Social Media. It means a whole host of things, depending on who you ask. In general, it means networking and communication through electronic or online media sharing sites. Places where like-minded people connect, share ideas, and communicate. These are also sites where you can build your business image, provided you know how.
What sites are we talking about? The big ones are Facebook and Youtube, but it also included Google and Yelp! reviews, reviews on your website, blog posts on your site and about you on other people’s sites, Google+, and many more.
But you can’t say that you use social media if you just have a page sitting there, and don’t interact with anyone. That is just electronic media, stagnant, and not interactive. That’s where the social aspect comes in. Having a site, just to say that you do, can hurt you. If it’s just sitting there with old information, outdated communication and no activity, potential customers will assume correctly, that you don’t use it. In the best case scenario, it sits there, doing nothing. What can also happen is it can be hijacked. When a Facebook site is hijacked, they steal your password, mine your friends or business contacts for information, send them spam, and if it goes on long enough, will get your page shut down. The same goes with any other type of social media account. Do you want your business promoting the latest scams on the internet? No, you don’t.
What if your page is empty and stagnant? Well, there isn’t much for that potential customer to go on. Your current customer may not even “like” your page, because there is nothing there for them to like. You need content. How much content? What kind of content? Kitten photos may be cute and funny for a personal page, but that’s not what you want on your business page (unless your business has to do with kittens). That’s where a trained and experienced eye can come in handy. If you don’t know where to start, hire a professional.
Is it better to just not engage in social media? If you don’t, you are missing out on a huge resource for your business. If someone likes your business page, their friend sees that they like your page, and may look over what you have to offer. They are now a potential customer. When they need you, they have your page, with all of it’s wonderful content, as a resource when they need that new widget.
If you don’t have the time to monitor your page and respond to customers, or if you don’t have the content to post, your page will be bland and empty. You want to keep it new, fresh, current, and relating to you. If you are a body shop, post before and after pictures of your work. If you are a florist, post about upcoming flower sending holidays and seasonal flowers. If you are a cleaners, post about how you handle special requests or special fabrics. Tell your customers what they want to know, tell them about you, and all of the wonderful ways that you can serve them.