“But I don’t LIKE Facebook and Twitter” Makes No Sense To Me…
To which my response is always “But do you like generating new leads and making sales?”
There are still tons (tonnes for my Canadian friends) of people out there that don’t use social media as a business tool because they don’t like it.
Yes, building your business should be fun and hopefully you’ll enjoy most aspects of what you do. But if you aren’t willing to do everything necessary you are limiting yourself right out of the gate.
The question you should be asking yourself is this: “Did I go into business to get some results and make some money, or did I go into business looking to maximize all opportunities and create some real wealth”
Either answer is OK, you have to do what is right for you. But if the answer is that you are looking to build a real business and real wealth, the path to that is not by only doing what you happen to like or what you happen to decide is worthy (based on personal opinion and not on proven strategies).
Have you noticed most restaurants, pretty much all movies and various other stores only put Facebook Fan Pages and/or Twitter on their commercials now? That’s not to say that you don’t need a site (you definitely need a site that is optimized for the engines too) but it shows the power of social media sites to engage people and pull them into your sales funnel.
With huge bucks and major ad pros at their disposal these large restaurants, companies and movies are actively choosing to utilize social media in their ad campaigns.
Hmmm, wonder why? Me thinks it’s because it works! J
So how exactly do you benefit?
- You show customers that you are relevant and current with the times. Your company is cutting edge and not dated. How you present your company is how they are going to judge you and if you appear dated in your presentation they may assume what you offer is dated and therefore not as valuable. So the benefit here is credibility.
- You demonstrate to potential customers that you are human and most importantly that you care about them and what they have to say. (Remember “people don’t care what you know until they know you care” The benefit? Building trust and relationships (the key to earning new business AND repeat business)
- You offer more than a corporate brochure (most websites are little more than a corporate brochure and you need that as part of your strategy but you also need something more to increase interactivity and excitement). You engage users and get them to participate. The benefit here is obvious, anyone actively engaged with your brand is going to be more beneficial to you (as a buyer, a repeat buyer and even as an advocate or evangelist for your brand).
- You get the chance to address publically all of the questions and concerns your customers have about your products and services (which is you are honest you know are being asked anyway without your participation). The benefit: you get your chance to explain and share your side of the story. A powerful marketing concept is to reveal a flaw or point of contention for your potential consumers and squash it early so it isn’t in the back of their mind through the sales process. What better way to show people that you aren’t perfect, there may have been some issues or concerns but how you deal with them can actually win a customer over for life. I personally have never encountered a company that doesn’t have a flaw, a problem, a history of customer complaints. The key is not to find perfection in a company, the key is to find a company that stands behind their product or service and puts their customer’s satisfaction first. Social media is a great way to see this in action.
- You end up learning what your potential customers want and need from you and that is VITAL information for future marketing and growth. The benefit here is a goldmine of information to help you better target and market to your audience in the future. (Real marketers salivate over this one).
- You build community. You build a resource. Benefit? Increase the value of your company. This community becomes a huge asset if you ever look to sell your business and it’s something you’ll tap into regularly. Imagine launching a new product or announcing a special sale – won’t that launch or sale do better instantly when you have an active community to announce it to?
- You connect with thought leaders in your industry and create relationships that potentially bring large opportunity to you. The benefit? Connections. Remember the old saying “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know”? Social media offers an unprecedented chance to get to know people you may not have otherwise known.
- You build links. Links boost search engine rankings. ‘Nuff said.
- You reach people that you may not otherwise reach. More and more people are using social media to get product and service recommendations. If you aren’t on social media sites, you are missing a segment of your audience.
I could go on and on, there are countless benefits. But I really want you to understand that even more important than understanding the benefits, is understanding the concept that your personal opinion has no place in your marketing strategy. It’s blunt, it’s not pleasant for some to hear but it’s true.
Marketing is about proven concepts and about testing things to create new proven strategies and concepts. It’s not about what you like or don’t like. It’s not about what you think; it’s about what you can prove via trying and testing.
Not every business will make social media work (but I would argue it would be more about their approach and not about the vehicle used). BUT every business should test it to see the response for them, because the concept is proven.
Here is a good exercise to engage in…
Forget that you like or don’t like Twitter and Facebook. Forget that you don’t even really understand why someone wants to “waste time” on Twitter.
Just focus on the list of benefits I’ve outlined above and see if you can add to it.
What are benefits specific to your business?
If you can outline a strong list of ways you could benefit from social media and use that are your driving force behind your campaigns, you’ll do better. When you know why you are doing something and when you know what you expect to get out of it, you can better craft your campaigns to help you reach those goals and objectives.