Should your business be tweeting, engaging customers on Facebook, and blogging away? More florists and experts are saying “yes.” I say, “It depends.”
Consider the following to evaluate whether social media is for you:
1. Do you need immediate results?
Social media marketing is a gradual process of engagement, very much like an app. It’s not the same as placing an ad and measuring its success by the number of phone calls or website visits immediately afterward. Are you ready to commit to a time-intensive, long-term program that may not deliver measurable results for many months?
2. Do you or your company employees have the time?
There is a reason why many companies let weeks go by between blog and Facebook posts and abandon Twitter after a handful of Tweets. Out-of-pocket costs may be low or non-existent, but these tools require a significant investment of time. Before you begin, plan social media responsibilities and schedule time for it. Don’t begin if you don’t have the time to constantly maintain a social media presence.
3. Can you handle open (and public) dialogue?
It can be scary to allow comments on blogs or get negative feedback on Facebook, but that’s part of what makes social media effective. It is about building relationships; not about the immediate gratification. If you can’t stomach open conversations on a public platform, social media may not be a good fit for your business.
4. Can you resist the hard sell?
Nobody will follow you if all you want to do is sell your products or service. Are you prepared to generate useful content that people will actually want to view? Are you willing to share some of your knowledge for free to build relationships that may result in loyal customers down the road? I find this to be the most common mistake in our floral industry. If your Facebook page looks like your website, get help!
5. Do you have a strategy?
Effective social media campaigns require planning and realistic expectations. Start your social media marketing efforts slowly, then expand gradually as you see results and get a deeper understanding of the time and expertise involved. Be informative yet engaging. Keep it simple and comfortable. The information should be enjoyable, easy to read and understand so that hopefully your followers will share it.
6. Just because you may not understand social, it doesn’t mean you cannot be seen.
Business owners have a social responsibility these days. Remember when the “toll free” phone number qualified you as “reputable”? Just because you don’t understand Yelp or pay attention to it, doesn’t mean your customers aren’t looking past you to your competitor who is.
Other Important Facts:
- Brides and Pinterest: More than half the brides we meet use Pinterest to create boards of their interests. This is just our realization of this statement. Brides are using Pinterest and checking Facebook and Google for reviews before deciding on a florist to serve their wedding needs.
- Google+ Listings Feed Google Search Results: Most customers find your phone number on your Google+ page when they look up your shop online and on their mobile device. Have you claimed your listing? Are you keeping it current?
- Yelp is the Search Result of Siri: Next time you ask Siri for a phone number, you can bet the result will come from a Yelp listing. See for yourself and use a tracking phone number in your listing.
- Claim ALL of Your Online Listings: Search the name of your business as often as you can on search engines and be sure to claim your listing wherever possible. Start with Yelp and Google+.
If you would like more assistance with your social responsibility, please contact our social media guru (aka Shelby) at 941-308-3141 or Shelby@Beneva.com and she’ll give you a very useful tip you will want to always remember no matter what you do online…