If You’re in Business, You’d Better Be on Social Media
Years ago, a store opened, maybe in a shopping center or small strip mall, or in the shopping district of a small town. To promote his/her business, the owner put signs in the store window, sent out fliers, and advertised in the local newspaper. Customers came and shopped. If they liked what they bought, they told their friends. If they had a complaint, they took it up with the staff at the store.
Enter the Internet
Fast forward. Today, that same store would have a website. And it may even have online purchasing from its online catalogue. If the business is a restaurant, it will publish its menu and a map with directions, its hours of operation, and a phone number to call for take-out orders. The point is this: people use the Internet for almost any kind of search. They do not read their mailbox flyers and most do not subscribe to newspapers either. They use the web to find everything and for any kind of information.
Social Media as a Purchasing Tool
People use social media too. They have large communities of friend and connections on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. They use these social media platforms to find and share information. And they listen to the recommendations of their communities when they need to purchase something. Any business that wants to prosper and grow has to be where its potential customers are – and that’s on social media. And that social media presence has to be used to “connect” with those consumers in positive and personal ways, not to make a sales pitch. It’s all about trust and relationships now, and the way to build that is to engage people on social media, to have lots of conversations with them, and to demonstrate that their interests and needs are important to you.
If you want to see how this is done, check out the Facebook page of ModCloth, a millennial women’s clothing retailer.
Here are actual customers modeling their purchases. And her are the conversations that are going on.
And the string of conversation goes on and on every day. ModCloth also runs contests to name clothing items and win them. They let customers vote on whether they should carry an item or not. The point is this: Once ModCloth decided to make Facebook presence a major project, it went all out. And the results have been pretty phenomenal – it is now a multi-million dollar corporation. Its followers access its page all the time, share events, photos, and contests with their communities, and ModCloth has become a business that customers trust and like. Trusting relationships. – That’s how business is done these days.
How You Do This Too
You begin of course by establishing your presence on social media platforms where your target customers hang out. You then begin to post entertaining, humorous, or other engaging content – contests, jokes, surveys, polls, photos, and videos. When customers visit your website, invite them to follow you on Facebook for all sorts of great information and entertainment. And, of course invite them to share any content that you have on your blog or elsewhere.
There are any number of sources that will give you step-by-methods of promoting your business on social media. There are, in fact, at least 10 ways to make your social media strategy work for your business that you can implement quickly and easily.
Another key concern will be the type of content you create and post or promote on your social media platforms. Of course, you will use text, but you are not engaged in paper writing here. Content on social media is in short chunks with lots of visuals to add interest. Content must appeal to your audience in many ways, engage them, inspire them, entertain them, and give them valuable information. There are lots of resources available to show you how to create influential content with social media – content that will be shared with larger communities.
Social media has become the marketplace of the 21st century. If you own a business, you have to get into that marketplace and share your story, your personality, and your brand.