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Does Your Company Take A Social Approach?

Most of us know that social media is more than just a buzz term. For the millions and millions of people and businesses that partake in social media on a daily basis, it is their lifeline in many cases to the outside world. They oftentimes get their news, advertise their businesses and browse and make purchases online all from this social medium.

As a small business owner, are you more of a social company or an anti-social company?

The advantages of social media far outweigh the disadvantages, especially given the fact that using SM for the most part is free. The greatest expenses to using social media are simply time and effort, two things companies should certainly not be willing to shy away from when it comes to promoting their brands.

When a strong social media campaign is in place, businesses can reach out to potential customers and better explain to them how they can assist them.

As a number of studies have indicated recently, an increasing segment of the population is turning to venues such as Twitter for news, sharing different product and service information on Facebook with friends and family, and essentially spending more time engaged in Internet research and conversation.

For example, say you are a small business providing health care products. While you still could and should do a lot of traditional advertising via print, you can essentially advertise for free through social media by engaging individuals in what products you offer, what services are available, when you have specials running and more.

That being the case, it is to the advantage of a business to engage the consumer online in order to reach out to them and have a potential sale in the offing.

In order to be in the best position to engage customers online, be sure to:

  • Provide a strong and updated presence on sites like Twitter and Facebook Just being on social networking sites is not good enough. You need to regularly update the sites in order to get the most out of them. Important ways to do this include providing relevant and fresh information, sharing/retweeting information that will benefit both present and potential customers;
  • Provide good customer relationship management (CRM) – Today’s customers are in many cases juggling busy work schedules, families and so on. The bottom line is time is of the essence, so your social media message to them needs to be precise and not viewed as spam. Be social, but do it in a productive and time effective manner;
  • Provide engagement for customers – Reaching out to customers is one thing, but do you respond to their questions and concerns? Customer service is not only done via phone calls, emails and even letters, but also through online conversations. If an individual contacts your company through your Twitter and/or Facebook pages, be sure to respond in a prompt manner;
  • Provide answers, not more questions – If a customer or potential customer comes to your social media sites seeking answers, don’t make it so that they leave with even more questions. Even if you need a little time to compile the answer, let the individual know you are working on the situation. Given the real-time reality of social media, it is very easy to lose business or potential business if you are slow to respond online.

Even though customer relationship management comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, it provides businesses an unlimited number of possibilities when it comes in the form of social media. If you’re not involved in the social media wave engulfing the world, you’d better not wait much longer to hitch a ride.

Image: “Businessman press social/Shutterstock


With 23 years of experience as a writer, Dave covers a wide array of financial topics, including discussing SafeAuto and its auto insurance offerings, along with internet reputation management and payroll companies.

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Comments
  • “Provide answers, not more questions”I really like this Dave, and is a timely reminder to be mindful of the time that people have to spend using our products/services, and be ready when they come looking for answers.
     
    And a face really helps to personify a company, and I feel video interaction will be become more prevalent as webinars, videocasts and screencasts evolve. It is so interesting to imagine where our ride will be in 12-24 months.

  • Anonymous

    Dave, as one who is learning what you advise, my observations are that you are spot-on.  Especially “a strong and updated presence” and “providing engagement.”  Keep it going.

  • Hi Dave, great post and of course social media tools can be and should be used for more than sales and marketing, ultimately they’re communications super tools that can built efficiency in every business and it’s CRM. 

  • Dave Thomas

    Elaine/Warren/Niall,

    Thanks for the feedback. Yes, I will be interested to see where we are a year from now with social media. Technology is moving so fast that what we’re doing today with SM will be old news before too long. It is an exciting arena to be in…. always growing and never dull.

  • smo services

    Hello
    Dave, it’s an amazing article and the ideas are very helpful also. In my
    opinion social media is the best virtual tool for public exposure of any of my personal
    updates, news, and information’s whatever I want to share.

  • Curious Rachel

    Very sad to see Garrendenny Lane close, best of luck to Lorna with her new ventures!

  • KieranRyan

    Best of luck with the new venture Lorna and to the others involved Marie and Amanda in all the new ventures, great to see progress in the current climate especially from small businesses

  • Best of luck on your many ventures Lorna and sad to miss your Garrendenny blog from an interiors point fo view as its always been great for my ( Furniture & Interiors Trade Fair ) community. Where will we see any of your interiors related blog work in the future?

  • Thank you Una 🙂

  • Thank you very much Rachel 🙂

  • Thanks Kieran, variety is the spice of life as they say and I’m really looking forward to getting busy with We Teach Social 🙂

  • Thanks Elish, ironically, I’ve just been asked to write an interiors column in a bi-monthly national magazine so I’ll be keeping my toe in the interiors water with that 🙂

  • Great interview, Sian & the very best of luck to Lorna, Amanda and Marie with the new venture, sounds exciting!

  • Thanks Niall 🙂

  • Christina Giliberti

    Lorna is such a testiment to motivation, passion and innovation! Love the ‘can do attitude’.
    Congrats on the new business venture Lorna and a wonderful interview by our ‘in-house expert’ Sian.

  • great keep us posted @furnfairirl so we can get the community behind it

  • Thanks Niall – Lorna is so interesting it was a very simple interview

  • Thanks Christina – Lorna is so fascinating it was easy 🙂

  • I so enjoyed reading your story Lorna, and am delighted for your successes, and future endeavours with Marie and Amanda (two equally super women).
    Thank you Sian for sharing this story and the nuggets of inspiration for others in a variety of ventures 🙂

  • Janine, thanks for the feedback. It’s interesting to see how many corporates / large businesses are also picking up on the Lean Startup principles and rolling them out.

    Last week, I was at a presentation from Cisco on their use of Agile project principles and how they are now starting on the Lean Startup path.

    Cheers

  • Richie – great article… I use Lean with start-ups and SME clients alike as a focused manner to determine clarity, message and direction. Nice to see I’m not the only advocate out there!

  • Thanks Jayden, that is a key message on the what is the appropriate focus of a startup. At times, I find myself speaking about products, rather than business models.

  • Thanks Olwen interested to hear your experiences. I have been accepted onto a New Frontiers programme with LINC and Synergy Centres and we are using Lean principles among the programme group. They’re gaining group and adoption which is good to see.
    Cheers

  • Kim Garst ツ

    Thanks for the inclusion :-)!

  • You’re both welcome ladies – always on the look out for good posts for the #TYBCommunity roundups every week

  • Sumita Das Dutta

    Hi Sian! Thank you once again for appreciating my post.I completely agree to what you have said

  • Nice for the newbies, I’m gonna send them this link. Thank you for awesome article

  • Sumita Das Dutta

    Hi Juliana! you are welcome. Yes, please do share it with as many as you want.




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