I was pleasantly surprised when I opened up the Press of Atlantic City (the E-Paper, of course!) yesterday. On the front page was a story about how police and fire departments all over South Jersey are successfully using social media. Written by Anjalee Khemlani (@acpressanj), the article’s focus is on six first responders who are using social media to promote what they do and how and why they do it. They are also using social media to deliver important information and educational materials to area residents.
As I read about their successes and challenges, I couldn’t help but think about the many small businesses that have yet to embrace social media. So I decided to share this article in the hope that these fearless first responders will inspire more small businesses to follow their lead.
So, after you read the article and are raring to go, here are five things to keep in mind:
It’s all about the customers. Social Media is all about building relationships and being ridiculously helpful. While it’s okay to slip in a little something promotional, do it sparingly. The customer is king!
Take one step at a time. Don’t try to be everywhere at once. Find out which social media platforms your customers use the most and start there. Facebook is a great choice. In fact, according to some brand new research, Facebook drives four times more traffic than any of its competitors. Not a bad place to be!
A “page” does not social media make. In other words, creating a Facebook page and updating it once a month does not qualify as being active on social media. Whatever platforms you select, make sure you are delivering a constant stream of great content. The more you post (great content), the more relationships you’ll build and the more trusted and valued you will become.
The rules and tools are changing all the time. Ask any social media guru and they will tell you that the only thing that’s stayed the same about social media is that everything keeps changing. What works now might not work six months from now. Companies are introducing new tools and platforms. Existing platforms like Facebook and Twitter are making improvements, and the list goes on and on. It’s very exciting, don’t you think?
Don’t wait. Approximately 64 percent of B2Bs are using social media. What’s more, 74 percent of consumers are using social media to inform their next purchase. We need to be there when they come looking!
What challenges are keeping you and/or your clients from using social media? Please use the comment form to let me know.