If you have a business, your goal is to drive sales and profits. It doesn’t matter whether you are an attorney, heavy manufacturer, or dog walker. All business has the same issue: sales. Sales keep the lights on, sales pay for employees…sales, sales sales! And all of the enterprises I have consulted with have a revenue challenge. It doesn’t matter whether you are small business or a publicly traded company, you need more customers.
What is Social Media?
Social Media is hard to define, but I’ll give you my definition. Social media is a collection of independent websites that allow you to interact with other individuals and businesses in a media rich environment. Today’s top social media sites include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.
How Does Social Media Work?
Social media is different than other forms of marketing communications advertising by giving life and power to the average user. Why? On a social media site an individual has the ability to say whatever they want. They can complain, praise, bitch, promote…whatever they want to say, share, or link they can do? The opportunity is to engage in two-way conversation with potential customers, build a relationship, and ask for the sale when that relationship has been established.
Why Should You Care?
As a business owner, social media gives you the opportunity to engage in a conversation with your prospects or customers. It is a chance to create a non-transactional relationships. After relationships have been established, it is reasonable to try to sell in a social media envionment.
We have used this conversation to drive targeted traffic back to your website or landing pages, with the intent of converting this traffic into happy, paying customers.
A Word of Caution About Social Media
Social media marketing is often met with skepicism within companies, as it often misunderstood. Results often take a little longer with social media than other forms of direct marketing. Participating in conversations and providing feedback on social media sites take time and resources. Also, it does take time to produce content and measure response rates. In addition, sometimes you can get feedback that is painful to hear, but important nonetheless.
Social media is a requirement for any customer facing business that generates sales or leads online. Just remember that you need to engage your customers with honest, quality information. In addition, you must be prepared to listen and sometimes take it on the chin!