By Ryan Trinder Creative Director
If you felt like watching a film, you travelled to a blue and gold video store and walked around the perimeter for half an hour before settling on Hollywood’s latest hit covered with “Be Kind and Rewind” stickers. This would be followed by late fees designed for forgetful minds.
If portable music was your thing, consider the Walkman featuring the ever efficient fast forward and rewind buttons. Finding the beginning of your desired track was a “fun” little game in itself.
If you wanted information on a given topic, you visited your local library, wandered through aisles and aisles of books until you found your source. Sometimes you found what you needed, other times someone beat you to it and a return trip 3 weeks later might bring more success.
Their modern counterparts like on-demand video, streaming audio and well…Google are all more efficient, offer more variety and are simply better. Technology has advanced beyond anyone’s imagination but it’s not the only thing advancing.
Communication is evolving.
Ask virtually any small business owner the following question: Where do your sales come from? The answer is almost always the same - Word of Mouth. Despite all that technology has brought us, there is still nothing more valuable than a personal recommendation from a known and trusted source. Time after time, job after job, year after year of providing quality products at reasonable rates with friendly service will without fail bring success. Word spreads and is still undoubtedly the best formula for success.
The word of mouth of today and yesterday are two vastly different things. Enter Social Media, we post, update, comment, watch, read and learn. It certainly has plenty of negatives that we’ll save for another time but when measured against a collaboration of an individual’s daily real life conversations; they can only connect with a limited amount of people. Social media has no such limits; this has become the new word of mouth. It does not overtake human interaction, but adds to it. This is where the conversation starts and we need to be an active part in it.
Four years ago, I read a book called “Rework” based on the experiences of a company called 37signals. The words have stuck with me ever since, notably one excerpt based on the concept of building an audience, for the full story you’ll have to buy the book. In the meantime, here is the part I loved most.
“All companies have customers. Lucky companies have fans. But the most fortunate companies have audiences. An audience can be your secret weapon.”
By building an audience, you are directing your marketing to people who actually care about your service. You build that audience by offering interesting, helpful information that people return to see what you have to say. Your fans return to see what you have to say as opposed to you reaching out to them.
Here are a few ideas to help you start your following. It varies depending on your industry but here are a few examples.
If you are a landscaper, construction or artist.
Post snapshots of your latest projects, perhaps on larger projects show the progress of your work. Your work is valuable; inspire others to see that too.
If you are in a trade, professional or consultant.
Don’t be afraid to give away information and post the solution to a problem. Suddenly, you are now viewed as an expert and when problems become too difficult, you’ll be their first phone call. Even better, posting them on a blog and linking through social media will help improve your SEO.
For just about anyone.
Don’t be discouraged by a lack of comments. You’re viewers may not comment, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t listening. After all, do you comment on everything you read?
Daily posts may be too frequent depending on your following, but ensure that you are posting at least once a week. Stale accounts are viewed as a negative.
Lastly, the biggest mistake you can make on social media is to make everything about you. Follow other local companies, connect with people, comment on their posts, and ask questions to build a conversation. Recognize suppliers, employees, clients and anyone connected to the success of your company.
Whether or not we agree, our customers are using social media and that doesn’t seem to be changing any time soon. It’s a new concept for all of us, one day we’ll look back and wonder how did we ever live without it?
We are proud to offer our customizable Stunt Double Marketing Packages that include Social Media marketing options. For more information click here or contact Joe at 905 933 4910 ext.222
1Jason Fried and David Heinermeier Hansson, Rework (Random House, 2010) pp.170-171