So, you want to know why you should use social media to market your business? Ok, I understand, it is a little fuzzy on how social media can help a business, but I believe I can change that.
Marketers commonly refer to a “funnel” as a way of describing how they attract new prospects and convert them into customers.
Traditionally, you spend a ton of money trying to find and convert new prospects (the top of the funnel).
Keeping those hard-earned customers (the bottom of the funnel) usually comes as an afterthought.
The reason for this is because until recently, there was little we could do to keep existing customers other than the same tactics used to attract new ones.
Historically, the best you could do after turning a prospect into a customer was to provide a great customer experience and hope they come back to shop again.
Social Media has changed the way we do things, it has literally flipped the funnel upside down.
Social Media Marketing is about realizing your current customers are your best assets.
The best part is that with modern technology we are now able to influence the consumer behavior both before and after the sale.
Now you can reach out to your existing customers to remind them to come back, and make word-of-mouth as easy as clicking the share, like, or tweet buttons.
The Bottom line is that successful businesses understand that marketing does not end with the sale, but rather it begins when initial sale is made.
My business doesn’t need to be on the web! … Ok, so you can say what you want to try to convince yourself that you don’t need a website for your business, the fact is though that you are only fooling yourself. Everyone needs to be on the web, whether it be just to be listed with the search engines, or a full blown website, if you have a business, you need to be on the web. The age of the phone book is dead, don’t get me wrong, they still make phone books and you can still find one, the question is, how many of your potential clients are looking in the phone book to find you. In all likelihood, if someone is looking for a business in your field, they are probably doing so via the web. Granted, there are the elderly and people who don’t have internet access, but those people and those days are far and few between.
The reality is, consumers turn to the web when searching for a business, not their local phone book. The other fact to consider is the business you lose by not having a presence, most phone number look ups are done through the web, so if a consumer already knows your business exists but cannot find it on the web you run into another problem, credibility. A consumer is less likely to do business with a company that has no internet presence, whether it be a listing on google, a web page or Facebook page, the lack of a presence can be more harmful than no presence at all.
Today, if you have a business then you need to be on the web, don’t forget, even if your business is not using the web, your clients and potential clients are. You are better off offering them a forum to talk about your business, where can interact and have some control over the conversation. Not that you can control what people say, but you can respond to customers and offer open dialogue which will help build trust with potential customers.
YES !!! Social Media Marketing really does work to create a buzz and conversation around your business. It also helps to lend validity to your business and you as an expert in your field. The more you put into Social Media the more you will see in return.
The more you post and interact with the public, the more you will see that your communication matters. If you post they will like, reply and share your content. Always be yourself, never try to be someone you are not, people see right through the bulls–t, and can tell a professional from a poser. In social media, honesty is always the best policy, never lie and never give information you are not 100% sure about.
Social Media is a great way to interact with your current customers and potential customers, your current clients are a great way to get your message out. First, you gain instant credibility when your content is shared from a client, due to the content coming from a trusted source. Second your interactions with your friends and followers is important as a way of building your reputation. Like and comment on your clients posts and you will see the response and loyalty you will build. The nicer you are, the better the content you provide, the more likely people are to share your content or recommend your business to their friends.
Don’t worry, if you are not social media savvy, there is help out there for you. Social Media has changed the way we look at marketing and advertising, before if you hired an agency the only option is they handled your marketing for you. Now with the advent of Social Media, the formula and options have changed. Now there are more options available to a company. Social Media Marketing Packages come in different forms. The most popular are the “Do It For You” (DIFY), Do It With You (DIWY) and the Do It Yourself (DIY) models of marketing.
With the DIFY model, the marketing company would handle all apsects of your marketing campaign from A-Z leaving you with the time to run and handle the business and new flow of customers. With the DIWY model, your would work hand in hand with your marketing company. They would develop a marketing strategy which you would split off certain tasks while your marketing company handles others. Finally the DIY model is for those who have the want and time to handle their own campaign, but they don’t know how or where to start. In this instance your marketing company will write your campaign for you to follow and be available for telephone or video support.
The Bottom line, Social Media Marketing is not going anywhere, and is more likely to replace other forms of past advertising. Now is the time to stake your claim to your company name, brand your business and build buzz while doing so. Not sure where or how to start, you can always check out our partner site Buzzy Social (www.buzzysocial.com). There you will not only find answers to your social media questions, but there are some great articles explaining exactly what social media can do for your business. The answers may surprise you!
Talk from the heart and people will appreciate you, speak from experience and they will respect you, and always be honest and they will come back to continue reading.
Interact with your audience, entice your audience to comment, create conversation by asking questions. You will be surprised how much people like to share. Blogging is a great way for your customers and industry experts to get to know you, the more you connect the more they will want to share your content.
When it comes to blogging think in the long term benefits to not only your business but to its reputation and authority in your industry.
If you have blogged before what kind if reception did you get? If you haven’t blogged before, what’s holding you back?
Comment and I promise to respond
Whether your a startup or a struggling small business there is hope on the horizon. Internet Marketing and Social Media Marketing are Low Cost, High Yielding alternative options to traditional high cost marketing and advertising routes. The best part about this type of marketing is that you have a better chance at customer retention than with traditional marketing channels.
The hardest part about a Internet Marketing or Social Media Campaign is the initial set-up. Once you have everything in place, the maintenance is minimal as is the cost but the benefits are maximum. Now you may be an Internet savvy person, or you may be old school and not used to technology, either way don’t worry, there are options for either scenario.
If you are one of those people that falls into the tech savvy category then a “Do It Yourself” (DIY) solution may work best for you. With a DIY you would have a Marketing Specialist create a comprehensive strategy plan for your company in which you or one of your employees would implement the strategy yourselves.
If you fall into the old school, not used to technology category the “Do It For You” (DIFY) solution may work best for you. With a DIFY a Marketing Specialist creates and implements a comprehensive strategy plan for your company. The Marketing Specialist would work on behalf of your company as an ambassador of your brand. They would handle all aspects of your marketing strategy and report to you on either, daily or weekly basis with full reports, statistics and analytics.
If you fall somewhere in between, maybe you are tech savvy but don’t have the time or employees to handle the work, or you would like to do your own marketing but need someone to guide you through it, the “Do it With You” (DIWY) model might work best for you. With a DIWY model, you would have an assigned Marketing Specialist who would create a comprehensive marketing strategy including writing copy, creating a content calendar with detailed instructions for all tasks. In this type of scenario you would be given the means to monitor and run your own reports, statistics and analytics at will. This solution gives a little more control and customization as to how little or how much of your own marketing you want to handle.
The important thing to know is that there is help out there. If your a start-up looking to build a name or if your a established company who is struggling, look no further, help has arrived.
If your looking for help you can check out our services site @ Buzzy Social for a FREE Social Media Marketing Analysis of your business.
2013 can be your big year for your business. If you are struggling to find new business then you may want to start looking to the internet. More and more people have turned to the internet to find a business, product or restaurant. Personally I don’t even keep my phone book anymore as I have all the access I need right at my finger tips, literally.
To get started, I suggest you ask yourself a couple of questions.
1. Does my business have a working website ?
2. Is my website registered with search engines both local and global ?
3. Does my company have a social media presence ?
4. Is my company registered with industry related search engines ?
If you answered No to any of these questions then you are not prepared for business in 2013. As a business in 2013 a web presence is essential, even if you are not participating in the internet, your customers are. You can be sure that you customers are talking about your business, the question is do you want your customers to be the only voice on the web when it comes to your business or brand ? The Internet is a necessity for any business, it is a must, the only question is how much are you willing to invest to not only protect your businesses good name, but to also utilize the web to work for your business or brand.
If you are not sure where to begin, how to progress, or just have basic questions, feel free to contact me for a free consultation.
Social Media helps you to build word of mouth, while allowing you to listen to your customers and engage new prospects, but most of all it will help you to build trust and loyalty.
1. Build word of mouth: On the web, information travels at the speed of light. You can get your message out to hundreds or even thousands of your most loyal customers and interested prospects, who in turn are connected via social media sites to hundreds or thousands of prospects. They extend your marketing messages and drive your website traffic. The idea is to let your customers do your selling for you.
2. Listen to your customers: What are people saying about your products or services? Social media gives you the opportunity to hear what people think of your product. You get to hear the good, bad and the ugly feedback, but that feedback also is there to help you grow. You can use that information to promote your product more effectively by emphasizing the aspects of your product that people like the most. You can also engage directly with consumers to help them solve problems, and create a strategy for changing how you make or market your product.
3. Engage prospects: Interact with customers in the process of making a buying decision. Answer their questions, or watch other consumers answer for you. You want to promote conversation with your customers, keep them involved and they will keep coming back.
4. Build trust and loyalty: Once you’ve built a base level following in your social networks, and as you spend time interacting with them, they will trust you more than before, and they will know more about you and your business. What does this mean? More customers, more repeat customers, and more customer referrals. Consumers with more intimate involvement are more likely to refer friends and family to your business, and to talk positively about your brand.
Is your restaurant sitting empty on a weekday night? Don’t know how to get people in the door? It is easier than you think. Hire a full time social media consultant to help build your buzz. Every customer should become a social media opportunity. You should be offering discounts table side for people who like your Facebook page, follow you on Twitter or comment on your website among other various tasks. Of the things you can offer as incentives are a free desert or appetizer, up to 5 to 10% off of their bill, a free gift or drink. By doing this you are now gaining access to people you know come to your restaurant and spend money. By getting them involved via social media you can now connect with them and give them reasons to come back.
One of the things you can do when you have developed a following of your loyal customers is reach out to them on a daily basis with a daily special. Take a picture of a special dish to get their appetites wet, then offer it as a one day special at a special price. Even if you don’t make a big profit on the dish, you can make money on other aspects of the visit, including the other person that person brings. As we all know, most people don’t go out themselves, so usually where there is one customer, there is two, three or four more. Remember, an empty restaurant isn’t making money at all, you have a better chance of making money if you have people inside the restaurant.
The only reason I mention this is because of some of the things I have seen that have bewildered me. The example I am thinking of is a day I went to pick up some sushi for my wife, the first restaurant I went to was closed during the prime lunch hour during the week. The next restaurant I went to was packed to the brim with customers. They were so busy that they were turning away customers because they were at capacity with waiting list times up over an hour. I am dedicated to my wife so I tried a third place. I walked into this third restaurant which was beautiful but empty and I couldn’t understand it. The last place I went to was packed and here is another restaurant one plaza down and it is empty. I was curious as to why this one was dead and the manager said the big boss didn’t want to run lunch specials or discount their food. They wanted to maintain a high class image, it seemed that the owners ego was more important than the profitability of his business.
In this economy people are looking for good food at an affordable price. You can give people what they want, keep your business busy and still be profitable. Utilizing social media intertwined with discounts and giveaways can dramatically improve the traffic flow to your restaurant. If you are interested in more tips and tricks give us a call. We always want to hear from our readers and offer a free strategy session to small businesses.