The Social Media Riddle Solved
People shop, buy and get information differently now. For small business Social Media can be quite the riddle. What is "Social Media" really? If you've been in business and doing just fine for a while, social media may not seem relevant to you. Why should you give it any attention at all? Well, for starters, 77% of the United States uses the Internet. This is where the majority of your customers are.
Look at businesses and industries that have been decimated by the internet. Tower Records, Blockbuster Video, Yellow Pages, Encyclopedias, News Papers, The Post Office, Thomas Guides. Just to name a few.
Consider your business for a moment and ask yourself how people are (or are not) finding out about you. Have you Googled your business lately? Have you looked yourself up on Yelp? Do you have a Facebook Page yet? Are you Tweeting?
Social Media is where people on a global scale go to be social. To get and exchange information and ideas. You need a presence in this space. A real, genuine presence.
Again, people are shopping, buying and getting information differently now. People will go into a store looking for something, not find it, can't get assistance and, while in that store, use their smartphone to order exactly what they want on Amazon.
Social Media plays a very important role in how your business is found and whether or not people will decide to give you the opportunity.
Here are 4 fundamental tips for being more social in the digital world with a bonus round to boot!
Just The Facts Ma'am
- 125 Amazing Facebook Statistics (Updated June 2014)
Here are a bunch of amazing Facebook statistics and facts that illustrate just how vast their digital empire is. Updated for June 2014.
#1 Post more than you think you should
Ask 100 people what the number one problem In business is and you'll probably get 100 different answers. But if you chip away at the answers, one fundamental problem will emerge. According to business insider and multi-millionaire Grant Cardone, the number one problem for any business, large or small is obscurity. You know the old saying, "out of sight, out of mind." That goes for small business as well.
Your biggest problem as a small business is obscurity. If they don't know you, they certainly can't buy from you.
There are many that will tell you not to post too much. That over posting will drive the buyers away. Have you ever posted something to Facebook and then someone told you, "I never saw that." Or what about an event you promoted on Facebook and later on, someone tells you, "I didn't know you guys did that? Did you put it on Facebook?"
Facts and Figures from DMR:
- As of June 2014, there are 1.23 Billion active people on Facebook
- As of April 2014, the average number of post that are eligible to show up on your feed is 1500
- There are 55 million status updates every day
Consider this just for a second, wouldn't you rather have a full house, more likes to your page and more people coming into your business? If in the course of that you needed to take a little flack from a couple non-believers, it'd be worth it, right?
Facebook is constantly adjusting and adapting how your posts appear in the news feed. Facebook is not linear. It's (simply put) basing your relevancy on engagement and quality. If people don't see you, they can't engage with you. You become obscure and your posts wind up in the back of the line.
Lesson? Post to Facebook and Tweet more than you think you should. And as soon as you think it's too much, do a little more. Also, post throughout the day. Not all at once. Using a service like Buffer will help tremendously with scheduling posts. Lastly, it's OK to post the same thing more than once as long as you're creative about it. Just because you post something at 9:45 am doesn't mean that someone will see it at 4:55 while they hit Facebook before leaving work.
#2 Be Certain / Be social
The next big challenge for any business is uncertainty. Remember in middle school at the dance? There she was, across the gym floor. You want to ask her to dance but...
Ever feel like that when looking at your Facebook page.
"What's on your mind?" It's asking you.
If you're not certain, it's 6th grade all over again! You need to be in a place of complete conviction and certainty about 3 things. You, your product or service and your company.
In Grant Cardone's book, Sell Or Be Sold, conviction is defined as "the ability to be so firmly sold on your beliefs that you demonstrate to your buyer with such complete and utter certainty that no other choices appear to be available."
And with that level of certainty comes the creativity you need to ask engaging questions and to, likewise, engage with others on social media.
After all, it is called social media for a reason. There is a social aspect here. If you just pound people with specials and deals and discounts and are constantly asking people to buy from you, they will tune you out faster than then commercials on TivO.
Speaking of Grant, one of the first things I learned from Grant was, "Selling is a conversation and power comes from the words that you use."
How do you think this applies to social media?
Converse with your audience. For example, if you had a small single screen movie theatre in a small town you have a tremendous opportunity to engage with your local community in a very special way. You would never be limited to just what's playing and coming soon. You sell so much more. You sell mini vacations and people love to talk about film and movies, so while you're showing "Jersey Boys" wouldn't it make sense to talk about other musicals that were made into films over the years? Could you also promote other local events? If there was a car show in town or Art In The Park, for example, share these events with your followers and bring it back to film.
Example: Car Show's in town all weekend. What's your favorite car from the movies?
Extra credit: Write (or find) a blog about 10 famous cars from cinema and post that with your comment.
Then during the event post: Hey, if after walking all day at the Car Show, hop into our air conditioned theatre and give your feet a rest while enjoying Jersey Boys!
You got to be certain though and then you got to be creative and engaging. Have fun with it!
If at first you don't succeed... well you know the rest.
Social Media is not "new." Before people spent their mornings with their head down buried in their smartphone, it was a newspaper.
Being social is not new and neither is media. These two things have joined forces and this is new... sort of. Didn't we all have a special place we used to hang out in High School? And what happened there? We socialized. And now, don't places like this exist for adults in the real world? For some it's a bar or nightclub, others it's a gym, for some, like me, it's the coffee house set up.
My point is that sites like Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest exist on a global scale where people go to hang out with like-minded people, and just like in real life, are exposed to advertising, product placement, and people we disagree with. Occasionally we run into our ex or see an old friend. Social Media is as real as life because for the majority of Americans it is part of life. No avoiding that now.
And as we learn to navigate the waters, there will be a learning curve. Earlier I mentioned post more and post often. Now I suggest that persistence is necessary to really drive your message home. You may lose a follower or two, someone with your best interest in mind will tell you that you're doing too much, and someone else will suggest you're wasting your time.
When this happens, remember two things: #1, I told you so and #2, people told Edison he was nuts and the same thing for Galileo and everyone else who ever persisted with a dream and a message.
You have a message, you have a voice, you have a product or service that helps people, solves a problem, enriches lives, and you need to stay in it. Persist! Push, scratch, claw, post, engage, and as Gary Vaynerchuk put it, tell your story in this noisy social world.
#4 Be Brief
Twitter exists for a reason... We live in an A.D.D. world. Keep your posts brief.
Bonus Round: Fun tips to broaden your reach
- If you have employees, get them to check in on Facebook when they arrive to work.
- Get short (30-60 second) Video Testimonials from clients - upload to YouTube, share on social outlets.
- Get short (30-60 second) Video testimonials, product reviews, favorites, etc from employees - upload to YouTube, share on social outlets
- Post cool photos of products, inventory and events to Instagram. From Instagram, you can share on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook.
- Use the hashtag. People search with that, see what's trending and get in on it when you can make it apply.
- Tweet to and or tag clients on Facebook. "Thanks for your business so-in-so!" If you're a trainer, "Great session today, so-in-so!"
And there you have it. Questions? No problem!. If you need clarity on anything you read today, feel free to leave a comment below or fire off an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information, consultation and help.
Speaking of comments: What did see in here that you liked and what are you going to take with you into your business. Let me know down below!
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Your Feedback Please
Cody Bilbrey on November 08, 2016:
My favorite parts were as follows: Genuine presence, post throughout the day, be creative with posts, social aspect, selling = conversation, remember two things, and the bonus round.
Vernon Bradley from Yucaipa, California on May 23, 2015:
I missed this when first published. Persistence is my number one choice of drug or fuel. Persistence keeps me on track with the other three tips. Thanks for excellent, simple, easy to incorporate tips. Well written.
David R Bradley (author) from The Active Side of Infinity on July 18, 2014:
@notsosecret, thank you for reading! What was your favorite part? How will you use the information? Are you a small business owner?
Notsosecret from Fl. on July 18, 2014:
really cool article.. a lot of good information to use