Recently I had the opportunity to talk with a friend who works [as a cameraman] at a local TV station in Richmond, VA. He was sharing with me how his station is utilizing Social Media, not only to build reputation and inbound marketing… but, to build relationships and allow viewers to become a part of the process of journalism.
I wanted to share two thoughts in our conversation:
THEN vs NOW
Social Media has become a non-option for small businesses. Fifty years ago, you could open a store front or a home business… and maybe put an advertisement in the local newspaper to share your new venture. Although that is pretty simplistic, I think you get my point.
Then, that despite your place of expertise or passion, technology has worked its way into almost every type of business. Even though setting up Social Media accounts is one more thing on your business plan and one more expense, I’m here to tell you – it is beneficial!
If nothing else, a free Facebook page or Twitter account is a simple and low-cost solution or temporary substitute for a company or product website. Even sites like Pinterest or Etsy are making their stamp in the marketplace… making selling and small business more accessible, even eliminating the need for a store front in some cases!
The need for Social Media is still a somewhat recent change… but, if understood and used creatively- a beneficial one!
It used to be that businesses thrived on one person passing positive information on to another in conversation. Word-of-mouth is still one of the best tools for growing your business — its means has just changed, from [literal] word-of-mouth to word-of-touch.
The accessible use of texting and convenience of mobile phone apps has made it much easier to pass the good [and the bad] onto others through… even reaching more people with one swipe or one click than a couple of words used to reach.
With a couple of clicks, a follower of yours can share your product or service with hundreds of thousands of people at a time! I call that very efficient word-of-mouth!
We often think of Social Media interactions as distancing friends and family from face-to-face contact… which, I may agree, is true. However, for a business, using Social Media to connect with readers, clients, customers or viewers is the perfect tool for this time.
Social Media is a common place where users feel [mostly] safe to share their own opinions and ideas… to a small [or large] business, this is invaluable! It is like having tens, hundreds or thousands of free marketers working for you 24/7… if you take the opportunity to communicate with them!
Posting and then ignoring reader’s response, comment or share is an invaluable misuse of technology! Now, this can be very timely, sometimes expensive and not always practical. But, that said, making a follower feel heard [sometimes despite negative opinions] is a great tool to building relationships and expand your reach.
A follower that feels heard, will likely [and sometimes unknowingly] spread the outcome of your time spent with them with friends, family — and the benefit of Social Media, with strangers.
That is my thought today!! Go out and spread word-of-touch… let me know what happens!