business

I think there are many companies who have got to this point, and it’s probably the worst reason to get involved with Facebook, Twitter and social media in general.

Let’s press the pause button and consider …

–          Your business goals

–          How will social media help you achieve them?

–          What does success look like?

–          What’s your strategy to get there?

If you’re struggling to answer any of these questions, then do give us a call and we can help through the process.

Once you’ve answered these questions then it’s time to implement, but do keep referring back to keep yourself on track with your strategy.

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I’m often asked by industrial manufacturing businesses if there is any benefit to them using social media. The short answer is yes, the longer answer is…

Well, for a start – are you sure? It’s still early days for social media in the industrial manufacturing sector, so your customers may not have a Business Page yet, although many do, but are you sure they don’t use Facebook or Twitter on a personal basis?

In the UK there are 30 million people on Facebook, around 12 million on Twitter, with 8 million using LinkedIn and I find it hard to believe that your customers don’t account for some of these huge numbers …

However, if I’m wrong, does it really matter? Every post on social media is indexed by search engines, so as long as you use your keywords, you have a chance of a search engine finding that tweet or update when a potential customer is searching for a product. Isn’t that reason enough?

 

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When I speak to businesses who are considering entering the Social Media arena, they are often concerned that customers will use it for complaints which other existing customers and potentials will then see. Far from this being a negative, I see this as a great opportunity for companies to advertise how good they are, when problems occur.

I’ve been completely blown away by the service I received from Build-A-Bear workshop this week. Interestingly, it has nothing to do with the purchasing of their products, or even the quality of them, but in how they handled a problem that I encountered.

My daughter has been saving up for some accessories for her B-A-B Hello Kitty, so on Sunday we made the 1.5 hour round trip to our nearest store. We had a lovely time browsing, the staff were helpful and my daughter managed to stay within her budget, so all in all, a very positive experience. Did I tell anyone about it? No.

That evening, we realised the zip on her new poodle sleeping bag was faulty, so the next morning I called the store. They asked how far away we were and then suggested that their head office may be able to authorise the exchange by post. So I called them, and they also suggested the postal option. I was really hoping they wouldn’t ask me to return the item first, as my daughter wouldn’t have been happy, and they didn’t. They offered to UPS a replacement to me and to send a free returns note for “when we have a chance to post it back to them.”

Our replacement arrived the very next day. My daughter had no interruption in playing with her new purchase and I didn’t have to drive over there to exchange it, so all in all, two very happy customers! Did I tell anyone about it? Oh yes!

Build-A-Bear Workshop is on Facebook, so I posted an update telling everyone about my problem, but thanking them for their great customer service. It also tied in with a question that Michael Losier (Law of Attraction), had posed, so I also mentioned it there. Do you really think that will put anyone off buying from them? I don’t think so. In fact, B-A-B took the time to thank me for my comment and for being a fan, so I’m pretty sure they get my point. Every company will make mistakes. Either the product will be faulty, the service not up to their usual standard or maybe a part will be missing. If a company tells you that they never have complaints, don’t believe them.

I’m so much more impressed with Build-A-Bear after being on the receiving end of their great after sales service, than if the product had been OK. They’ve turned what could have been a negative into a huge positive, and what’s more, by the power of Social Media, it’s been amplified. On Facebook Michael Losier has nearly 10k fans and Build-A-Bear have over 1m fans. That’s a lot of people who could read about my experience and feel comfortable that should they have a problem, Build-A-Bear will respond similarly to them.

So you see, as long as your company handles complaints well, you really have nothing to fear from Social Media, but so much to gain. If you’d like to know how Social Media Marketing can help your own business, let’s have a chat…

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People often ask me why anyone would hire a Social Media Manager, when they could do it themselves. Running a good, effective, interesting social media campaign isn’t rocket science, but there is more to it than setting up a profile and putting out the odd advertisement tweet. To do it properly takes time, imagination, research and a love of the whole social media scene. Do it half heartedly and you may as well not bother.

I believe that everyone in business has their own talents, and that’s what they should concentrate on. If you’re a really effective financial advisor, then spend your time advising people and making money for your clients and your business. If you’re a creative type, spend your time creating, because you probably hate doing your accounts!

As consumers, we’re quite used to contracting out work. Every time you pick up that takeaway coffee, you’ve outsourced some work. With every pack of pre-washed salad leaves that you buy, you’ve paid someone to do the growing, harvesting, washing, packing, distribution and a lot of other things besides…

Hiring a Social Media Manager is no different to this. A lot of large companies will have a full time social media manager strategising and implementing their social media marketing plan, and ensuring their on-line presence is positive. They recognise that they will be talked about on-line, but if they aren’t a part of this on-line social experience, they don’t have a chance to manage their reputation. Luckily for businesses who don’t want to do this in-house, there are a number of Social Media Managers that you can contract out to.

This expertise doesn’t have to cost the earth. The way I work is to find out about your business and really understand the way your company operates. Although I don’t work in your company, I need to understand in order to be your “voice” on the social media stage. I establish what your business goals are and then work out a plan in order to help you achieve them, within any budget constraints that you have.

If you want to find out more about me to see if we could work together, do have a look around my web-site and get in touch.

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