Monetize Monday – Doing business with people just because you are the only store in town is a thing of the past! With so much variety available to the consumers these days competition is tough. Today focus on how you will be different, how you can stand out and how your message can not only be heard but be remembered. Do you use Social Media?
Personal Relationships…Social Media Relationships…
When Social Media platforms like MySpace came into play everyone was excited to have “real estate” on the world wide web – though it seemed to be more for teens and a place to express yourself it really did not lend a lot to the business environment. Facebook later opened up to the public and even though it was created for the college students as a means of being in touch and communicating, it lent itself as a great Social Media environment for business owners to set up “shop” and reach out to more people.
The start to Social Media interactions seemed to be a bit misguided – people sharing what they had for dinner, if they got a speeding ticket, the awesome new shoes they just bought…. and a lot of reluctant users would say “Why do you think I care that you had a peanut butter sandwich for dinner?” “I cannot waste my time with that, Social Media is a time suck I cannot afford!” And even going as far as saying “Why are all these people showing up on my Social Media news feed area – I don’t have the time to go through all of that nonsense – I have business to get done!” I am sorry to say these business owners cannot see the forest through the tress! That is exactly what you want from Social Media!
Before Social Media, Before The Internet…
Remember hearing stories from our grandparents and great grandparents of how they knew everyone in town? How about the intimacy of those relationships? What about when the local hardware store owner got a new product in – how long was it before everyone in town knew about it? How about when someone got a new outfit for a special occasion or got engaged, married, had a baby? All just from going to the local diner, walking through town or visiting with a neighbor. Social was just that and the only media was the local paper, later the radio then the television. Can we agree those personal relationships were vital to their communities and their commerce?
Slowly, communities got bigger and relationship weaker! People were so busy doing their own thing they no longer had time to interact and get to know their neighbors let alone the local shop owners. Somehow business became focused on the money, making specials so low it would bring in customers. Sacrificing most times in quality, personalize treatment of consumers, and “caring”. Big Business moguls like Home Depot and Lowes took out the down home local hardware stores. We as a society accepted the lack of personal service and bit of coldness to save a buck – was it a good exchange? I say no. We created this society together by accepting this behavior from companies and being to self focused and losing the personal relationships while trying to build our own businesses.
Social Media Offers Us The Small Town Relationships of the past!
Social Media like Facebook, gives us opportunities we have never had in our younger generations! Now with Social Media platforms like Facebook, Google+, Tumbler and blog sites we have the opportunity to rekindle that small town “get to know you” attitude. Many small businesses are realizing people, consumers, in general want to be acknowledged and talked to and they are succeeding at growing their business. The great things about social media are it is FREE, billions of people use it, and you the business owner have more opportunity then ever to reach your consumers on a personal level.
If you are one who thinks Social Media has no place in your business… I challenge you to re-evaluate your opinion. Social Media is a tool that can not only gain your business visibility but it can even increase your revenue. People for the most part want to matter to others, they want attention, they want interaction and Social Media gives you the vehicle to make all of this happen.
It is not required when interacting in Social Media that you comment on EVERY newsfeed story you have on your Facebook home page – pick out a few everyday to interact with. Maybe you see someone with a “problem” or a “need” and you can make a referral – maybe it is just congratulating someone one an achievement they noted and shared, maybe it is just saying HI on the wall of an old customer – trust me it will come back to you. Be consistent in Social Media, create a daily routine.
It is also not required to share every last thing you do every day in your Social Media profile – share smart, share relevant information, share with the intention to not only get to know others but to let them get to know you! Don’t always have time to be so consistent with your message? There are tools to help you post your own status updates giving you more time to focus on others – if you want to know more about a tool like this, check out Status Set Go – I recommend using it to your advantage! Save time on your own social media promotions and free up some to build your social media relationships.
Social Media is a powerful tool not only for business owners but for consumers as well! Consumers use Social Media for purposes for sharing the good and the bad stories when dealing with companies/businesses. Consumers use Social Media to share how much they love their new “shoes” “purse” “care” “wine” and so on…. Do you see as a business owner how Social Media can HELP you? Not only in recognizing someone publicly for having favorable things to say about you BUT to also circumvent any negativity by being able to handle a situtation that a customer was upset about.
So as a business owner or as a consumer – use Social Media to build those relationships and build the bonds of loyalty!
I stayed focused on Facebook as the Social Media outlet to use – there are hundreds of Social Media platforms and I recommend you use more than one – Social Media is just that social, by focusing on one or two platforms, building relationships and then moving into another Social Media pond to increase your reach is a great way to go![/blur]