Often business owners in Fife say to me, Andy I don’t think social media will work for me and my business. My immediate thought is one where I’m confused because whatever you are selling or serving, you are ultimately in the people business and social media is all about getting to know people.
Surely you want to know more people. It’s fun isn’t it?
Isn’t this a given? Good business is built on relationships. Without doubt a business should want to hangout where their customers are and genuinely want to get to know them. A prospect is more likely to buy and do business with, from someone they know.
Social media tools allow us to connect online and continue the relationship offline or equally meet offline and continue online.
A Short Story For You
I was recently talking to friend who ran several record shops (remember them!) around Glasgow in the 1970s. He would be able to make recommendations to his customers and add huge value to their whole shopping experience. The better the experience the more likely the customer was to come back and recommend them to their friends. Even the chain John Menzies would send customers their way when it was clear they didn’t have same specialist knowledge on music. If you analyse the situation back then there’s no doubt the shop owner had all the kudos, because he would know when songs were being released and the opportunity to listen to far more than your typical customer.
How times have changed!
The business and customer relationship has now significantly altered. It’s now much more of a level playing field, where the customer is far more knowledgeable on any given topic. With the advent of the internet the ability to research a topic is very easy, all of the information is at our fingertips. Thus the business owner has to look at other ways to build loyalty and trust. One such way is through the use of social media, but it’s critical you use these amazing tools in the right manner.
Here’s The Best Advice I Can Give You
It is best to be holistic in your approach to social media.
To date you may have found social media sucks time out of your day with little reward in terms of extra sales at the end of the week. I can sympathise with this, but would be quick to point out that success comes from consistently following a proven strategy your business must embrace as a whole. This strategy is quite simple, you need to become a “social” company. It’s time to drop all the hype and marketing buzz and start talking online, much the same way my friend ran his record business.
You Can’t Fake This!
It’s easy to see the businesses that don’t believe in it and make a pathetic attempt at using social media. You can easily read between the lines of their tweets and Facebook status updates to tell whether they genuinely have a passion for what they do. One promotion after another isn’t what I would call being social, yet many local businesses seem to think otherwise.
Success in social media comes from adapting to the current culture shift and ensuring everyone in the business understands how everything has changed. Your amazing customer service offline needs to continue online. You need to be genuinely social in the way you interact on all of the different social media platforms.
Business owners need to trust their employees, by letting them interact with prospects and customers in real time through social media.
It’s an exciting time and I can assure you social media will work for you.