USING SOCIAL MEDIA   
How to Use Social Media
Think about the companies you like to do business with. Why is it you're
willing to pay more for their products or services? Why do you drive across
town to do business with them?

Here's two possible reasons:

1. They always have a minute to talk, and ask how you are.

2. They make you feel like they genuinely appreciate your business.


MAKE SOCIAL MEDIA WORK FOR YOUR BUSINESS


Social media offers you opportunites that traditional marketing, advertising,
press coverage and promotion don’t offer. The opportunity to engage your
clients (and prospective ones) in meaningful two-way conversations. The kind
of conversations that can help you build the loyalty with them, that the higher-
priced local business on the other side of town has with you!

Are you using it that way?

I ask, because most businesses aren’t. What’s worse is that they’re investing
a lot of time in it, but aren’t getting the kind of return on it that they could be.

The Insider is not social media. Sure, it’s cyber communication. But, unless
you e-mail me about what you’re reading right now, and I reply to you, we won’
t engage in conversation. You won’t get an individual reply from me, thanking
you for subscribing, inquiring about how business is, and personally asking
you to suggest a topic you’d like The Insider to cover. You’ll read this, and at
best, the words I’ve written will motivate you to think and act differently where
social media is concerned.

In recent times, true “social media” started with Myspace. It eventually
expanded (or gravitated) toward Facebook. Twitter, Linkedin, blogs, etc, also
appeared., but Myspace started it. You could create your own personal page
or space in the cyber world, and you and your friends could keep in touch
without having to talk on the phone, or get in the car. You participated at your
convenience. Long-lost friends from high school or college reconnected.
Pictures of family and friends were exchanged, people posted comments and
sent messages to one another, and two-way conversations began.
Friendships, bonds and loyalties were strengthened or rekindled through the
two-way conversation that social media provided.

Are you engaging your clients (or prospective ones) in the same way on your
social media platforms?

Or, are you doing the traditional marketing, advertising, press coverage and
promotion thing?


ONE-WAY COMMUNICATION


Your advertising, your brochures, your flyers… even press coverage, are all
one-way communication. You use them to announce a sale or special,
introduce a new product or service, remind them that you’re here, and
encourage them to come in. But, it’s still just one-way communication. It’s you
controlling the message they receive, and there‘s no opportunity for them to
respond.

The loyalty and commitment-building doesn’t begin until, or if, they walk
through the door. And until they do, you don’t know if they’re even getting
your message.


SOCIAL MEDIA IS A TWO-WAY CONVERSATION


Use your social media platforms to thank your customers. A simple thank you
for subscribing or being a fan or follower. Or for doing business with you. Post
the thank you on their social media platform. Offer free advice or tips… share
your expertise or talent with them… no matter what it is. Post a comment on
their Facebook page, blog, etc., about something they’ve posted. Be their
biggest supporter. Randomly name a good client or customer your “customer
of the day” every now and then for no reason at all… or for some
accomplishment/milestone they’ve achieved that has nothing to do with your
business. Adopt a cause or charity that’s important to you, and tell them why
you adopted it. Cause-related marketing is an excellent loyalty builder. Even if
the cause or charity isn’t important to them, we all like to do business with
someone who gives back to the community.

Then mix in just a little bit of the marketing and promotion. ( You know you’re
going to, so I may as well suggest it… LOL)


THE BOTTOM LINE


Creating the two-way conversation with social media can involve a serious
time commitment. Would you be better served by building a small, loyal
following that patronizes your business often, or a huge one that percentage-
wise, doesn’t bring a lot of people through the door?

If you’re one of those people whose time is always at a premium, go for the
small, loyal following. Social media can work like word-of-mouth. Loyal online
fans and followers will eventually spread the word about you virally. It may
take a little longer, but the time you save is time you can devote to other parts
of your business or organization.


Posted on 4/11/10
Ithaca Public Relations   159 Snyder Hill Road   Ithaca, NY 14850   607-280-3840   info@ithacapr.com
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