Maximising Your Audience and Client Base with Social Media
If you are a small business, you will have found out that not only are you running your business, but that you are an accountant, marketer, sales person, customer service manager and a whole bunch of other roles. This is in addition to your day job of actually ‘doing’ your chosen business.
Let’s look at your marketing role and in particular, online marketing or social media.
If you think of social media as just an extension of your telephone or mailbox, you won’t go too far wrong. It’s simply just another form of communication, another way for customers and prospective customers to get hold of you. The only difference is, being online, the conversation is much more public.
Another thing to get your head around is that marketing via social media need not take a whole lot of time. Once you have your various platforms set up, it is easily updated on your computer, or on the go with your smart phone or iPad when you find yourself with five minutes in between customers.
Lastly, it’s not going away. It will only morph into something bigger and better, just like all of the other communication systems we have had in the past. So you do need to start now - before your competitors do and you are left behind.
So with all of those hats you have to wear, and knowing time is scarce, how best can you market your business online and keep it up? The best approach is deciding where to focus your efforts and marketing message.
Ask yourself where your target market hang out online. Are they on Facebook, LinkedIn,
Twitter or somewhere else? If you are dealing with the end consumer (B2C), they are more likely to be on Facebook. If you are dealing with other businesses (B2B), then LinkedIn may well be the place because it is a business-to-business online networking site. There is no point touting for business in the wrong place, so be sure of the site that is right for you and your business.
WHAT TO SAY
Decide on what your target market want to hear about and stick to that. It’s that simple. It’s very similar to writing a newsletter for your customers. In fact, think of what you post online as a ‘rolling newsletter’, with updates much more frequent than a hard copy newsletter. If you deviate from what your customer wants to hear, they will switch off from you, perhaps permanently.
Let me give you some examples of what you could post for various businesses:
• Take photos of great lawns you have worked on
• Give tips on looking after your lawn
• Find articles on different lawn care techniques - such as an organic approach
• Post YouTube videos from you or use others posted of interest
• List areas you will be working in this week
• Highlight referral scheme details
• List tips on keeping pests off your lawn
• Post cute dog pictures
• Share some funny dog stories
• Find articles on dog health
• Post funny dog videos from YouTube
• List tips to a perfect doggy coat
• Explain how coffee is processed
• Give instructions on making the perfect cup at home
• Promote the specials for the weeks
• Post new products and flavours
• Ask questions - what’s your favourite?
• Show before and after photos (but get the owner’s permission first)
• Give cleaning tips
• Display customer testimonials
• Post cleaning product reviews
• Write or find funny stories about the industry
• List and explain new cleaning tools
Some of the ideas above can overlap into different businesses, but the general rule of thumb is to give tips and advice to your customer and pull on their emotional strings.
Whether it be to laugh, cry or simply say, ‘WOW’, these are the emotions that make us want to share what we have seen with others, and what makes a simple post go viral, spreading your message and brand name.
Once you have something set up, don’t keep it a secret. Add your Facebook page address or your Twitter user name to your business card, add links from your email signature to your social media pages, maybe even add the addresses on your car signage and voice mail.
Wherever you might put your web address or phone number, think about putting your new communication channel addresses, you might be surprised who sees them.
Linda Coles is an international social media speaker, author and consultant at Blue Banana. She specialises in building relationships online.
Linda is also the author of Learn Marketing with Social Media in 7 days.(Wiley)
Contact Linda at: