As most of us know, the current buzz words in business and life in general are “Social Media”. What does that mean for a business? Do you need to have 1000s of friends or post all the time? What about twitter, what is that for? 4 Square, isn’t that a game you play in grade school?
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Marketing tools have come and gone. Strategies change based the available tools and behaviors of your customers. Social Media is really a host of tools to use in your marketing strategy. It is another page in your marketing plan, along with direct mail, fliers, e-mail, and skywriting. What sets this apart is the possible impact on how you do business.
The end result is the same, a sale of your product or service. How you get there can change with Social Media. Here is an example:
Mary wants to buy a new car. (Yes, you can use social media to sell cars.) She does her due diligence first and looks online.
She sends a quick twitter post out to her friends that says, “I’m looking for a new car in [your city] and wants to know of some good car dealerships. A few replies come back. She then remembers that her friend “Liked” a dealerships Facebook page. She does a search in Facebook and finds them. The dealer has posted a list of current specials on this page. They also have some suggestions on what to look for in used vehicles and a loan calculator. Very helpful. She clicks on “Like” to help her find this easily again and shares with her friends, that this dealer “Gets It” online. One of the deals might match what she is looking for, so she clicks on the link to go to the dealer web site. She finds a car and truck she really likes, but doesn’t want to drive across town to see them if they can’t come down a little in price. She fills out the form and asks for quotes. After talking back and forth through email, she wants to go drive these and see which she wants.
When she gets to the dealer, her phone beeps and tells her that she has now “Checked-In” [4 Square] at this dealership. Her Facebook and Twitter accounts also reflect this update. After she buys her dream car, she takes a picture and posts it to Facebook, which also sends a post to twitter, that has a link back to her Facebook post. Before she leaves the car lot, her friends know what she bought, the salesman name and what he looks like because of the picture she posted and how excited she was that they worked with her on price/financing.
I think you can see from the example above, social media can be used in any business. The big impact of this example, is that all of Mary’s friends not only got to chime in on suggestions, they also got to see where she went and what she liked. This is several of the 5 to 7 “Touches” a customer needs before they are willing to buy from a you.
The key to applying social media to your business is matching up the right tools to your potential clients. Just having a Facebook page is not enough. You have to know what tools your customers use. The best way to find out is, drum roll please, ….ask them. Ask them when they come in, ask through online surveys, ask, ask, ask. Then, listen, listen, listen and build a strategy around the feedback.
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