Social Marketing

Social Media in Canada, is more then taking the time to interact with consumers online, create a Facebook page, a Google+ page, LinkedIn and maybe even Twitter. It’s easy to do that – the next step is the hard part & most business ask me for help with.

Social Media in Canada, really isn’t a new concept, what’s changed is how “we” as small business people “perform” or do it.  To me social media in Canada is the interaction between consumers & businesses.  What’s changed is HOW we interact socially with our clients, the frequency with which we can interact & the medium we use to interact.

Social Media isn’t, all about pushing a message out to one or many clients – the biggest change is how clients can push a message out to your business.  It used to be a one to one communication one business to one consumer OR one consumer to one business.  Today the power is in the hands of the consumers in how they choose to communicate one to one or one to many.  One to many is an awesome form of social media usually.  For example – If I tell my circle of friends on Facebook that I love ABC Company my circle of friends value & respect my recommendation so the odds are very good they’ll choose ABC Company when they need a similar product or service.

BUT – what happens if I’m not happy with ABC Company?  It used to be that I could complain to close friends & family & if I was mad enough I would call & complain to the company itself.  Today, I can message my entire circle of friends in a matter of seconds, I can Tweet about it & include the ABC Company or I can put negative review on Google or any other of the many many portals that allow business reviews.

This is where the power is now in the consumers hands & where reputation management is so important.  Online it isn’t about just listening to consumers that complain directly it’s also important to listen to those that complain to many.

Social Media or the activities of social media are different depending on the type of business you are.  Or maybe I should say that the engaging activities different businesses can take part in varies based on the type of business you are.  Engaging & reaching out to consumers is very easy if you are in retail or food services or many other verticals.  If you’re a lawyer or bankruptcy trustee you probably aren’t going to have a lot of your clients singing your praises on facebook or twitter.  A plumber probably isn’t going to have hundreds of people liking their facebook page or following them.  But a plumber can absolutely do things to have his satisfied (hopefully) consumers take to the social space to tell their circle how awesome the plumber is.

Social Media “Engaging & Listening”

So, what can you do to engage with or listen to, your existing or potential clients?

  • Make sure your invoices & receipts all have Facebook & Twitter on them
  • Stay up to date with specials or events on Facebook & Twitter etc
  • ASK satisfied clients to post & tweet about you & your work
  • Contests can be a fun way to engage & gain likes, shares & tweets
  • Do a poll for a special on your menu tomorrow (Twitter Tuesdays & Facebook Fridays work great)
  • If someone tweets about something someone else has done or a problem they are having offer advice but DON’T SELL
  • Create Top 5 or Top 10 tricks or tips to help them
  • YouTube Video’s showing how to properly & safely clean out the eavestroughs
  • Read the reviews (positive & negative) for your competitors – don’t respond & DON’T SELL – you can MAYBE offer support
  • respond to your own feedback both positive & negative

Take a breath, be positive & remember it isn’t just about the person that said something negative it’s about the dozens of potential clients that might read what you wrote.  Your first impression to a potential client may be from how you respond to someones rating on a Google review remember that everyone is watching not just the person you are responding to.