Digital marketing provides a world of opportunities for small business owners. According to Social Media today, eight out of 10 small businesses currently use social networking sites in order to both engage with current customers and build relationships with a new or prospective base.
Susie Simpkins owns Atlanta area Embellish Boutique, a consignment shop which specializes in plus-size clothing and accessories for women. Simpkins started her business after taking a leap of faith and leaving her position as store manager with the Avenues, a women’s apparel store located in Alpharetta, GA. “Things happened very quickly for me. I opened my shop 3 weeks after I left that job.” She said.
Simpkins contributes the success of her shop to her ability to identify a distinct brand for the boutique and remaining true to it. “I have found my niche by catering to the plus-size market and it has really worked for me.” She said.
Since Embellish Boutique opened in 2011, Simpkins has been conveying this brand through various social media platforms. “I started to notice the power of social media back in 2007, with my own personal Facebook page. It was a great way for me to market my business and stay connected to customers.” She explained.
“I like using social media it because it is easy and inexpensive and to me it means not spending any money.” She said.
Much like the selections in Simpkins’ store, the many social media platforms available to small businesses do not offer a one size fits all formula. It’s important to remember that each organization has to find out what works for them.
“For me, I see more sales and new customers with Instagram and this is related to the nature of my business. I can post pictures of new store items, use the hash tags that Instagram offers and seek out new customers and find certain keywords that help me engage with current customers.”
Simpkins who has plans to open another store in the next year has some advice for other small businesses that are looking to embark upon the social media frontier. “Find a way to balance it all by identifying which platform works best for you. Also, save time by using software that can send one post out to all of the platforms that you use.” She added.
Although a learning curve exists for those who are just getting started, but Simpkins sees limitless value in social media strategies. She explains, “I think about all of the money that I am saving just in the advertising costs that I would have had twenty years ago and it makes me thankful for the social media platforms that are available to me today.”