So the cash register is not filling up any faster and you have spent countless hours on the computer that you could have spent with your family. You’re wondering if all this effort will pay off? That my friends is the million dollar question and it might be too soon to be asking. Social Media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are similar to building relationships with friends in the “Real” world, only the goal on these sites is to turn these new friends into referrals or potential customers. Rome was not built-in a day.
Your website is static, no one who goes there can converse or build a relationship with you, they wouldn’t be able to get a feel for your character; because we all assume the website was designed by a techy with more of an artistic flare then on an emotional level.
News print stays on the shelf usually a week at most and needs to be repeated to stay in the consumers mind.
Cocktail parties are more fun then the earlier two types of networking but you have no guarantee that the person is going to connect with you afterwards or remember you in the morning….
Combining traditional marketing methods, face to face networking and the power of the internet could be your safest bet for getting noticed. The idea is to keep your business “Top of Mind” for when the follower decides they need your product or service, and this takes time. Once you have the customer at your door step it is then your product and service that needs to consummate the sale.
I’m going tell you something you might not want to hear… learning social media is not the difficult part, in fact Facebook makes the technology part easier everyday to jump on the band wagon. Remember social media is about people not technology. The difficulty lies in creating Friendships and being persistent at cultivating your following by nurturing them everyday… yes at least five days a week and leaving great weekend tweets or postings as well. Not to worry, even when you’re on vacation you’ll be able to stay connected as all the sites are web-based and you can now pre-load your tweets and messages before you leave town( Hootsuite or Tweetdeck are social media dashboards that allow you to have multiple social media accounts open on one screen and allow for scheduling posts). Being authentic and giving the right amount of time to each social media account is crucial for success, and well worth the investment.
The Never Ending Journey
If you can persist in the beginning by adding links, comments, and likes… responding to questions or polls and really caring about the process, people will find you… this is viral marketing. If one of your friends adds a comment on your news feed that comment is now open to their friends to comment on… and so on and so on… confusing in the beginning, very cool when it starts to happen. Someone out there might go a step further and click on your name to find out who you are… I do it everyday… and when they arrive at your page… you better be sexy! Confusing – Yes. The Power of viral marketing however is Priceless!…but you MUST put the time in first.
You need people following you, and this takes valuable time out of each day. If you just pick 20 minutes a day and devote it to gathering like-minded people to follow, add a few comments and likes, within months you’ll be up and running.
Once you have a healthy following you can devote your time to giving your followers real value in exchange for the time they spend conversing with you. Together with their efforts you are building a like-minded community. Here are some ideas for postings to help you get started.
- How to links (url’s)
- Quotes related to your business (the church has done this for years)
- What’s going on today
- Today’s Tip
- Polls – contests – Questions
- Hot News
- Blogs – be the authority (get it? – author)
- Some Sales – tricky, the idea is not to sell!
- Happy Birthdays – Employee of the Month – Top Ten
Let me know if you have questions about today’s blog or maybe you need a little help to get started on building your following. Make sure you ask lot’s of questions and understand what and why you are doing this. Have a strategic plan in place that your team can work on together. Remember understanding the technology and putting it all together is usually a once off. Building on your new relationships is an ongoing process to the social media success model. Keep It Simple Social Media