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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Does Your Marketing Proactively Answer to Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT)

zmot_shopping today

Marketing has changed a lot. We all know this. Over the years, the control has gone from the marketer (which can be the actual marketers, companies or agencies the companies work with) to the consumer. And what I mean by the word “control” is the fact that marketing previously was the collateral/information the company released and wanted to release when a product was launched, or when you requested information directly from them.

Today, it is exactly opposite of the way we previously marketed our products and companies. Again, we all know this based on the way we, ourselves, shop and make our purchase decisions. Think about what you do when you are buying anything, going to a restaurant, hiring someone (individual or a vendor company) or engaging a company to perform a service.

The internet plus technology plus mobile devices have changed the way we shop and the way we receive information. It has changed how quickly we want the information. It has even changed the way we want to receive our information. When I say shop, it can be for consumer products and services as well B2B products and services. The research we now do is immediate, often and you don’t have to be at home or at your office to be doing the research. You can be in your car, in a store or anytime your mobile device is with you. Your computer does not have to be on, because you also have a tablet.

This is why it is so important your marketing proactively answers to Zero Moment of Truth. The key word here is proactively. If you are responding to a request for information, you are likely already late…or later than your competitors.

The key change in the decision-making process is the added level of research done before you even know someone is in the market for your product or service, consumer or B2B. These are the ways they are doing their research:

  • Online search
  • Peer reviews
  • Videos
  • Reach out to your network 

Notice in this list, there is no mention of reaching out to the company of interest! There are still so many companies that just don’t “get” this. But seriously…it’s true!

Being proactive in answering to ZMOT is hard. It requires a great deal of effort. But it is truly the way we all need to be thinking. To give you an idea of things you should be doing to answer to ZMOT, here are some suggestions:

  • Blogging
  • Social media
  • Your website
  • White papers
  • Online/Electronic brochures, flyers, spec sheets
  • Publication articles
  • Online listings (like Google, Bing, Yahoo, Yelp)
  • Press releases
  • Videos
  • Images
  • FAQs
  • Infographics
  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
  • Guest Blogging
  • Training/How-To videos or written pieces
  • Testimonials 

The key, common factors here for all these items listed above are these 2 things –
→ Does it answer the questions people are asking?
→ Content, content, content – you must be creating content and lots of it!

So…really give this a proper amount of thought. Does your marketing plan (if you have one) include initiatives that answer the questions people are asking…people you don’t even know yet or know they need your product or service?

If not…time to start now!

Here are some good resources which you may find helpful.

ZMOT:
http://www.slideshare.net/douglaskarr/zmot-zero-moment-of-truth

http://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/collections/zero-moment-truth.html

Online Business Listings:
http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/10322/The-Ultimate-List-50-Local-Business-Directories.aspx

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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