A recent survey found that two thirds of small businesses are spending more time on social media today than they did a year ago. We’ve come a long way baby–no longer do smart businesses see social media as something they wish would go away. They are aware it’s here to stay and it’s no longer a fad.
If you choose to ignore it, do so at your own risk.
Several months ago a long-standing business asked me if I might help them build an event for the retirement of one of their business partners. They said they had money to spend but hoped I would be frugal, and maybe we could use social media. Of course, I took that to mean they had a social media presence. I goggled the business, came up with some unpleasant comments and found 37 friends on their Facebook page.
I didn’t know where to start or what to say? It was obvious that no one was tending to their social media presence.
How do you do it?
Running advertisements is the old way to build customers. Yes, the customer has to know who you are, but they already know all about you. They read that nasty comment about you on a social media site. They also saw your commercial on television with your wife and dog and were quick to pick up the TV remote to get rid of you. Whatever news they’re looking for is getting sent to an app. they downloaded on their smart phone.
Don’t be discouraged, the new way to do it isn’t that far off from the old way. You still have to get yourself into the marketplace and find a way to build a relationship with a potential customer.
Social media has made it easier, cheaper and personal. This is an interesting article about social media from Forbes.
What does social media do? Foster communication with new tools. Here’s some information on the tools.
The problem for many people is that social media involves them getting in front of the customer and connecting with people instead of showing their products. Yes, people want to know you.
It’s time for you to go back to some old-time marketing tips. Before newspapers and television, there was handshaking and ‘word of mouth.’ Handshaking still exists, but lots of it is done on line, and ‘word of mouth’ has become ‘world of mouth.’ The social media model brings people together in open forums where they show their likes, dislikes and concerns. People support each other’s causes, and we quickly know who we like and don’t like.
Consumers also leave testimonials about their experiences; some are good, and some are bad. If you pass their tests, you have the possibility of having them for a customer.
Where do you start? Here are some questions that will get you on the right track.
- Who are my customers? Where have I been successful and who do I want more of? Has my customer base changed? What’s different about my customers?
- Where are my customers? Where are they on line?
- How do I get to them?
- How do I keep them coming back and referring my business?
If you don’t know your customer, nothing will work. Once you know who you’re after social media can help you find them and stay connected.
Want to get business? Go get social.
Lisbeth Calandrino helps businesses improve their customer service and build loyal customers. She can be reached at redhotcustomerservice @nycap.rr.com.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]