How to become OSM now!
Below are some tips in using online social media to market your business and skyrocket your profits and create a community of raving fans.
SIGN up: It is simple and easy to sign up for a Facebook, Twitter of YouTube account. Do it now! You may want to sign up under your business name or an exciting evocative colourful name to pique the interest of potential people joining your network. You may also want to put up a sign in your shop if you’re on Facebook for instance, that says ‘Find us on Facebook’. As such a large number of people have a smart phone many may ‘like’ your FB page while still in your store.
Consistency: When you join up to Facebook or Twitter for instance, make sure you consistently add new posts or tweet and invite people to ‘like’ you.
Low GI Marketing: Unlike traditional media where often your budget may mean that your advertising is released in great ‘bursts’, the great thing about OSM is that you can have a sustained release of energy and interest. You can maintain and build interest, excitement and energy simply by offering customers who like your Facebook page constant updates, relevant offers, and interest news.
Interact: It is important that you interact with your raving fans. Ensure that you respond to their questions and be sure to ask them questions and get feedback.
CONTENT-ment: They say content is king. So be sure to regularly provide interesting content. Let your own personality and that of your staff and of your shop come out. Post quirky and interesting facts and tidbits that you think your target market will enjoy. This will ensure that they interact with you and your business.
BLOGabout it: A great way to create a loyal fan base is to create a blog that will interest your customer base and to include a regular newsletter.
GEN-erate: Running a business may leave you too preoccupied to want to give the head space to building your online community. This is where you may have a precious and under utilised resource right under your nose that may be able to assist you. Many work places have banned Facebook and other online social media services for the good reason that many employees waste valuable time communicating with their network. However, if you have younger staff members who are big on social media, you may appoint them as the official marketing directors of your business. They may help you to build your business and expand your online presence.
OSM may be awesome but it can be a double edged sword. It is important that how you and your staff run your offline business is impeccable. Just as a customer may rave about your store they are if they have a bad experience just as likely to rant about it! You know the old saying, ‘A person will tell on average 3 people about a good experience, and 10 people about a bad experience.’ OSM has the power to multiply this by a factor of 1 million within 24 hours.
Remember, everyone makes mistakes and most customers will understand that if you simply admit it and immediately find a way to resolve it. In fact, there is an great little article that I read recently on www.trendwatch.com that consumers will even embrace companies that are open about their flaws after all we are all human, and even companies are run by humans:
In fact, in 2012 consumers won’t expect brands to be flawless; they will even embrace brands that are FLAWSOME*, and at large (or at least somewhat) human. Brands that are honest about their flaws, that show some empathy, generosity, humility, flexibility, maturity, humor and dare we say it, some character and humanity.
Many a business has been sunk by a nasty experience from a business. Do not underestimate people power in the age of online social media. Information can be deseminated like wild fire and it can sink your business quicker than the so called ‘unsinkable’ titanic.
Online Social Media is truly OSM – it has the power to transform your business, but like in Return of the Jedi, make sure you use the power wisely.
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