Marketing resources are scarce for many small business owners today. Combine this with the fact that over 50 percent of customers search for company profiles before doing business with them and it’s evident that adding social media to your marketing arsenal will serve the bottom line well. The trick is finding a social media consultant who doesn’t just claim to be an expert, but has the background and knowledge to prove it too. That’s where we come in – with the knowledge, expertise and tools to create a social media campaign that’s right for your business. It’s a critical, but often misunderstood small business marketing resource.
More importantly, social media is just a part of a holistic marketing effort. Facebook fans don’t equate to dollars without careful planning and management. Is Twitter right for you? Have you mastered Linkedin? Do you even have the time in the day to learn about the various social media tools available to you? No worries – we can help.
Simple Etiquette: The Obvious and Overlooked Trick to Marketing in the Social Media Age
By Paul Weber
As appeared in the March/April edition of Flourish Magazine
Come to find out, parents and teachers were onto something all along. Two iconic phrases we all remember well are, “Pay attention when I’m talking to you” and “How would you like to be treated like that?” This insistence on active listening and self-reflection turned us into better people. Using them in social media makes us better business owners and company ambassadors.
Before social media (Facebook, Linkedin, etc.) became an integral part of marketing, customer feedback was received in more traditional ways: by telephone, letter, surveys and comment cards. All of which required some amount of effort on the customer’s part, be it licking a stamp or picking up the phone. It wasn’t much, but it was enough to discourage many from following through.
Now and for the foreseeable future, giving feedback is as quick and easy as logging on to Facebook. The latest numbers claim 600 million Facebook users have accounts and millions check their walls several times a day. Even people who haven’t had direct contact with your company can chime in and post whatever they please. Developing a social media policy and pro-actively responding to feedback is vital to your business today.
As counterintuitive as it sounds to managing a strictly technology-based marketing tool, old-fashioned etiquette is the most often overlooked aspect of a successful social media presence. Here are a few tips to put those manners to use.
Commit to active participation. The whole point of social media is to connect, engage and stay involved. Choose your level of participation and stick to it. It’s better to respond to all feedback. But if you ignore the bad, ignore the positive too or your “friends” will think your company turns a blind eye to complaints.
Say thank you with sincerity. No, you’re not asking for a lot of time or even the price of a stamp, but the opinions you receive are valuable and deserve a token of recognition even if it’s a simple post or discount code. The best form of gratitude is sharing what was learned and changes made based on the responses.
Ask questions only if you really want the answer. Nothing is more irritating than being asked for an opinion only to have it ignored. Disregarded feedback is insignificant and that’s the last thing you want a customer to feel.
Strike a balance between speaking and listening. Popularity doesn’t come by monopolizing a conversation. A quality of being a good “friend” is being a better listener. Spend more time reading and responding to posts than making random posts of your own.
Respect the concept of Internet time. Hours seem like days online. Monitoring your online presence could easily be a full-time job, but for many businesses that’s not an option. Include social media in your daily schedule. Prevent frustration by posting your response policy underneath your profile image.
We practice etiquette skills in other aspects of daily life. We tend to lean forward when actively listening and follow The Golden Rule in our interviews, relationships, friendships and business networking. Apply it to your marketing strategy in the social media age and you’ll cultivate that warm, fuzzy feeling that eventually boosts sales and brand loyalty.
At EAG, we specialize in integrating social media strategy with all aspects of your small business marketing strategy. We can recommend the most relevant channels for you to focus on, and even help implement social sharing icons during a website redesign. Most importantly, we partner with you to develop fresh & relevant content that accurately portrays your brand.