Who’s In Charge?
One of the biggest complaints I hear from small business owners is that they don’t have time to manage one thing, so social media marketing is always pushed off for another day. This argument doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. Currently I am using three computers to work on nearly a half dozen tasks, so I understand what it means to be busy. However, the responsibilities I have that stand to increase my revenue stream are always moved to the top of the list.
Plus, if you have an employee–any employees–you have resources for social media marketing you haven’t tapped yet.
Trust Is The Key
Some small business owners have told me they don’t want employees using their social media profiles because they don’t trust them. I think that’s odd. If you don’t trust your employees why are they still working for you? Do you think social media is the only way these people can hurt you? They represent your business every day, in their actions, their work ethic, their behavior. If you can’t trust them online you can’t trust them any where. Trust me.
Put Them To Work
By utilizing your employees to help you manage your social media network you are better able to look at the BIG PICTURE, get a sense of what works and what doesn’t and look at things from the view point of your customer. You can also be more focused on management than action. As a supervisor you stand a much better chance of implementing an action plan that produces the results you want and the revenue you need.
Social media has since become a way for us to improve our customer service—not merely a vehicle for us to talk about it. In 2008 we started on Twitter, but many of the solutions our customers were looking for needed more than 140 characters. In 2009 we launched our Facebook page and a year later started a DIY (do it yourself) community online.
One of our more important decisions was to use store associates in much of our social interaction. They are the ones with the project and product expertise customers need. It was the right choice.
Here are five lessons we’ve learned about social media from our own still-evolving experience.
You can’t control the conversation. You have to learn to be comfortable being uncomfortable. You’re going to see and hear things about your brand that you might not like in a public forum. You can let people have the microphone exclusively, or you can be part of a conversation where you address their concerns. We shouldn’t just broadcast a message. It has to be a genuine dialogue.
On the plus side, the positive things people say about your brand are amplified as well. Customers will use your Facebook page to compliment a store or an associate, and that positive messaging about your brand has much more impact and credibility than anything the company itself could say to its Facebook fans.
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