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How DSM Businesses Use Digital Platforms to Connect with Customers

Social Media Marketing

July 31, 2023

Whether you’re a small business owner or you run a major corporation, not having a digital presence could be damaging to your overall success in this tech-forward world.

Consumers are craving connections that can’t always be achieved through traditional advertising. Ironically enough, it seems the more tech-advanced we get, the more consumers want to develop human-like relationships with the brands they trust.

As a Greater Des Moines (DSM) business owner, you have a unique opportunity to use digital platforms to connect with customers locally and across the globe. Using online platforms to humanize your brand and form trusting relationships will attract new customers while boosting loyalty and retention.

The Power of Social Media

One of the easiest and most effective ways to connect with customers online is by utilizing social media. You might already have a Facebook, Instagram or Twitter account — but are you using them the way you should?

Social media is a fantastic way to build brand awareness. You’ll be able to humanize your company by engaging with your audience online. Ask questions, post video content, share behind-the-scenes photos and respond to what people are saying. You’ll gain a deeper understanding of who your customers are and what they want. When they see that you’re actively engaging online, they’ll feel more comfortable with your brand and are more likely to create user-generated content to support you.

Spend time getting to know your social media platforms to determine which ones are a good fit for your brand. Then, don’t be afraid to have fun with them, rather than posting flat content out of obligation.

Fostering Relationships

Having an active presence on social media is a great way to engage in conversations with your target audience, but it’s only one piece of the puzzle. Consider how you can tailor your brand communication efforts to get more personal. Content marketing is crucial for the success of any business, but you can go one step further with it by creating content that you can send directly to your audience via email.

No, that doesn’t mean spamming your subscriber list. Rather, by segmenting your audience, you’ll be able to send more personalized content that they’re actually interested in, including things like:

  • New products;
  • Special announcements;
  • Giveaway opportunities;
  • “Best of” lists;
  • Special sales;
  • Sneak previews.

Sometimes, simply sending a thank you to your most loyal customers can make a big difference in how they view your company. It lets them know you see and appreciate their business and you want to maintain a positive relationship with them. When you resonate with your customer base, they’re more likely to continue shopping with you, but they’re also more likely to tell friends and family to do the same. In the marketing world, that kind of word-of-mouth advertising is worth its weight in gold.

If you do decide to curate content directly to your audience, make sure your data collection practices are safe and secure. Implementing a strategy to fight back against cybercrime will help to ensure your customers that their information is safe, and it will keep your business protected, as well. Educate your employees on the importance of cybersecurity, keep your systems backed up and perform regular security checks.

Driving Sales and Growth

Even if you consider yourself to be a small local business, growth should be a goal. Technology makes that possible, especially if you can open and operate an online store. Platforms like Etsy make it very easy to expand your existing sales and services. You could be a Des Moines-based retail business with customers all over the world.

PRESERVATION is a great Des Moines success story and a fantastic example of how to utilize the online marketplace. It’s a lifestyle shop and photography studio that has grown from a small shop in the Historic East Village to a successful online store thanks to the owner’s use of content marketing and a strong social media presence.

You can integrate your online business directly into your website, creating a virtual storefront or an opportunity for people to reach out to you for specific services. But, if you decide to use a platform like Etsy for convenience, it’s as easy as creating an account, choosing settings and loading up your shop with products. You’ll also have to create shop policies so customers know what to expect when they place an order. Being as transparent as possible will make the experience more positive for everyone, and it will continue to foster a healthy relationship between you and your customers — locally and globally.

Even if you already have an online presence, consider revisiting it. How well are you connecting with your audience, and what are you doing to grow? By focusing on connection and relationships, you’ll build loyalty locally, and you’ll have the opportunity to expand your business and your success all over the world.

Looking for tools to help grow your startup or small business? Visit the Small Business Resources Hub to find the information you need.

Sam Bowman

Sam Bowman writes about people, tech, wellness and how they merge. He enjoys getting to utilize the internet for community without actually having to leave his house. In his spare time he likes running, reading and combining the two in a run to his local bookstore.