Social media is rapidly growing and connecting more people than ever.
It is one thing to understand social media networks but and entirely different thing to understand how to capitalize on this new dynamic approach to communication and how to harness it for your small business. Understanding the truths about social media and small businesses will help you decide which path is best to take for your company and help increase the bottom line.
Truth #1: Social Media Is For Meeting Your Customers Where They Live
No matter the size of the company or even if it is located in a brick and mortar location, your customers are all online and they are talking about you. Social media isn’t just for broadcasting a press releases or new sales – it’s about meeting your customers where they live.
Through social network sites such as Facebook and Twitter, your company can begin building relationships with your customers. What do they like about your product? How has their experience been when using your service? What do they think about your company and more importantly; will these individuals be repeat customers?
Social media allows you to meet them where they live and build stronger relationship to increase that ROI – no matter the size of your company.
Truth #2: Word Of Mouth Is Now Word Of Web
People are going to talk about companies and both the good and bad experiences they have had. What used to be regarded as “word of mouth” has now turned into “word of web”.
Once upon a time customers would tell their neighbors, friends and family about a company or product to either boast about its usefulness or warn people they cared about. This was limited to the geographic location of that individual. Today there is no such thing as geographic location. Once it is on the web, the whole world gets to see what others are saying. What are customers telling the over 6-billion people on throughout the world?
Truth #3: If You Build It You Must Maintain It
What was once true about “build it and they will come” no longer exists in the business world today. Put up a retail shop on the corner and your customers will come flooding from all areas of your town is no longer true for any small business.
The World Wide Web brings hundreds and thousands of competitors all looking to drive business to their company. These businesses are all looking to get customers to eat their food, drive their cars, wear their clothes and so on. To remain competitive, they launch 12 Facebook Fan pages and 20 Twitter accounts without a strategy and without anyone maintaining them.
Social media networking is all about networking and building a relationship; both of which need to be tended to frequently. If customers don’t think there is anyone listening, they not only stop visiting but also let the world know their dismay at the company for such a lack of strategy.
Truth #4: All Small Businesses Must Be Selective When Choosing Social Networks
Social media and networking is not a one-size-fits-all online community. Each social networking site has both positive and negative aspects that every small business must consider.
When launching a social media strategy, small businesses must consider 3 areas of their business before deciding which social media networks are best suited for their company message:
- Goals – What are they looking to get out of the online presence and relationship with their clients? Does the company want to announce sales, make a connection with the customers or build brand awareness?
- Time – How much time do they have to devote to social media networks? Most networking sites are free but the time and energy you or your employees put into it is far from free.
- Personality – What type of personality does your company want to convey to the over 6-billion human beings on the planet? Are you family-owned company that wants to raise awareness for a social cause or do you want the company logo to speak for itself?
Social media is all about being social. Whether you want your company brand to stand out in the crowd or develop social awareness, it is a relationship that must be built and maintained on trust. You want customers to trust you, your product and your service and social media can be the tool that not only grows that relationship but your profits as well.