I posted this on another blog 5 years ago (an excerpt):
The popularity of social media is unmistakable – like the rolling sound of a bullet train. Business owners everywhere are asking themselves whether or not its time to leverage these tools to grow business. The problem is that they don’t know how, where, when, or why they should jump on board themselves. Everyone around them – their colleagues, friends, and family – seem to have purchased their tickets and have boarded the train.
If you’re not full-throttle on board with social media, what you are failing to see is that your present and future customers have jumped on for a ride too!
Right now, as you read this, your customers are riding down the track reading and writing reviews, articles, comments and opinions – about your business. They’re sitting in the passenger car talking with each other (and to the rest of the internet world) about you! How was their latest visit? What was their experience when you last did a job for them? What did they like and what didn’t they like about your work?
Do you want to know what your customers are saying about you? Wouldn’t it be helpful to hear, first hand, about their experiences? Do you want to be able to effectively converse back with them?
There is no excuse for you not being on that train yourself. If you want to grow your business with an eye toward higher profits and better return on your advertising dollar (ROI), then you need to be on that train. Most importantly, you need to be sitting on that train as strategically as possible so your customers don’t mistake you for luggage!
Well. they listened to someone they trusted, and small business owners have purchased their tickets and gotten on board. However, I would say that many got on late and the train was getting crowed. As a result, it may be more difficult now to identify and connect with new prospects. Not only that, but five years ago the train station resembled the one in Milwaukee and is more like Chicago’s Union Station today – tracks and trains going everywhere!
Well, there seems to be an awful lot of luggage on the train. SBO have begun setting up blogs, Facebook Pages, Twitter Profiles and profiles on some of the hundreds of other social platforms out there and it doesn’t seem to be working for them.
At the same time, many SBO have become masters at riding the bullet train everywhere they want to go – sleek and fast. Why the different experience” I can tell you the easy answer, the one I hear a lot – “My business is just different.” Let’s look at the real reasons:
5 Critical Mistakes SBO Make with Social Media
- Irregular posting. So much of this is free of charge, but it takes a commitment of your time and interest to learn it and use it properly. I looked at perspective client platforms and they haven’t posted for weeks or even months. One hadn’t posted in a year!
- Making it all about you. Many client platforms are full of postings that highlight a big sale, specials on certain brands, timing on signing for the next season, etc. They’ve become mini online commercials. Tell me, at home while watching television at night, what do you do during the commercials? Exactly.
- Following the crowd. Have you heard it? “I have to be on (insert platform name) because everyone says it’s the best place to be!” Not so! It’s much better to be on the few that absolutely make sense for you and work it right.
- Holding back the good stuff. Oh, don’t do that! The good stuff is what keeps them coming back. Share how to do something, how to get something done foe less money or how something works. You’re not giving away trade secrets. You’re becoming the expert in your field and when it comes to buying the big stuff, who do people seek out? The experts.
- Finally, not having fun with it. There are games, polls, trivia, “This day in history”, give-aways, short posts about how they did what you do back in the day. Give your followers a reason to stay connected and share your stuff.
This isn’t an exhaustive list – there’s more. Such as failing to engage your followers and make real connections and properly gaging ROI.
I’ll address those in other posts. For now, I think this next station is my stop.