Have you ever walked through the middle of a busy town market, The market was in your way, you didn’t want to buy anything?Sometimes it’s just market day, and you are just on your way from A to B. The market may be all around you but, if you didn’t set out to buy anything there’s a reasonably good chance, you wont buy anything.
It doesn’t matter that all the market traders are calling out to you, urging you to stop, browse and have a look around. That can be an irritating distraction that you simply don’t have time for, right?
Social Media is the new Town Market
Over the last few years we have seen businesses rush to create accounts with the social media giants Facebook and Twitter. Smaller companies have begun to follow suit, drawn to the potential of these monolithic social media platforms and the promise of what the perceive as “free advertising”.
It seems as though ‘every man and his dog‘ have a page on Facebook or a profile on Twitter, often both. This is fine in principle, it sure feels great to know that we are living in a world where we are all getting connected, and that the little guy now has a voice.
However, if you are a small business, the question is,
“How do you get your message across using these platforms when there’s just as much competition online as there is on the high street”?
In the traditional market place, traders employ all kinds of tips and tricks to get you to stop at their stall. Such as the way they organise their stall, the prices, the way they display price lists, special offers, and most distinctive of all
“Their call to action”, IE the way they shout out about their products.
Many Businesses don’t understand how to use Social Media
They seem to think, “Hey this is a marketplace, my business is my stall, so what do stall holders do? “Shout“!
Once everyone starts shouting, how do you get your message heard above all that noise?
The first thing is to stop shouting. The discerning customer is always surveying the landscape for quality, and you don’t have to shout to use social media effectively. Shouting, or only posting links to your product range, on Social Media Platforms is the same as those annoying Viagra emails that you get in your email inbox. It’s the same as those flyers you get through the door advertising the next Burger Joint or Kebab House. Put simply, Shouting your message out on Facebook or Twitter is SPAM. If you are doing this, you are spamming people. You are most likely irritating people, and you are even more likely to be ignored. Stop Spamming people, they don’t like it.
Build Relationships using Twitter
Instead of having a Tweet stream full of links, that people may or may not be interested in. Make a statement about something relevant. Making a statement that interests your target audience is more likely to get a response than just sending them a link saying “go to my website”. Answer their questions, be useful. Establish yourself as “someone who knows“.
Here’s a brief example of how to use Twitter correctly.
Engage with your followers
All you have to do is engage with the people you follow and the people who follow you. It’s called “Social Media” for a reason, you have to be Sociable. Now that you have got the conversation going, don’t hold back. That person just approached you, find out who they are. Just looking over their Twitter stream will give you some valuable insight into who they are and what they like. Is there a way you can help them? Every time you help someone in a public sphere your followers see this, the followers of the person you are helping, see this too. You are increasing your influence.
Of course there’s only so much you can say each day, and only so much people can take in, so limit the amount that you actually spend using social media.
Five Points to get organised with Social Media.
1) Why not build a schedule? Factor in an hour or two to gather up useful things to tweet about that reflect your company ethos. This might be things that relate to your product, it might be factual statements, it’s ok to post occasional links to your site or blog content, just dont do it everytime you post an update.
2) Post titbits, what I mean by this is, entice people to look at your content. Don’t just use social media to post links to products, use social media to create interest about your blog, which will help build your reputation as an authority in your field
3) Post photos. Most of us have smart phones, so you can use them to post product images, images of your daily work, that helps build trust with your customers and potential leads. Try setting up an Instagram account. But again, don’t spam it, be natural.
4) What? You don’t have a blog? Can you see me rolling my eyes? Talk to Zero1 about getting a properly built business blog. you are going to need a blog to provide more information about your products and services.
5) Share the load. Are you the only person in your business who can contribute to your social media campaigns? If you spilt the sourcing of content into small chunks, you can delegate it to other members of staff. They can gather the content for you. Then you get editorial control about what goes out publicly. This way you are harnessing the creative abilities of every member of your team.
Is there anything you’d like to add? Share your Twitter or other social media tips with us by leaving a comment.