Recently, a business owner called my office, sharing his concern that articles posted to the business Facebook page weren’t about his business specifically, and that he didn’t see the value in social media because it didn’t seem like it was being done “right.” While there is still no one way to make social media marketing work for everyone, there are ways to better establish an online presence and personality that will only help your business grow its brand online and offline. Let’s review some of the facts in this particular case:
The business owner said customers asked about the articles posted on Facebook
Conversations being started at your place of business because of social media gives you a chance to chat it up with your customer and get to know them even better so you can offer even more customized service. In this case, people were curious about some of the articles posted (usually related in some remote capacity, but often about local news or other interesting events trending online), and the business owner simply didn’t know how to respond. Social is about being social, and it does often extend into the business space, so staying aware of your social campaign will definitely help you engage customers on a more personal level. Be prepared to get social in the real world!
Many business owners simply do not understand the purpose of social media, because it is often times still new to the individuals working at the business. In this case, it is always best to educate yourself on your investment, or for social media marketers to educate their clients on the approaches and goals of their social media campaign. This particular case was unusual because contact was a consistent challenge throughout the months of the campaign’s run. From a social media marketer to business owners everywhere, my best piece of advice is this: Before you go social online, make sure you understand how it will work, establish goals, and educate yourself on the products and services you’ll be paying for. This gives you an understanding of how the social media marketer will be operating and gives you confidence in how you respond to the service results. Everyone should know what they’re spending their business dollars on! It’s your hard earned money, after all.
Leads were generated
The most important part of this particular case was that leads were, indeed, generated from the social media. Six were counted over a period of a couple months! If the company had actively pursued those leads, which were relayed to salespeople at the business via email and telephone contact, those leads would have paid for their social media for a year, and left them with a pretty profit, to boot. In short, their social media performed, and the business owners did not understand it or have enough interest in it to see the value of social media, even when it was becoming quite clear.
The moral of this story? When social is not taken seriously by the business owner, opportunities will be missed, and the connection with customers will weaken over time. This comes down to involvement and communication. A business owner who makes contact challenging will miss out on leads whether they go social or not. Simply put, availability generates sales. If you make yourself hard to contact, your potential client will go to the place that IS available. Social is an extension of your availability as a brand. By going social and extending additional outlets for customers to reach you with, you give your business an upper-hand in communication and customer relationship building.