Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Your Competitors Know How to Use Facebook...Should You?

If you haven’t been thinking about using social media as a part of your marketing mix, you may want to reconsider.  It’s no mistake that almost all of the big business money and marketing efforts are geared toward Facebook, Google +, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube and any other fast-moving social media upstart that is rising.   

Facebook is clearly the “Big Kahuna” in the social media war, with over 1.19 Billion active users a month.  The reason for this is its age, overall broad mass appeal, ease of use, and other factors which make it the current social avenue of choice. You can see an obvious lead in this February, 2015 Google Trends graphic:

It doesn’t matter whether you’re running a big company or a small business, you’ll always want to spend time with your prospects and customers.  A good way to do that is to spend some time on Facebook.  Not only are your customers and potential prospects on Facebook, but their family and friends are too. 

And what are they doing?  Well, besides socializing, they are looking for and sharing information.  If prospects and clients that are active in your niche market aren’t asking you questions, or looking at your wares, who are they talking to?  I can guarantee you they are talking to your competitors and looking at what they have to offer.

So, it’s a no-brainer to say that being active on Facebook is beneficial to your marketing efforts.

Think About This Social Media Fact…

If you were to take all of the different marketing methods and line them up side
by side:  face to face selling, over the phone selling, direct mail, advertising, the Internet, etc.  The Internet was usually the big loser in the mix because a static web page had to do your selling for you. 
It was very easy for prospects to just click and move on.  On their own, Web pages usually don’t have much of a personal touch, much less have groups of people frequenting them that were related, or friends or reached out to one and other.  

Social media sites like Facebook, changed much of that.

Now, you can easily inject your personality into your marketing.  Prospects that like what you have to offer, refer to you personally and send their friends to where you hang out.  And the best thing about it is that there are loads of ways you can build relationships using Facebook, to help you connect with people and help build the brand and marketing of your business. 

Get a Grip On This Facebook Thing!

Warning:  Let’s think for a second.  As you know from reading my posts, there is no quick fix, or magic bullet solution to your marketing problems.  You’re building relationships, and depending on what type of business you’re in, THIS TAKES TIME!  So, just like any other type of marketing, you’ll need to take the time and plan out your strategy.  If you haven’t already done your due diligence on creating a USP, marketing plan, budget, then using Facebook and any other social media site won’t work out so well, either.

Building More than Just Brand

If you can understand one key concept about social media sites like Facebook, it’s not just about just building brand, it’s about building relationships.  I’ve always said that if people know, trust and love you, you can sell them much more easily. It’s just like looking for a job.  If you have a friend running the XYZ Zipper company and you want a job there, it’ll be infinitely easier to get a gig there than some unknown applicant.

So cultivating individual relationships and eventually a crowd of people that are familiar with you, your business, brand, etc. is what social media is all about. And as I said before, this will take time, but it will be worth it in the long run.

TIP:  Another great aspect of doing business on a site like Facebook, is that you can get almost immediate feedback on your product or service.  Not only that, but you can also correct problems quickly that would normally take weeks to fix through other channels of communication.   People that market their businesses through social media sites of this nature will also ask questions to find out what is needed in their industry or market.

People are almost more than willing to help you out, so you should make good use of social media feedback whenever you can.

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