local chamber, simply showing up will not lead to referrals. You have to build relationships. This means that setting up some profiles and putting links to your profiles will not magically increase the bottom line. There is still work to be done. Filling out the profiles completely, posting, replying back to comments are vital to having a true social media presence. Imagine a company that didn't maintain their presence. This would be similar to a farmer planting a bunch of seeds and that's it...no watering, no cultivating..nothing. All the crops would..well..die. So back to the social media campaign left for dead. You open your web browser, search for a product or service, then click on the website. Then you notice social media icons at the top or bottom of the site and click on the Facebook icon. Then you notice that there has not been a post since 2012. What thoughts might cross your mind? Did they go out of business? Did they fire their social media guru? Did they just stop caring and give up? Who knows! Believe it or not people research ALL aspects of a company's online presence. Small businesses can benefit from this research without even knowing it's happening. If your social pages rock, that is how you can "close the sale" without anyone ever telling you why they chose to do business with you.
1. Credibility: Consumers and potential clients expect businesses to be active on social media. They at least expect us to be on Facebook. It's strange in today's market place when someone asks a business owner what their Facebook or Twitter page is and they don't have one. The confused looks they must get! Simply having social media accounts (and links to them from your website) will give you a "leg up" on the competitor that does not. "How can I connect with you on social media?" is the new, "where is your office located?" or, "what is your website url?".
2. Posting Regularly: When people click on our social media accounts and they see that we are active and they see us engaging with other accounts, we look like a real, live, breathing company. Sometimes people go with a company (or choose another company) based on this click through. They know that if they have a question or concern, they can easily and quickly connect with you. Believe it or not, people would rather send you a Facebook message or a tweet than pick up the phone and call. If they see you responding to comments, they know you're a business that will cater to them. Conversely, when a page looks like a ghost town, they may feel like they are no longer in business or too busy to keep up. They may think, "If they are too busy to update their social media accounts, how could they possibly keep up with giving great customer service?" or "do they even care?". What's scary is that either way, a potential client may never tell you about this. They'll just go with someone else and you won't know why.
3. Shared/viral posts: As a social media marketer I would love to prove every single referral, but that is just impossible (bad news for me, but great news for my clients). Here's why: Check out this photo below. This happens every single day:
|check out this awesome post!!|
When we show someone a helpful, informative or funny post and now they are exposed to that brand or company. This is not trackable but still amazing! Have you ever gone through your news feed on Facebook and saw a post or a page simply because your friend "liked" it? Happens everyday. Same with retweets on Twitter and repins on Pinterest. Now here's what's really cool: Someone that follows your page will have a friend ask them if they know a good (insert your industry). That friend will say, "yes, call (insert your company name)." When this friend of your follower calls you and you ask how they found out about you, they will say that they heard about you from their friend. The fact is, it was really your social media presence that "sold" your follower and had them refer their friend. Pretty cool! Now this is what gets business owners really excited: Most people know about 20-30 people really well so you can multiply the number of followers you have by 20 and that's the true number of people you influence on a daily basis.
Building a reputation on social media does not happen overnight. It takes time, planning, and work. Once you establish a presence, the referrals and sales will start to roll in, even if you can't always trace it back to social media marketing. You just have to know it's working and people are indeed watching. To keep up with changes to social media and daily tips, please like our Facebook page.
Your comments are always welcome below as well!