If you are one of those small business or non-profs who is still confused, frightened or wary of Social Media, please keep reading.
As with any tool we don’t know how to use, social media is a potentially fearful unknown. A beast that looms in the dark waiting to pounce on us if we don’t conquer it first.
Yet your competition is whacking away at it, bit by bit, and you’re still trembling in the corner waiting to be eaten?
- The good news for small business is that social media is not a monster to fear.
- The bad news is that like all monsters in the closet, social media continues to frighten until you expose the beast: a harmless tool waiting to be used in most any fashion you like.
- More good news is you don’t have to be the carnival barker of the past to attract customers and a steady following.
- More bad news is that most small businesses still don’t get that because the “beast” is misunderstood. So they are actually turning followers off. Sometimes the posts are so DRY that one just skims right over them…
Time for your Reality Check.
When you first opened your doors to the public, you had many unknowns to face. Enough staff? Enough inventory? Enough training? Enough money?
You started your business trembling in your boots, but were passionate enough about its success to strap those boots on tighter to keep you steady. Where is your “guts for the glory” attitude, your entrepreneurial spirit? Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Vimeo, LinkedIn, – all these great tools just waiting to be picked up and used and you’re still hiding in the closet of denial; afraid of the Social Media marketing monster that is growing exponentially. Why?
Still waiting to see results?
The fault of delayed response lies mostly in the constant transition, creation, and expiration of dozens of Social Media venues of the past. Many of us were justifiably waiting for the “results” of a real outcome after the trends. But what if after sinking our teeth into it, these tools go by the wayside like MySpace? No one wants to waste effort.
Sorry. No more time to wait.
Tools to measure are getting better, venues are staying longer and growing exponentially. ROI still requires a longer period of time then you are used to, but Be Patient!
It’s time to suck up.
Yes, it is possible that in 5 years, Facebook will be its own memory, Twitter may fly into a wall, better technology may turn YouTube into a dinosaur…
But doesn’t the same fate await all marketing media? Isn’t the newspaper a prime example? Are you still getting the same results from your metro area newspaper? Local print media maybe… but even those are going online. Are you just going to do nothing in the meantime? Nothing is permanent in the marketing world. Never has been.
If you aren’t learning the basics of the existing tools, where will you be when more sophisticated versions surface?
Start somewhere! NOW!
Even if it’s only once a week, log in to your account and play with it. While the help buttons and FAQ pages are sorely lacking for the beginner, there are countless video tutorials on YouTube and Vimeo made by unofficial experts that truly do help with step by step learning.
Lurking on competitors’ pages is also a great way to learn. Note which posts get “Liked” or commented on.
If you’ve hired a Social Media Consultant (like me, wink!) use one hour a month for coaching. I don’t care how good a social media expert is, they don’t know your business like you do and you need to learn how to do it – even if just occasionally. Your personal observations, anecdotes, pictures, and various snapshots (visual or text) of the routines of your business are so valuable – that’s what attracts your followers to return to you – the chance to get to know you.
Social Media provides the tools to help your customers get to know you well enough to choose you over your competitors – and to remember you next time they need your product or service!
It’s waiting for you to…
- Use it to enrich your relationship with your customers.
- Use it to attract those who might not have known you.
- Use it to laugh, cry, share, have a good time and thereby make your business the one everyone wants to visit!
Isn’t that the point of marketing?