A Lot More Than Likes
Hurray! You think. 153 new people liked our Facebook page today. Oh, and our following on Google+ is really taking off. Port Orange Pet Spa is getting super popular! That’s all fine and good, but what has it really accomplished? Are bookings via your website up? How about conversions? Have all those Facebook friends brought their four-footed friends in for a wash, cut, and curl? (That’s what I figured.) Embracing social media is great for your business…but only if you do it right. You have to get past simply “collecting” followers and captivate them. It’s about getting them interested enough in what you do to schedule Fluffy’s monthly nail trimming session at your place.
Social Media is great for business, but to really make it work, you need a strategy. 1,542 people may “like” Port Orange Pet Spa, but have those likes been better for business? You need to find ways to actively engage the public in what you have to say and sell. Social media’s role in business is all about building relationships; genuine ones that turn “friends” into Friends with a capital F. So unless you’re Captain Jack Sparrow, forget the seven seas because you only need to worry about three: Campaigns, Content, and Connections.
Social media will do little for your business without the (more-than-just-occasional) campaign. This doesn’t have to mean offering an all-expense-paid trip to Tahiti to the customer who racks up the most Tweets about your Daytona Beach travel agency. (Although I’d be more than happy to tweet my thumbs off for the opportunity.) People love small surprises too. A free pizza, pedicure, or primping session for a prize Pomeranian can work wonders as well. Offering one freebie per month is a great way to motivate users and boost business. It also endears you with customers, moves your brand forward month by month, and helps you connect with your key audience.
Never underestimate the power of content. What good is using social media if you don’t have anything new, interesting, or useful to talk about? Great content is like an extremely-abridged textbook. Not only does it help you connect, but it also helps you educate customers about what your business can do for them. While “content” covers a wide range of materials, let’s consider the written variety. Whether you are a small business offering bi-weekly blog posts or a huge enterprise publishing industry white papers, content should equal quality. It’s an important way to establish your authority in your field while educating customers in an effective and engaging way.
Ah, connections… they can mean the difference between stagnation and being a social media superstar. While you want people to like and share, don’t forget that the usefulness of connections when it comes to focusing your own efforts. For example, keeping a close eye on your competitors is a great way to discover who the authorities are in your field. Once you know this, you can court them until they also share their expertise with your followers. Their reputation almost guarantees a well-established fan base…and fans tend to follow wherever they go …including into your social media circle. These “influencers” are an indispensable, credibility-building, brand-boosting miracle.
Always remember that social media needs to be just that, social. Use your time with it wisely, whether that means sharing your (or another’s) expertise, taking time to thank customers for their business, or offering assistance with a pressing problem. Don’t be afraid to both engage and gain insight about what customers really want or need. For your social media presence to make an impact, you need to be present. If you’re not quite sure where to begin, we here at Watson Media of Daytona Beach can help you transform your social media presence from so-so to spectacular! Above all, when you use social media as a way to take time for people, they’ll soon take time for your business.