Dear M & M: How can I best use social media to get more business? Jan
Dear Jan: Probably the best advice and the most important thing you can do is to engage and use it.
Do not be afraid. You will make mistakes.
Everyone has heard, “If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it.” Today’s online consumer must be engaged to stay in business. Don’t forget, this is definitely one of the times practice never makes perfect.
However, you will get better with use. Remember, YouTube probably has a ton of 2-5 minute clips and plenty of 30-60 minutes videos you can watch on how to do practically anything to get started.
The first step is do something. Go to YouTube watch a few videos. Talk to other people you know in business. Find out what they are doing. Pick one social media platform and start using it. Find out where your customers are. Ask them what social media platforms they use. Block out time each day to learn how to use it and engage online with your customers.
You might have an employee already actively using some social media platform. Obviously, you don’t want everyone standing around all day on Facebook ignoring customers. However, ignoring a potential consumer by not going online and engaging might be just as bad. We need to think differently. If appropriately used employees can be a great part of any company’s online strategy.
The second thing everyone should do is to have a conversation with employees and get their thoughts on how they think you should be using social media in your organization.
Finally, at a minimum go online look at third party reviews and see what people are saying about your company. Here are just a few reasons every company should have an online presence. According to a recent study done by Big Commerce 51% of Americans prefer to shop online, 96% of Americans have made an online purchase in their life, 80% in the past month alone, E-commerce is growing 23% year-over-year, yet 46% of American small businesses do not have a website, 55% of all e-commerce sales are done through branded stores, vs. 45% via marketplaces like Amazon or Etsy. Time to get heads out of the sand and engage this isn’t going away.