One of RCV‘s most successful social media client runs their online presence as it was intended. A laid back place to shoot the breeze and make you feel like you are drinking a coffee, enjoying a beer and getting to know friends and clients better. Every business owner knows our most successful business relationships are the customers and clients who become our friend. The one who knows how many kids you have or don’t have. The one who knows if your furrbabies are your kids and meets you for taco Tuesday at the favorite taco shop in town.
This may seem odd but the best place to begin being social is not on social media. The best place to start being social is attending your local networking events. For example, in Albert Lea we have ALEAP at the end of every month on Thursdays, the Chamber hosts After Hours every month, and RCV hosts the Southern MN Social Media Breakfast the last Tuesday of every month. On a fun note The Interchange Wine & Bistro provides free, live music every Friday night.
Use social media as a way to find out when dates and times of these events are happening. Call up a friend and attend one or all three of them. I know it can feel awkward attending these events by yourself which is why bringing a friend or two is even better. Not only do you get the benefit of networking, your friends and business acquaintances get the benefit as well. When you attend and bring a friend you are also supporting people who have put time and effort into creating the event in the first place. People who have listened to the needs around them and have provided top notch speakers to help businesses and organizations implement great tools successfully.
When considering how social our business is we need to consider what our customer service looks like. Do we consider the needs of the client and do we ask them what they need. Are we willing to share what we know and pour into the lives around us. Yes we need to make a buck, but if we make a buck at the expense of missing the relationships, people feel it and it matters.
One of businesses I have enjoyed watching grow their social media platform is The Pet Authority. The reason I love it so much is because Micelle Nelson is knowledgeable, relatable, involved and shares her wisdom readily.
Another business that has recently engage on social media, even creating their own iphone video is Fleet Farm Supply. This store has been around since I was little girl. I remember going there with my dad and hoping he would buy us candy if we were good. The same folks who owned this store when I was little are the same folks who own it now. They are willing to branch out, do what feels hilarious to them and extend their already customer service online. Like The Pet Authority they are knowledgeable, relatable, involved and share their wisdom. It is easy for them to take their offline relationship and bring it to social media.
People want to feel invited to purchase a product, they don’t want to feel like someone is trying to pressure them to buy something. It doesn’t matter what it is, when you build a relationship, you build a business.
There have been many times when we have worked with a business and have been willing to pay a higher price because we know the level of customer service we receive is worth our issues being resolved quickly, professionally and compassionately.
As a web service business we will tell you taking your business online is a great idea, if you are not there already. It is a side of your marketing you definitely need to consider. However, we have also experienced what social media looks like for a client who is not involved in their community offline and not engaging with other businesses or organizations. It becomes pitchy, preachy and people will unfollow you, block you or worse, talk negatively in their circles about it. Having the opposite word of mouth reaction you were hoping to achieve.
Who’s going to meet me at the next networking opportunity? We’ll save you a chair!