What is Social Media?

Imagine you are on a raft, in an ocean, nothing around you as far as the eye can see. You dangle your feet in the water and occasionally something bumps your legs. You keep an eye out for something else that may bite it off. For most businesses, that describes their experience using social media. How to use social media baffles most business owners, who have many other concrete problems, but who want to use their business social media to grow from being a raft in an ocean to a nice big cruise ship. Social media statistics tend to be depressing, with most small businesses reporting frustration in gaining an audience.

How To Use Social Media

Be yourself. Think about, “What does my customer do with my product.” This can be done if you’re a local dress shop or physician. A medical group can use a social media blog to keep their customers informed of the importance of check-ups, periodic tests, diet and other self-care needs. And their social media blog can be programmed to feed directly into Facebook and Twitter using various plug-ins.

Always watch the competition. See what other businesses are doing with their social media strategies. Do it better. Rinse and repeat.

One of the reasons why social media is viewed as necessary for all businesses is that customers feel like they have a place to be heard. This has good and bad to it. Yes, it creates a space where customers can vent publicly in a space branded with your business identity. But as well, this creates an opportunity to show your customer service skills in resolving problems.

Social media statistics show that customers want to engage with a business social media site if the site demonstrates genuine activity. If a business knows how to use social media effectively, they will get advice and input from customers that is invaluable. But how to use social media effectively? Essentially you start off with a blank space. And social media statistics show no one wants to go first. So how do you grow your raft into a cruise ship in an empty ocean? One option is to create imaginary customers, or more commonly, pay someone else to create them for you.  However, this is a little like delirium setting in on the raft and you suddenly have a lot of imaginary friends. Don’t hallucinate. Mostly likely, customers will be able to tell. Your business social media will just look like an insane person on a raft.

If you found yourself stuck on a raft, what would you do? If you had the will to live you’d look around for a boat, get it’s attention and climb on board. But with your business social media site you have to do something a little darker. You need to think like a pirate and start taking over bigger and bigger ships, until you get to your cruise ship. How to do this was already stated above.

Watch the competition. Do it better. Rinse and repeat.

Ask your face to face customers about their problems with your product, their dream product ideas, advice and new ideas. Tell them about your social media platforms, or better yet have cards printed advertising where you can found online. Offer special discounts, or coupons on your social media sites. This will get people excited and help create a space that will be used. And as you spend time gathering new ideas, and improving on practices you adopt, more and more people will join your business social media sites.

Brandingstrategyinsider.com wrote a recent article providing helpful ways to generate ideas from your customers.  Definitely worth a read!