Here’s five ways to succeed in using social media to get more customers and keep the ones you have:
1. Ignore Facebook and Twitter (for now) and Pinterest
If you don’t know what you are doing these sites will simply be a waste of time for you, decrease your productivity and not give you the results you are looking for.
Sarah Needleman in the Wall Street Journal writes, Experts recommend waiting to jump in until your start-up is fully functioning because effectively managing one or more social-networking profiles can take a great deal of time and energy. What’s more, they say rushing in without knowing what you’re doing can potentially result in embarrassment or worse. For example, a poorly executed reply to a Facebook message from an unhappy customer could go “viral”—meaning it could get reposted many times over on the Web—if the recipient were to share it with his or her Facebook friends.
2. Instead of jumping to social media, FIRST understand the art of content marketing.
Read my friend Ann Handley’s book “Content Rules” and others like it.
Content marketing is very simple, we all want to learn, be entertained, be informed. You must provide this information in the context of your business, products/services and/or overall marketplace.
Build listening stations to capture and know what content is already out there – start with a simple Google Alerts about you, your competition and relevant industry information and also use RSS Feeds to pull online content to you from web sites and blogs you trust.
3. Build a great web site, blog and email newsletter
Now that you’ve got streams of content coming TO YOU. Build a great web site, blog and email newsletter and share this content on a regular basis with your customers and others. Your blog and email newsletter should be a WEALTH OF KNOWLEDGE for your readers – not about “YOU” but content that they want.
4. Now you can check out the world of social media
Now that you have taken the time to listen to what others are saying, have developed your own insight and are now sharing it with others you’re ready to share it even wider through social networks. See which one works for you – Facebook? Twitter? Google Plus?
Don’t go crazy – be smart.
I could talk about social media all day long and have only given you a few small points!
Join me on my Small Business Technology Tour and maybe I will.