Remember the days of actually talking on a land line phone? Back then, talking to someone actually involved speaking to them. We visited, or called people by phone. The old phone company motto “Reach Out and Touch Someone” has gone by the wayside in today’s society. Social media has taken the place of picking up the phone as a communications tool for customers and prospects.
We’re not suggesting social media should replace personal contact with your customers. But if you want to compete in today’s marketplace you also have to learn to use the social networking tools available to you. Social media offers unbelievable exponential reach – with the right spin more eyeballs can view your company than any cold call or magazine ad can provide.
Think of the social media landscape as your business desk. Every tool on your desk has a function – and utilizing them correctly will broaden your reach exponentially. Let’s take a quick tour of your virtual desk:
Rolodex – Remember these? Keeping track of all your business contacts alphabetically, right at your fingertips. The social media equivalent of a Rolodex is LinkedIn, which allows you to connect and stay in contact with people you’ve done business with, no matter how far they roam
Photo frame – See that family photo on your desk? That’s Instagram. It allows you to share multiple snapshots of your brand, and gives people insight into personality and core values. Your photo can change multiple times a day – creating a pictorial news feed of your brand for followers to enjoy.
Bulletin board – Pinterest is the virtual equivalent of that cluttered bulletin board next to your desk – filled with pinned ideas and memories. Pinterest allows you to pin anything – photos, ideas, links to web pages, on virtually any topic. Multiple virtual bulletin boards allow you pin on a multitude of topics – and followers can repin your ideas too, making Pinterest the ideal marketing tool for style, food, home, and apparel businesses.
Post-It Notes – the virtual equivalent of the sticky note, Twitter allows you to send short and sweet notes to your followers. Only 144 characters long, Twitter posts are catchy snippets like clever quotes, memorable images, and short snippets about your business,
Address book - By far the largest social networking tool on your virtual desktop is Facebook It replaces the address book on your desk, allowing your brand to connect with entire networks of people by virtue of friending and following. Many consumers have replaced news outlets with their Facebook “news feed” – which gives you an opportunity to be front and center in their lives every morning as they log in to start their day. Building a brand on Facebook allows your community to follow you, show their allegiance, and engage in conversation with you. It gets you eyeballs fast, because liking and sharing is a public activity but be very strategic – Facebook users are vocal, and the comments option allows them to share their thoughts.
The social media landscape changes dramatically – and there are always new and unique tools being added to your virtual desktop all the time. Utilizing these tools is free – and an important part of today’s marketing, which, when maximized, can help improve your search index, drive traffic to your website, build branding, and turn fans into customers.
Denise Grothouse is the Founder and President of Perfect Six, a Marketing and Brand Management Firm.