to increase web traffic.

    Hope this helps.

  • It is obvious what your doing wrong. It is nieve to think that people first of all can view everything on your website. For a long time I could not even access Black enterprise. And even now it is saying only one person has commented on this article with millions of viewers. So it is obvious someone else controls the content on business sites, whether black or white. So we need to travel around and use different locations to see what people are really accessing on your website.