The world is a fast-paced place, and if you’re not keeping up, you’re getting lost in the mix and left in the dust. This is especially true with social media for your small business. This medium is a phenomenal and inexpensive way to connect with customers, or potential customers, when you aren’t able to meet with them face-to-face. If there were a way to be in a million places at once, I’d be exponentially more productive in meeting my own goals too! By utilizing these platforms, you are making a connection to the customer in ways that common advertising on TV and radio can no longer accomplish.
From social media check-in promotions to finding places to eat, consumers are inundated with this type of access and data Why even bother using social media to begin with? Because your target audience and your competition are using it. This platform is ingrained in all facets of a consumer’s life. From social media check-in promotions to finding places to eat, consumers are inundated with this type of access and data. As a recent transplant to Houston I’ve been finding everything I need on Yelp and Foursquare to help familiarize myself with the Houston area – from nail salons to veterinarians for my newly adopted pup. I want the best of the best and there’s no more convenient and honest way than to look at reviews of fellow consumers.How do you engage your customers to hear what they’re saying and to get them into your visual conversations?
Social media also provides transparency: the good, the bad, the ugly. There are many times when consumers complain in a forum, but nothing is done about it. By communicating directly with the consumer through social media tools, it sends a message that the company is listening and actively working to fix problems where they can. A fantastic example of this is My Starbucks Idea. It’s a website forum completely open to Starbucks customers to share ideas and make suggestions. It shows the company is listening. Or take Pinterest , where you can set up an online, electronic pin board to show off and organize the trends, tutorials and advice for customers. A company’s numerous boards create a visual story for anyone interested in your company. How do you engage your customers to hear what they’re saying and to get them into your visual conversations?
Another great side effect of using social media tools? While Google’s algorithms may be complicated and ever-changing, there’s no denying that the more traffic you draw from the internet, the higher you rank in search results. In translation, your company has a stronger web presence. The internet is full of connections through searches you make, pages you frequent and trends that you follow about lifestyle and interests. Showing up higher in search rankings means more business. Your reach expands beyond the town or community you live in. You can reach people globally through the internet without leaving the comfort of your laptop or tablet.
Don’t fall into the common belief that social media is solely about selling a product or service
Don’t fall into the common belief that social media is solely about selling a product or service. It’s about selling your brand, distinguishing yourself from others. It’s about building relationships. When companies put themselves out there to offer information and have good will, customers follow. They truly do – because they want to be engaged in your dialogues, they want to know that the companies that they patron do good work and treat their customers well.
Jessica Schor is a 20-something transplant to Houston, Texas from New York City. With a Learning and Development, Employee Relations and HR Onboarding background, we think Jess has really good insights into social media and how to leverage it. She is a contributing writer, brainstorming partner and a fave in our OLG community. She builds relationships well in all levels of leadership, is PDI 360, Situational Leadership, and Conflict Dynamics Profile certified. If you are interested in connecting with Jess, you can find her on LinkedIn by clicking here.
For more information about our social media services, visit our SmallBiz Big Tools page.