Social Media and blogs are not going to save a dying business, they are not going to generate a million visitors in a couple of weeks and they are not going to fix a flawed product or service (no matter how many times the media says they will!)
That having been said, Social Media and blogs are the new Yellow Pages! In the old days, you paid your $800 a month to be in the yellow pages so that people could look you up and find your business. If you were not there, you basically did not exist. Well today’s social media and internet landscape is much the same. Someone will do a search for your industry or keywords, find your company and (this is where it gets crazy), check about a million sources to see if you are who you say you are company-wise and person-wise.
I think this comes from the love hate relationship we all have with the internet. We LOVE the convenience of searching and finding a bunch of different options, we HATE that there are scammers and charlatans behind every bush and we need to make sure that we are not going to get ripped off.
So, picture your customer sitting at his keyboard looking for your product or service. He finds you listed on the Google and then starts to check and see if you are a legitimate business. He checks Facebook and Twitter, he Googles your name and your company name, he even may do a search for something like “scams” to see if there are bad comments about you one the internet.
We had a client who was furious that he had built a HUGE eCommerce website with tons of information on it. A prospective buyer checked that out, then went to Twitter and posted a comment and even went to his Facebook Biz page and asked a question. Our client thought that they should have stayed on his site and bought the product (which was about $60 – not a huge commitment). Well, that is just not how the world works anymore. Your prospects are going to be searching all over to see if there is anymore info about you, BEFORE they pick up the phone or hit that buy button.
Social Media Side Note – If they ask a question on your Facebook page or Google Plus, it means they are interested, answer them!!! Do NOT delete questions (as I see so many biz owners doing), it shows interaction and that you are interested in your customers!
What ARE Social Media and Blogs Good For?
So if social media is not to SELL, SELL, SELL, and blogs are not going to make you a millionaire, what the heck ARE they good for? Here are some of the things blogs and social media can help with:
- Unfortunately, in today’s rough market, they can let people know you are still in business. Too many companies have gone under to let us feel totally comfortable thinking that our favorites will always be around. THIS is why you need to keep posting every week on your blog, the Facebook and Twitter so that there is no question about your viability and involvement.
- Brand building, each time someone sees and interacts with your company or you online, you are given a free opportunity to get in front of them with your brand, products or services.
- You can use a blog to rank higher in the search engines that your website can. Due to the RSS Feeds and the way that they are built, blogs that are posting frequently (once or twice a week) will tend to rank better than a static website for a search term. You can also send this Google love back to your “real” website if you have one.
- YouTube is a GREAT way to incorporate video into your blogs and branding efforts. The video that is in this post was sent out to the agent who I featured (Palm Harbor Realtor, Julia Fishel the Pinellas Peach) so all my people got to see it, all her people got to see it, I can post it on Twitter, my Facebook business page, post on Google Plus and incorporate it into a blog post.
Having social media and blogs works well for your business as long as you keep working it. Unfortunately, it is stop and die proposition so you HAVE to make sure you are active on each marketing channel each week! The easy way to understand how this works is to think how you use the internet, mostly you check Google if you don’t have a referral from a friend, if you do have a referral, you will do a search for that company or product. THEN you will check around a bit to see what they are all about, THEN you will buy.
If you have not updated your Facebook Business Page this week, get in there and do it. If you blog has been sitting idle, write a post! Get things moving and you will be pleasantly surprised at the results!!!!
If all this Social Media sounds like too much work, check out our Social Media Marketing Services page for more about how we help small business owners manage their online presence!