If you’re selling something in 2019 you should be on social media and the web.
Why, because we are living through a culture shift that isn’t waiting around for anyone and I hope like me you relish the amazing opportunity we all have over the next five years.
I would like to share why this is an exciting time for a business owner like yourself.
First, may I ask you a couple of questions?
Are you busy working long hours and feel that some of the old ways of marketing are no longer bearing fruit for you? Would I be right in saying ultimately you are finding it’s frustrating and tough to know which way to turn with your marketing?
Often a business believes they are implementing a social media marketing strategy because they have simply set up a Facebook Fan Page and Twitter account and occasionally post sales messages to it. This couldn’t be further from the truth and fundamentally I believe they haven’t taken the opportunity to sit back and take stock of how they can take full advantage of the technology they have at their finger tips.
Perhaps you are in the same boat and haven’t taken the time to really evaluate the impact of the internet revolution we are all apart of. You may even fail to appreciate we are in the middle of this cultural shift, one that is truly transforming the way business is being done over.
2019 will be pivotal to your ongoing success over the next five years.
I would like to offer you the guidance and clarity you need as a business owner, in a world of rapid and confusing change.
The good news is that the likes of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Instagram represent a marketer’s dream. They are free tools that when used correctly will produce a sizeable increase in new and repeat business through social media. You will become more visible in your community
How To Avoid That Dreaded Feeling In The Pit Of Your Stomach
You can’t help but notice other premises closing in your street. You had an inkling that perhaps they were not faring too well, but to see the “We have closed” sign up has given you a feeling of dread in the pit of your stomach!
It isn’t as if you haven’t noticed the changes going on around you. Everyone seems glued to their mobiles, more and more of us shop online and you first learn about the big news stories on Twitter rather than on the television.
In speaking to local business owners in my home town of St Andrews I sense a determination to make head way with social media, but equally a sense of frustration at not knowing where to turn when faced with a fog of noise created by so much information. I sympathise because it is overwhelming and very different to anything that has happened in our lives before.
The truth is any business without a social media strategy and vision through to 2024 and beyond will find themselves playing catch up, and regret they didn’t take action earlier.
Fortunately, this won’t be the case with you because I have worked long and hard to give you the very blueprint businesses are using to secure more business online. Something you know you needed but probably were not sure where to find.
Let’s First Look At Your Customers
Whilst your business may not have changed much over the past decade, running with the same systems, producing the same product, the same can’t be said of your customers. I can’t stress enough how radically their lives have changed and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Importantly these monumental changes in the lives of your customers’ lives are affecting your bottom line every single day.
As you can appreciate a lot has happened over the past 20+ years and I have made it my job to explain to you in layman’s terms how the past and what’s happening today affects your business and crucially how to benefit from it.
First, though, I need you to consider why more so than ever your marketing messages seem to fall on deaf ears?
Here’s the answer :
“Your customers are now exposed to more information than you could ever imagine.”
Living In The Information Revolution
Eric Schmidt, the past executive chairman of Google, once said that we create more information in the world every 48 hours than the total amount ever created from the beginning of human civilization up until 2003.
It’s a crazy statistic, but one that makes a significant impact on your business and can not be ignored.
Picture this, every minute 300 hours of video content are uploaded to YouTube and almost 5 billion videos are watched on YouTube every single day. The way we all consume media has changed forever and this directly affects every business.
With Change Comes Huge Opportunity
The new ways in which we now communicate and the sheer volume of information we consume are here for good. Perhaps up to two to five years ago, your typical retail outlet could have ignored what was going on around them. This is no longer the case, it’s therefore vital they embrace these trends and use them to their own advantage.
I admit initially it may seem difficult to picture a way of making oneself heard. In the past, we welcomed the arrival of the phone, fax machine and the mobile as business tools for aiding our businesses. The changes in comparison to today’s innovation were at pedestrian speed and essentially the rules of the game didn’t change.
Each tool allowed us to push our message out to an audience that was incapable of directly responding. Essentially the companies with the deepest pockets could push out the largest messages.
The Rules Have Definitely Changed For Good
This has now all changed, a hundred years plus of businesses exclusively pushing their messages out to all and sundry has it hit a turning point. They now need to adapt and understand we are in a culture where the customer decides whether or not to pull information from a business.
It’s a massive change.
I have been marketing online since 1996 and unquestionably this is a fundamental shift.
How To Make A Difference To Your Bottom Line
Here’s how you can take advantage and embrace this revolution. Furthermore, you will learn the absolute surefire way to ensure social media makes a difference to your bottom line.
This surefire way boils down to an answer that comes in two parts.
Quite simply what to do and how to do it.
The first part is something I would like to think you are already doing, though perhaps not online.
You have to care about your customers. This may seem obvious offline, but clearly isn’t being done correctly online. I believe in the most part because businesses haven’t been shown how to do it online.
Let’s face it, these are new tools and no one to date has taught them the best way to employ them in a strategic manner that makes sense.
Times have changed though and you may find you have to go far beyond simply throwing up an advert in the local paper.
Consider this for one moment.
Businesses are responsible for a lot of the messages directed at us your customers on any given day.
Take for example the signage in the shop window, TV and radio advertisements, the direct mail through our post boxes, email promotions in our inboxes. It’s a constant bombardment of messages being pushed at them and others.
The name of the game is to get your message heard before someone else.
As the vast majority of businesses fail to be heard, they shout louder.
This is due to the increasing amount of noise, or ineffective copywriting or a combination of both.
They try desperately to crack the code and but unfortunately miss the one simple way to get heard through all the noise.
The Way To Blast Through All Of The Noise And Get Heard Is To Simply Care
This is the most important business lesson I have learnt from Gary Vaynerchuk.
There you have it!
Sounds too easy, doesn’t it?
This is actually the secret to positioning your business and taking full advantage of the profits offered by being on social media. It sounds so simple that many will miss the enormity of it.
Too many of the flyers that drop through my door or the ads I see in the local paper scream look at us. They hardly care at all, they scream look at us aren’t we great. Critically they aren’t speaking with the readers’ interests. The best direct response pieces care and offer information that the reader can use regardless of whether they buy the product.
Show Me You Care
You simply have to care.
It’s wonderful to see this happen away from the internet. No doubt you can list your favourite businesses. I certainly can in St Andrews. As soon as you step into their premises or call them you can immediately tell they care about you.
I always warm to the stories from my childhood and my parent’s childhood where the shopkeeper made you feel special because they knew exactly how you liked things.
The problem I see is that far too many businesses don’t give their customers the platforms to continue and share the conversation after they leave your premises.
When someone cares about you, it’s human behaviour to want to tell someone about your great experience. This is how we as humans are wired, we like to reciprocate. It’s as old as the hills, and it will never change, we simply feel good about ourselves when we return a favour. It’s a natural thing to do and as a result word of mouth, marketing has always been the cheapest and most powerful way of receiving new business.
There is nothing new in this regard except fundamentally the way in which someone tells a friend about a good experience has changed forever. Now someone may tweet to a friend about the superb service they received at a restaurant and within seconds that friend has read the tweet and retweeted to all of their followers. Then next their followers are retweeting the same tweet.
In effect, we are in a world of one to one to many marketing and it happens very quickly.
For the first time in history word of mouth, marketing is scalable and allow you to build your business in a way you never imagined.
By simply caring about your customers and see the reaction will enable you to break through the wall of noise in cyberspace I mentioned earlier.
Your Local Business Just Went Global
We are in an era where word of mouth marketing working is happening at breakneck speed. For example, your voice will easily be heard in your friends’ friends news stream on Facebook.
Consider just a few years ago when it was normal for someone to thank you or complain via the phone or letter. This in the main has changed, the popularity of review sites has taken many businesses by surprise. Love them or hate them there’s no denying that such internet sites are a major resource for determining the strengths and weaknesses of where to visit a new destination.
Word Of Mouth Marketing On Steroids
Social media can be thought of word of mouth marketing on steroids. When someone comments on your Facebook wall with regards to how you helped them with a purchase, this is visible to all of their friends. As you reply to thank them you begin to engage further and this spreads your reputation as a caring business.
Furthermore, this one post can be shared by others, further amplifying the message.
This action also offers you an enormous opportunity to strengthen the relationship with your customers and clients by responding.
When someone likes your Facebook Fan Page this becomes visible on their friend’s wall and acts as a form of social proof and makes their friends want to check your page out.
This question is simple.
Is your social media business strategy based on caring?
Those businesses who continue to push their message will suffer.
The way forward is to market your business through caring and make it easy for customers to quickly spread your story.
As the next 5 years unfold those that care will come out winning.