Social media is what it is all about. But is it?
Today on twitter someone was asking for ideas to promote a local food business on facebook. Now don’t get me wrong, I use social media a lot. But are we using it as an excuse to avoid doing “real” marketing too?
I’m beginning to think that many people are confusing social media with marketing channels. It can be, but only if you spend a lot of time and money on it. For the average small business, the real power in social media is in its origins. Its SOCIAL.
Its not for us to try to push our services TO people. Its to enable people to share their experiences with people they know. To build on the trust of peoples relationships. If we were to concentrate on getting the local footfall to increase, and make it easier for people to talk about our business on social, then its a win win.
For example. If you run a small business that requires people to come through the door, do you offer your customers free wifi? Do you have signs up promoting your social media pages and addresses? do you offer free drinks in exchange for tweets or recommendations? Look at your receipts. Do they mention social media? Look at your menus – do they mention social?
Integration – business as usual
For social media to work it needs to be completely integrated with what you do. Talk to your regular customers, what social platforms do they use? what would they like to engage you on? what do they want you to offer?
Do you use social to engage or to push your sales message to people? push is hard, getting people to tell their friends about the great deal they had is easier, especially if you make it easier for them.
Social media is great, but get the basics first. If people do not associate with the frontage of your business, or with the experience they get when they walk in, they woint come back. No amount of social media will compensate for that. Get the basics first but THINK social. make it easy for your customers.
For to be successful in social media for your business, you must have a clear vision, and great leadership.
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