Daunting. Terrifying. No Time. I would but… I don’t get it… It doesn’t get me anywhere. Why? These are the things I hear when I ask small business owners about social media. It’s a brave new world out there and social media is part of it. Therefore, social media strategy should be part of the small business plan. Social Media Strategy is important to your business!
For goodness sakes, I own an auto glass company. What was I going to talk about? Have you ever tried to tweet or Facebook about auto glass? I’m here to tell you that no one cares about our industry until they NEED us. In Arizona, that means folks only care about us after Johnny Law has given them a “fix-it” ticket. Yuppers, Arizona law – you must NOT have a cracked windshield. But I can’t seem to get the police to tell the lucky winners of the infamous “fix-it” ticket about our website, blog or social media ports…….so it’s up to me.
I am not a social media expert. I am, however, a small business owner who gets results from social media. I read a lot of articles about social media and how it’s “supposed” to work. It’s irritating because I don’t seem to have THOSE experiences. I am more concerned with auto glass and my bottom line than I am about AMAZING content and posting every other hour on the hour. If you are new to this game – prepare yourself – you will see articles that say things like that OVER and OVER again.
This article is going to give you 7 things I’ve learned about Social Media and why I think it works for AUTO GLASS. Which means, it can work for you. Because there are very few things that are less exciting than AUTO GLASS.
1) Platform. Choose one. Don’t choose all of them and try to do them all NOW. That is silly. Think about what your service is or what you sell. Where would it work best? Auto Glass does much better on Twitter than on Facebook. Why? Because people on Facebook don’t care about auto glass? No. Twitter works better because it’s more “word-based”. Facebook is more visual. Words, tips, and tricks make more sense when dealing with auto glass than endless pictures of windshields (though, to be perfectly honest, I post a lot of auto glass pictures).
2) Study. Watch social media experts in whichever platform you choose and listen to what they say. Watch them. Are they walking the walk? Or just talking the talk? Find a couple – literally one or two – that you find interesting and watch them. Ask them questions. If they answer you back, you’ve found good people to follow. Try some of their suggestions.
Here is a link to someone I follow and learn from daily: http://www.rigginsconst.com/pdf/twittertips.pdf
3) Get Selling OUT of your Head. This is the most difficult thing for most people to do. Think about it. Do you want to meet someone and instantly get a sales pitch? I don’t. I treat my account like a more professional personal account. I’m there to brand my business name and create relationships. Have you ever been to a chamber mixer? I couldn’t STAND them until I figured out I didn’t have to there to sell. I went there to meet fellow small business folks. I would go with a list of questions (unGLASS-related) about small business issues in hopes of getting some insight. Guess what? I treat my social media platforms in the same way. I ask questions of others in hopes to get smarter. I get to know people and if they have questions, they will ask me. Funny how that works. Social is a lot like a mixer. Yes, you get out of it what you put into it. If you are trying to sell and sell only, you will not do to well and you will get very frustrated.
4) What NOT to Do! Please, for the love of all that is holy:
- DO NOT spam….ever
- DO NOT buy followers – I’ve not followed someone because they don’t have many followers.
- DO NOT expect results in the first week, month, 6 months…it’s best if you just put that out of your mind altogether.
- DO NOT do it if you aren’t social. The point of SOCIAL media is to BE SOCIAL
- Do not ignore your followers
- Do not be afraid of it. It’s not that hard.
- Do not ask people to follow you on another social site until you KNOW them. Come on – let me get to know you first. It’s like kissing too soon. Don’t spoil it! Besides, what does that really say?
It takes time but not as much as you think. Use something like this – it’s a lifesaver! http://yoursocialmediaworks.com/social-media-calendar-six-ways
6) Build Relationships: Social Media means SOCIAL: I watch what people are saying and then simply talk to them. That means I’m in it to build relationships. Have you ever been to a marketing mixer or a chamber mixer? I don’t do those things well. I hated going to them until I learned a valuable lesson. DO NOT GO TO THESE TO SELL OR BUY. Go to listen to what folks are saying. Most of us just want to be heard and usually, it’s not about business. It’s about life, kids, dreams, etc…. It’s about BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS. Do people really want to follow me on twitter to learn about auto glass? COME ON! I’d love to say yes, I’m so intriguing….but it’s AUTO GLASS. Nooooo, they respond to me because I listen, I ask them questions and I’m HONESTLY and TRULY interested in what is up with them.
7) Consistency: You have to make it a part of your day. Just like advertising, books, payroll, and taxes. It is marketing. It is important. Read what the experts say about growing your following. It’s not easy or magical. It’s work and it’s time. However, there are things out there to help you: http://pamannmarketing.com/how-to-use-google-alerts-build-your-social-media-following/
Here are 3 links to the best help I’ve received on the social media front. I hope they help you. If you take the leap, you will love it!
Keep me posted on how you are doing! 🙂
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