FIVE Magazine YB - VOL2 - Page 27

A successful social media strategy doesn’t have to include numerous different platforms. That’s hardly manageable and would take considerable time, energy and skill or a lot of money to invest in outsourcing it all to someone else. The key is to keep it simple, try one of two and work from there, focusing on where your customers are and what you can do for them. “Businesses who come to me are businesses who realize the importance of customer service and understand that social media is another step in their customer service,” says Grigg. What makes social media unique is that it’s not just about advertising, creating buzz and branding; it represents the possibility of a new, interactive and customer service oriented form of marketing that creates a community around your product or service and engages your customers in a conversation. Linking a Facebook business page to your website opens up the opportunity to build engaging relationships with new and existing customers where you can not only keep them updated about products, services, events, and promotions, but also respond to their questions or comments directly. The key to successful social media is to get your audience talking back, asking questions about products or services or offering suggestions. “There’s more to social media than just putting up a post and leaving it. You have to find your target audience and talk to them because social media is a two-way conversation,” says Grigg. Social media is particularly important for small businesses that are looking to find their target market, establish credibility, build a solid customer base and offer outstanding customer service. The success of any social media strategy depends largely on goals and a true understanding of what the possibilities and limitations are. Social media does not offer a quick fix and chances are you won’t see a dramatic and immediate increase in sales, but if your goals are to drive traffic to your website, establish your expertise and learn about your customers, then a social networking site such as Facebook can be a great benefit to your business. “If people come and say that they’ve seen you on Facebook then you know it’s working,” says Grigg. Karen Fuller, an eldercare coach who runs Care Full Heart Coaching, says that her Facebook page has been instrumental in referring people to her website, which she can measure using Google Analytics. She had initially been resistant to social media because she thought it was only for younger people but was surprised to learn just how many of her target c lients were using Facebook. “My target market is 45-64 and almost half of my readership that visits my business page is within that age group,” she says. Over the last six months, there’s been more and more involvement on her Facebook page, and she says that for her, the success has been incredible. “I think it’s about the trust, people getting to know you because they are seeing tips and hints and articles on my Facebook page and then they are moving to my website where they can get updates as to what is going on in the business and reading my blog, which again gives them more information and getting to know the services I can provide them,” says Fuller. The success of any social media strategy will always depend on how much time, knowledge or financial resources you have. While the great thing about social media is that it’s free to use, there’s a learning curve and it takes knowledge, time, and a consistent effort. “Nothing’s worse than if you just have it up there and you think you know how to use it and you don’t, and then you get stressed out and it bothers you and then you think it didn’t work,” says Grigg. VOLUME 1 - ISSUE 2 | yourBusiness Online 27