We get a lot of requests for help with social media. One recent call we got from a woman business owner – let’s call her Jane – is a good example.
“I know I need to be on Facebook and do all that stuff,” she said wearily. “I’ve had a Facebook page for my business for a few months, but it’s not doing anything and I don’t know how to get more fans. Plus, every time I do get motivated to do it, I just don’t know where to begin. How do I do it right?”
Now, we don’t know about you – but for Jane, “doing it right” means getting sales. She wants people to visit her store, not just be pals on Facebook.
So here’s the problem: Does social media, including Facebook, require a totally new way of thinking and acting? Do you need some “secret sauce” or magic tips for getting business through the web?
Surprisingly, there really aren’t a lot of secrets to doing well on Facebook or any other social networking tool. Sure, you’ll hear so-called social media experts explaining how you need to listen to your customers, and how you need to show the human side of your business.
As if you’d gotten where you are by ignoring your customers and treating them badly…. no. If you’ve been in business for any amount of time, and you’re a decent person, you know how to handle customers.
That’s why we think of social media as a new technology and not a new approach. The new tools have the potential to help you get more communication flowing with customers. Someone who loved the sweater they got from you now will post about it on Facebook and spread the word for you. Someone who thinks your business payroll services are excellent will Tweet it out to all their local business-owning friends.
But sometimes you have to let people know that you encourage this type of communication and spreading the word. So what our approach is, is to help folks like Jane realize what social media really is – a new technology for talking to customers and potential customers – and to teach them more effectively how to use it. Then, we help them with a plan to get people following them and interacting with them. That can be different for each business owner, just like more traditional marketing tools should be used differently depending on your business goals.