I have been on Facebook since 2006, Twitter since 2008 and used both platforms as an easy way to grow my supply company that I used to own. Yes, I even had a really active MySpace account. In the last 3 years, I have already been active at Google + and keep my LinkedIn profile updated quarterly. I also am active on YouTube. So let’s better understand and grow your business with Social Media.
So to start what’s the idea? Why spending some time and effort on this? I believe as an industry we are definitely slow to adapt lots of the tools open to us with social outlets. If you look at a number of the major players within our industry hardly any time and effort is put into social media. Social networking does take lots of time and it’s hard to actually see the outcomes quickly. Also, for several within our industry, we are more of an analog industry and are only now getting to the digital age. Pad Printers are a prime example. Wonderful creative and talented people who stamp ink. They could make anything work, but ask a hardcore pad printer their ideas on the digital sublimation systems is frequently “that horrible trouble creating machines can take a flying leap… ” In the best environment with the best market, sublimation can be a savior for a station printers business. So back to Social media…
So why the do we need to be on social networking? 37 million people log onto to Facebook daily, and within the last 10 minutes, 40,250 Tweets have been posted. What about Google +? Who do most many of us go to once we want to find something on the net? You can find 5,922,000,000 (Yes that is 5.9 Billion) searches on Google per DAY. Google holds a staggering 67.6 percent of the U.S. se market share, according to the latest se market share figures for April 2014, released by comScore. Being on G+ and speaking about search terms that are important to your business in addition to sharing links to your website on G+ correctly can help your search ranking. By improving your search ranking you can have a better likelihood that somebody would go to your website who’s thinking about the products and services you offer. And so the numbers are right. There’s an audience and odds are nearly all of your web visitors are somewhere on social networking waiting for you to talk with them.
The other basis for most of us is the price. The purchase price can not be beat… FREE! Being social is totally free and just does take time and effort. You can find things you can spend money linked to social networking that may make things a little easier, but honestly people carrying it out right and spending enough time needed don’t have to pay for something to promote their business and find new customers. What are your alternatives to reaching your web visitors? You may exhibit at a trade show or home show or another event. Intend on spending $5,000 to $10,000 to actually do that right, though. You may do internet advertising with banners or Google AdWords. Intend on spending $1,000 to $2,000 a month to have the type of reach you will get with social media. You can put ads from the air, TV as well as the local newspaper, but again each of them cost money, a commodity that a lot of small businesses don’t have in abundance yet. Now using social networking to improve the ROI (return on investment) for the above mentioned things is something you need to be considering doing. Let’s say you may spend the $5,000 to produce at a local home show, but by luck of the draw end up in a large part behind the local loud mouth realtor and no body comes to see you. What about using social networking to have people past the realtor with images of one’s booth, jokes in regards to the loud mouth realtor or otherwise. Be yourself and help people come find you.
Another plus is it is not merely one sided like many other marketing methods, you don’t have to be alone growing your business with it. Real quality interaction is driven by your web visitors and potential customers. Your job is to foster interaction between your company and products. This is not the elevator pitch where you’ve 30 seconds to sell your goods and services, here is the time to talk about things that interest your customer and build a connection that may turn them into lasting customers. Also, happy customer make the BEST salespeople so provide them with a store to advocate for your brand by having a dynamic social networking plan.
So what else can be done? With social networking, you can also put it to use as an instrument for Customer Service. Yes, I am guilty of using my own smm reseller panel Twitter to vent my frustrations with poor service received with a company. I also try to be conscious of shouting out good customer service by companies via social media. Many companies have figured it out and actually do a fantastic job of helping, supporting and looking after their customers with social media. Then you can find the samples of those who have made massive blunders. An organization that most of us within our industry could have heard of made the Inc. Magazines top 10 social networking fails in 2014 because of their posting of an image of the Challenger space shuttle exploding as an easy way of celebrating the 4th of July on their Tumblr page. They took a beating for it and the excuse was the social networking manager was born after the Challenger disaster and didn’t know it was it was. On the flip side of the coin you’ve lots of companies within our industry and beyond that obtain it and do a congrats of interacting using their customers and making social networking an integrated part of these customer service plan. As an example, I’m a dedicated flyer on Southwest because of the help I received via their Twitter team when I was having some challenges traveling with my Autistic son. They sprang into action and made our journey a pleasant one and now I hardly fly anyone else. You can do things like monitor for comments about your company or product and then just be sure you are doing the best thing on social media. You have to place yourself inside their shoes and wear your “empathy” hat when interacting with folks on social media. Check your ego at the door!
Social networking can be used as an instrument for research and product development. You will find a number of information about your competitors, your web visitors and potential customers on social media. The key here’s to you should be part of the conversation. You have to be a human, not only a Twitter Handle or even a Facebook Page. You have to offer something to have something. This means solving problems, giving tips and tricks, opening the curtain to who you’re as an individual and company. After you do this then you will get people to answer questions like “Do you like the black edge plaque with this design or the cherry edge plaque with a different design?” You can also discover if your competitor XYZ Company takes too much time to provide an item, or has other weaknesses that you might be able to take advantage of by being a part of the “group” on social media.
In order you will see in my experience being part of social networking can be a huge lift for your business and provides you with a number of tools never to only promote your business but to also understand and better service your customers. It’s absolve to be part of it just takes time. But if you think about what your average day seems like, how often have you been just reading the latest click bait article that your friend posted on Facebook or considering the latest Disney quote on Twitter or other time wasting activity. Why don’t you take those 15 minutes and devote it to being active on social networking in ways that discusses your business. What about encouraging your employees to be active on social networking since it relates to your business. All it will take is for the word to start spreading and you might find results. They won’t be huge or immediate, however, if the effort is place in and you’re daily being a part of the conversation where your web visitors have reached on social networking, you’ll get up in 6 months to per year and notice it is working.
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