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Time and time again, business owners enquire about why Social Media is right for their business.
Let’s get this straight: you went into business because you have a product, service, or even a gift to help others. Am I right? I hope so. The business aspect of running this wholesome goal I to make money, right?
The logic continues…in order to make money, you need to have customers. And how will customers find out about you? Some businesses invest in advertising through magazines, newspapers, newsletters – a small ad on page 3, in home that the phone will start ringing off the hook, right? Well what if I told you that for the very same price, you could be on the front page of every top newspaper or magazine with an instant engagement tool? Social Media makes this possible. The only difference is that the money you’d be investing will be translated into time. I know – not everyone has time – as business people, as a good friend and colleague speaker Tony Ryan once said, we only have 28 hours in a day. So how can you make this happen?
I won’t go all evangelistic on you about the benefits of Social Media, or how much success it can bring you. But the point I really want to bring across is that you can engage people more when you’re talking one-on-one. The most powerful marketing tactic they say is word of mouth, and there is some great truth in this – people want to buy from people they trust – you must have heard this a million times. So as a person in business, how could you start a conversation with someone, to build the trust you need for them to take that step and buy from you? We don’t have time to become best friends with all our potential clients, but think of the online world as a place where people like you and I are on every single day and they might actually be in need of something that you’re offering. All you need to do is tap into a conversation with them – just start talking to them. The easiest way to do this is to talk about something relevant to them. Perhaps you’re a café owner, and you go onto Twitter and see a whole string of updates of people that have gone on and said something like ‘Gosh I just had the worst coffee at *insert your competitor’s name here*’. This is your perfect cue! ‘Hey, have you tried our coffee? Might be a way better experience!’ is all you need to reply to them, and from there…who knows, maybe they might visit your café and you get another customer, maybe they will start up a conversation with you, but at the very least, they will see you’re making an effort to improve their coffee experience. This might be all you need to do to build that trust.
At the risk of sounding like the used car sales-man, people want to know what else is out there; we all love our options, so look at it as your way of helping people find other options.
Let’s look at some of the traditional methods of marketing, and how this could be replicated online with less time, and more importantly, less investment on your behalf.