Social Media: Boogeyman or The Bomb?!

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Just when you thought it was safe to “Post your comment” and mastered the art of telling the world what your cat is having for dinner in “140 characters” – BAM! Here comes Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, Pajamagram and all the rest.

OK, so maybe not Pajamagram. As for the rest, they can be tad overwhelming and downright scary. But here’s the thing, you can love it or hate it, but there’s no way around it – if you aren’t on Social Media you are losing business and giving your competitors the edge.

So throw caution to the wind and come on in – the water is fine!

Social Media is a marketing bonanza! Yes, even for YOU! So sit back, relax and breathe. I am here to demystify Social Media. It really isn’t that scary, I promise! In fact, you have probably been practicing safe Social Media for years!

But before we dig deep, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page about “marketing.”

It’s easy – marketing is everything your company does to identify and then persuade your customers your product is the best…the easiest, cheapest, newest, fastest, smartest, prettiest “gotta have it” product they will ever find.

Yours is the RED CRAYON in a box of blah!

Then your “Marketing Strategy” includes all the other crayons left in the box – advertising, public relations, direct mail, newsletters, brochures, yadda, yadda. Right? Well, not quite. Have you ever gone to a networking function, spoke to a potential customer on the phone or even explained to someone you’ve met at a BBQ what you do for a living?

THAT, my friend, is Social Media and you are already doing it! Dig deeper.

See? Social Media is not so scary after all. It’s communicating, interacting, connecting and networking with people just like you. It’s sharing, discussing or creating information and ideas. That’s it.

Only now we’re doing it online and instead of coming face-to-face with just a few, come to Facebook and make friends with 1.3 billion users. Or just the ones you know. Or used to know. Or want to know. It’s your choice how you use Social Media.

So let’s get down to business.

Perhaps, the biggest change, in business today, is the importance of the relationship between the company and their customer. More than ever before, people value who they do business with as much as they value the actual product. Wow, opportunity, indeed!

So how can you use social media, in your business, to develop that special relationship with your customers? Here are six suggestions to help you start now:

  1. Write a BLOG – Content is King so rock your audience with killer tips and trends; exciting new technology; colorful tidbits; provocative solutions and more. Tempt them, tease them, make them ask for more. Be audacious!
  2. Educate, don’t sell – We can all smell a sales pitch from miles away, so avoid it like the plague. Instead keep them coming back for more by providing information, free tips or simply entertain your customers.
  3. Create a Contest/Take a Survey – Invite your customers to come out and play. Engage your fans. Reward them. Let them help develop your brand; it helps develop their loyalty!
  4. Offer a place for “Comments” – Keep the conversation going…with you, with each other. Let them talk about their likes and needs. Who knows better than they do? Listen well.
  5. Direct them here, there and EVERYWHERE – Create your strategy, keep it moving and take your customer with you. Start a story here but end it over there…on your website or a product review or another application. Ask an edgy question but let them answer it. Anywhere they’d like.
  6. Produce a video – Every minute, 100 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube and viewed by 490 million users, per month! Give them something fabulous to look at – YOU! A short, animated video (30 – 90 seconds) will grab attention and hold it.

Finally, here’s the big take-away, Social Media is for real people, like you. If you love what you do, believe in your product and care about your customers, here’s your chance to blow your competition out of the water.

So pull off your tie, kick off your heels and go forth and prosper – greet your best customers on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest … or Pajamagram