Companies used to spend tons of money on print advertising-snail mail campaigns, coupons, ad spots in mainstream media, etc. And now? The practice of paying for print advertising is becoming obsolete. It kind of makes sense-we’re not using paper like we used to, so why would it be logical to pay for print ads?
Don’t get me wrong. Print advertising will be around for a while longer, but many people are jumping on the social media bandwagon because it is absolutely crucial to the success of their business.
Think about it: At one time, “word of mouth” referrals got around fairly slowly. You’d mention your experience to your friend, perhaps a family member when you occasionally saw them, etc.
Now, word of mouth is on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Yelp, Foursquare, etc. and getting around faster than you can
possibly try to keep up with it.
Awesome for you if you provided an excellent product or service that people can’t stop raving about. Not so awesome if you had an off day and your customer left with a bitter perception of you.
Social media management is exactly that. You’re managing platforms that discuss your services or products. If someone gives you a favorable review, you have the opportunity to thank them right away-providing an intrinsic incentive for them to come back to you and recommend you to others.
On the other hand, if someone speaks poorly of their experience, you have the chance to fix it before the word really gets out. And the public will see how politely you tried to fix the issue by inviting the customer back for a complimentary visit.
Whether we like it or not, by the end of 2012, about 50% of us will have smart phones. Kids are learning how to use smart phones before they can tie their shoe laces. People tweet, post, link, check-in, blog about, and pin their experiences, products, locations, and interests in seconds. Information goes viral in an instant, don’t you want to know what your patrons are saying?
To join the conversation, you must manage your social media presence. And if you don’t want to, don’t have the time, or are simply perplexed and overwhelmed by the whole thing, then hire someone to ease the pain and help you wade through the chatter.
You’ve spent so much energy building your business and watching it evolve. So maybe setting some goals, outlining a plan, and creating ways to interact with your target audience is the next step.