Why Not Use Social Media for Your Business

There has never been a time where technology is as available to small businesses as it is for large corporations. There are many tools that help level the ability to compete in today’s business environment. Social media is one of them, though not the only tools that can help you. But I am only speaking about social media in this blog post. There are accounting tools, legal tools, CRM systems, marketing automation tools, project management tools, online communication tools and many others that are available to both large and small companies. Why wouldn’t you take advantage of available technologies to help you compete with the big guys (and even other small businesses)?

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In the article featured in this blog about social media, one particular sentence really stood out to me. Here is the article and here is the sentence that caught my eye.

How Not Using Social Media Can Hurt Your Business
http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/243905

“Not having the right social media channels for your customers to reach out to you is the 1995 equivalent of not having a phone line,” notes Cassandra Hayes at SocialBro.com.

It’s really true. This truly is the equivalent of not having a phone line back in the 90s. Can you ever imagine not giving a phone number to potential customers? Of course not!

not having social mediaSocial media is not free, like many people think, because it does take a tremendous amount of human resources in planning and incorporating strategy, brand awareness, proper audience, engagement and implementation regularly. Often I hear that social media is not a proper channel for B2B businesses. For sure, there are different uses and implementation for B2B in comparison to B2C but B2B businesses are made up of people and people do research online more so now than ever. Research is a job responsibility to make good decisions and a great online presence is key if you want to continue to gain new customers.

Picking out just a few of the points made in this article (although I think all the points made are good ones), here are some quick thoughts:

  • If I bring my business on social media, this will give people an avenue to criticize my business – This is a very naïve way to think. All this means if you are not “fluent” in social media and how it works, you are living in an “ignorance is bliss” world. You merely don’t know if you are being criticized, however you are allowing only one side of the story to be told (by the criticizing customer), not answering their concerns and allowing your competitors to answer their concerns for you.
  • You are a thought leader in your industry but no one knows it – There is no better way to build your industry expert status than broadcasting it loudly and often through blogs, website and social media channels.
  • You have a new product or service launching – What better way than to broadcast it through blogs, a press release, website and social media channels.
  • You can research your competitors more easily – By understanding how social media works and being an active participant, you can watch your competitors. And they know you are NOT doing some basic things by having a social media presence. This makes it much easier for them to differentiate themselves from you and others.
  • Recruiting quality employees is harder than ever these days – I have a client that is going to start “upping” their minimal social media presence as a means for recruiting a certain age group of employee that is missing in their current stable of employees and engage some of the younger staff members who have expressed an interest in being active on social media for their company. Prospective quality employees want to know their new company is not a dinosaur and understands what it takes to do business today.

Think of social media as your modern day digital word-of-mouth channel. Traditional word-of-mouth marketing is reaching one person who reaches a couple of people who reach a few people who now reach many people. Digital word-of-mouth marketing start out at the reaching many people stage…and then it grows from there.

Think of social media as a current day tool which is vital in building your online presence and digital footprint. Think of the advantage of starting at the point of reaching many people at one time vs. the onesies/twosies that you reach without social media.

 

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Please contact Anna Brice at Pinnacle Peak Marketing, Scottsdale AZ about Marketing for Small/Medium Business.

Email: anna@pinnaclepeakmarketing.com
Phone: 480-661-0292
Website: http://pinnaclepeakmarketing.com

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Personalize Your Company and Your Brand

business and people- Richard BransonI am a firm believer that we need to personalize and humanize our companies and brands in this digital world we live in today. Although there are good points and bad points in being online – for example, you can communicate by email vs. a telephone call and save time in your day – I think we have reached the point where we now crave the human contact and communication we are missing when we solely engage online for all of our “conversations”. And companies who understand this, I believe will be the winners in business.

The fact of the matter is – people do business with people, not companies. Particularly, we don’t enjoy doing business with nameless, faceless businesses. There are people behind every company. We do business with John from Sony or Patricia from Apple. Yes, we may love Sony and Apple products but it is the relationships we build with the people from these companies that contributes to keeping us coming back time and time again. When you are happy with the service you receive, from a person – a live human being, you are apt to return and do business with this company again. In many cases when you are happy with the relationship you have built, a lower price might not even be enough to entice you away from the company you love. But a bad human experience, in this case a customer experience, can encourage you to abandon your loyalty to a company. Even a non-descript, non-special experience with a company, one that may lack the human touch, can also encourage a lack of brand loyalty. There is no personal investment in this brand by the customer at this point and when there is no personal relationship, it is very easy to be persuaded to try the competitor brands. Think of how easy it is to deliver bad news or “break up” when you do not have to look the person in the eye. Sometimes with a business, you don’t even have to tell them you are not coming back to them. You just stop. You don’t call them. They don’t call you. Very easy.

Take, for example, an HVAC company. These companies are in a tough spot in that there are dozens and dozens of companies, just like themselves, who all do the same thing…especially here in Arizona. This raises the question – how does an HVAC company differentiate itself from all the others and make their customers WANT to do business with them?

The answer is – the people they employ. The human touch. A memorable customer experience. A personal relationship. The extra step your competitors may not be taking.

When you do research on a company because you are thinking about engaging them in business, do you look at their “About Us” page on their website? How often is there good information on that page? How often is there not enough information on that page which would help you understand who you will be doing business with? Are there even any pictures there, to help you put a name to a face and a face to a name? If you have a very generic page, with no information about you and your team and no photos, you are not really showing the real-life people who make up your company and who make your company a living, breathing entity.

Yes, people make up your company and you should be proud of them if you employ them. A page that merely tells of generic company information, mission and vision statements and contains generic statements like “customer service is our priority” – really doesn’t tell you much at all.

  •         What kind of people make up your team?
  •         What kind of character makes up the leadership team and other team members?
  •         What kind of culture does this company employ?
  •         Are the employees valued members of the team?

As you do this research on the potential company you may engage in business, do you look further than their website? Like a social media outlet – such as LinkedIn to check out the people who may be listed on the “About Us” page on their website. Not having your photo there contributes to promoting the nameless, faceless professional who works at a company lacking the human touch. It’s so impersonal and doesn’t promote people and it is people with whom you will be forming a relationship. And for yourself – you are not helping to build the relationships you will need to work with your customers, but using a non-personal approach. Have you ever noticed how a relationship changes once you meet someone for the first time, that you have been conversing with for a while? With the personal online approach, you often feel like you know the person already.

Business is about people – it’s all about you, the customer, and the people you form relationships with, at the companies you engage.

Good article:
http://socialmediatoday.com/node/2266091

 

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Please contact Anna Brice at Pinnacle Peak Marketing, Scottsdale AZ about Marketing for Small/Medium Business.

Email: anna@pinnaclepeakmarketing.com
Phone: 480-661-0292
Website: http://pinnaclepeakmarketing.com

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