An effective small business social media strategy has been credited as crucial to the success of one of the Orange National Business Awards nominees.
Malcolm Bell, founder and CEO of online sporting apparel site Zaggora, believes social media has "supercharged the positive message and the growth of what is ultimately a genuinely effective product".
The company has only been trading for just over a year, but Facebook has been central to the way in which it spreads awareness of its clothing and how it engages with its customers.
Zaggora's Facebook page has over 289,000 likes and countless fans of the products share their photos, stories and reviews on the page.
Facebook content boosts conversions
Mr Bell noted that 70 per cent of its customers first bought the product – exercise bottoms that help the wearer lose extra inches – after seeing a review on Facebook. The Facebook content is fed through to the website, which improves conversion. According to Mr Bell, the site conversion rate is ten per cent, which is "phenomenally high" for an ecommerce site.
Zaggora updates their Facebook page daily and encourages its customers to also share content on the wall and with each other. Mr Bell said: "We're also an example of a company that's used Facebook to drive sales, but not directly in the sense of promoting the product and telling people to buy the product, but instead by using peer review systems. That feeds through to the homepage of the site as well, so if you come to make an order you can see all these amazing reviews, and we get a lot of activity on our page.
Content marketing via Facebook
Recently there has been talk about the value of Facebook as part of small business content marketing strategies.
Our lead technology writer Iain Pemberton warned small businesses that focusing only on Facebook may hamper their success as it may exclude a proportion of their potential target audience.
However, statistics show Facebook remains a very popular social network in Britain. Nearly five million people in the UK signed up for Facebook accounts last month, bringing the total of users in the country to over 35 million.
Do you use Facebook in your small business social media efforts? Share your success stories below.