Here’s a typical conversation I’ll have with a client about why they haven’t invested in social media.
“We are no longer in the Industrial Age; we are in a new economy that’s digital, global, intangible, more meaningful and very entrepreneurial. Everything has changed and so must you.” Daniel Priestly.
Think for a moment of the dramatic changes over the last 5 years.
There’s been an explosion in new technology, social media is one thing. But think about smart phone usage, automation, e-commerce functions, speech recognition, and the volume of free information at your fingertips. When today’s customers land on your website, they want free things.
Yet many brands still expect them to immediately part with their cash. Too many business owners are still trying to do business the same way they did it 20 years ago. STARTING A BUSINESS IN THE SOCIAL MEDIA AGE VS. 20 YEARS AGO When you wanted to set up a business, you probably had to endure endless meetings about property and rental prices, think about getting a logo designed, plan for logistical issues, get phone lines set up, and you probably took an ad out in a magazine, you sponsored events, you had to buy new computers. It cost a lot of money.
That wasn’t the case for Fikki and Lola. When they were students at Manchester University, they decided to get online and share their love of fashion. They set up a free blog, set up free social media accounts, shared their ideas, and were able to talk to their fans online — for free.
They focused on adding value and their fans got excited by their ideas. The word began to spread. Then they were contacted by fashion brands around the world.
They were asked if they could be sent clothes and review them on their website and social media channels. They then grew into a lifestyle brand. Lola explains
“We wanted to share our love of fashion which is why we started the blog. Now it’s expanded to general lifestyle — being asked to review hotels and restaurants.”
Everyone knows that today,
you don’t need to be limited to clients in Birmingham when you can just as easily target companies in Bangkok and Belize.
HOW DOES MY BRAND BENEFIT FROM SOCIAL MEDIA? Go to any coffee shop, everyone is on their smart phone. People are taking pictures of food in restaurants and uploading them to Snapchat and Instagram. And when you’re on holiday, the first thing we want is a wifi password.
The world is incredibly sociable. An internet connection, to many, has become a Human Rights issue.
Yet some people still think they’re an offline business. Whether you run a salon, sell nuts and bolts, or energy drinks, you can’t say “we don’t get social media.” You need to exist in the online world.
WHAT SOCIAL MEDIA IS NOT Social media is a tool to better service your audience, potential customers and current customers.
It’s a platform to share remarkable content and yes – to make sales. The purpose of a Facebook page isn’t to only shout about how great you are.
It’s partly that, yes, but it’s also about shouting about how great you are at solving your customer’s problems, sharing content that will support them, answer their biggest problems, and showing your personality. If you’re an events company and every day you post social media posts like “We have 20% off booking our main room this weekend, BOOK NOW. CALL NOW.” You’re not going to have a very successful social campaign.
Instead share photos of a recent event that took place, say what went well, say thank you to the people who came. If you have a new manager start, share that, let them know who he/she is, why they’ve joined the company and how their position helps YOU – their customer CONCLUSION There you have it.
You now know the fundamentals, what social media is and how it’s affected the business landscape. Are you feeling ready to start your social media strategy? In our next post we’re going to outline exactly how.