Why Every Small Business Needs Social Media
The power of social media is hard to ignore. Even if you aren’t web savvy and you think social media is a waste of time, you’ve probably noticed something a little fishy is going on — everywhere you go, people walking and driving around like zombies with their heads tilted down, scrolling, scrolling.
Americans are spending a lot of time looking at their phones (5 hours a day!) and almost ¼ of that time is spent looking at social media. It’s impossible to miss the juggernaut company Facebook has become, watching them add new features seemingly every day, as the stock price continues to climb.
But what does this mean to you as a small business owner? Likely your primary concerns are taking care of your business, making sure your clients are happy, attracting new business and growing your company. Well that’s great! Because the best way for small businesses to win with social media is by using it to make sure clients are happy and to build content around managing your day-to-day business so that it can work to help you grow your business.
Using Social Media to Make Sure Customers Are Happy
Happy customer, happy business!
A great way many small businesses are using Facebook is as a client interaction portal. Using Facebook messages as your primary customer service interaction is a more personalized way to interact than an email and for a lot of people chat messages are less intimidating than a phone call. So, give your support staff messenger access to the page – quick response times are essential, so the more hands on deck the better. When you see your customers let them know, “Hey you can message us on Facebook if you have any questions or need help, we will get right back to you.”
You will find that a lot of the questions that come in are simple questions, and that it is actually saving you and your staff time and money versus fielding calls for every little question. The best part is that every time a customer reaches out to you on Facebook with questions they have to visit your company’s fan page. Which means they are now on your page for you to advertise an upcoming event, new product, or service. That’s right — you provide the valuable service of easy, pain free, instant customer service and you get to share more of your exciting new stuff with your customers!
Action Karate, a regional Philadelphia karate studio chain, is a great example of a small local business using this model for Facebook extremely well. They have over a dozen locations and each has a separate Facebook page. All of their staff has access to messages so any inbound message gets a quick response.
They are also so accustomed to helping their patrons on the messenger platform that the staff reaches out to people directly when their comments on company posts warrant a further conversation. This is a really proactive approach and it is a fantastic method for taking care of issues before they become a problem, helping existing customers, and in a lot of cases, driving new sales.
Building the Right Content to Drive Business
The age old question: what do I say and how do I say it?
Companies and people in general often feel pressure to share what they think is cool, funny, smart, witty – they want to hop in on a trend, appear to be relevant. But rather than chasing trends or re-posting there is a really simple two step process to follow that will ensure good original content: post content that is genuine, honest, and shows what you and your company do and what is important to you, and post your content consistently.
Now, just because the content is solid, consistent, and true to your brand doesn’t mean you will blow up overnight. You need to work to drive your customer base to your social media accounts by providing a unique value, such as customer service, valuable updates, educational posts, or entertaining content. It is possible for you to easily integrate value into your social media posts, it will just take work, effort, and time.
Kaweah Maintenance is an Exeter, CA based janitorial services company that really understands the value of consistent and relevant original social media content. They aren’t spending a lot of money or time and they are able to create clever, creative posts to entertain and interact with their customers. The below post went viral and has since netted over 3,000,000 views. It simply reads “Nobody cares Tim,” and has an image of a rock with “Tim <3 Crystal” spray painted on it, followed by a short video of them power washing the rock clean. This is brilliant marketing, and free advertising.
(Click for video)
I reached out to Kaweah Maintenance with a Facebook message and they answered me right away. The company’s owner said the amount of new business requests from the video has been great and, thanks to the effectiveness of his viral video, he realizes how powerful a sense of humor is in advertising.
It is possible to dip your toe in the social media pool and to slowly build your presence up. Establishing a social media presence takes time and there is no reason to put low quality or irrelevant content out there just because you think you need to post something today. Set a goal of taking one picture or video a week of something you or your business does that would be interesting, educational, or entertaining to your customers.
Remember that social media is really just a platform for sharing information. Consider who do you want to share information with and what will bring the greatest value to those people? For any small business, if you are committed to adding value to your customers lives you will continue to win.