No one really needs to convince me how great social media is for connecting you to your customers – and keeping you connected – but the point was reinforced perhaps better than ever this week when I was chatting with Jay York, our senior social media strategist.

Jay was telling me about Datz, a restaurant near his home in Tampa, that has impressed him with its excellent use of social media as a marketing tool.

Talk about connecting! Datz has more than 12,000 followers on Twitter. It has nearly 8,000 on Instagram. It has 1,280 mostly positive reviews on Yelp. And, perhaps most impressive of all, more than 40,000 people “like” Datz on Facebook.

Those are remarkable numbers for any business. But especially when you consider that Datz is a local restaurant and not a recognizable brand name like McDonald’s!

So why am I telling you this? Because this social media success story prompted me to have Jay share tips on how small businesses can make the most out of their social media to keep customers and potential customers thinking about them.

Here’s what Jay had to say:

  • Interact with customers. Engage your customers inside your business as well as outside it. Some of the most successful restaurant owners have mastered this, Jay says. They take the time to chat with and get to know their customers when they are dining at the restaurant, and they also interact with them on social media. Here’s where it’s worth remembering the “social” part of social media. These sites are all about having a conversation and people expect you to be involved in that conversation – or else they’ll be discouraged from interacting with you in the future.
  • Use undivided attention opportunities to promote your social media. There are a few ways to do this, Jay says. In-store signage that encourages you to follow the business on social media is the most obvious. Restaurants, for example, might drive visiting customers to their social media sites by giving 10 percent off an entrée if they follow them right at that moment on Twitter. Professional speakers can use the same strategy when they’re in front of a large audience by posting their Twitter handle on the screen behind them. The point is to take advantage of the attention of hundreds or thousands of people – all with mobile devices – who can start following you immediately.
  • Invest in social media advertising. For as little as $500 a month, social media advertising can be used to promote a business and generate a significant increase in the number of people who “like” it, Jay says. The more you are out there, the better. Think of brands such as Coca-Cola and McDonald’s that are extraordinarily well-known, yet continue to advertise. They know potential customers won’t necessarily rush right out and make a purchase after seeing a commercial. Their goal, though, is for their products to be what people think of when they are ready for that purchase.
  • Consider the multiplier effect. When you secure a base of followers on social media, those followers then make it even easier to acquire additional followers. The rate of new follower acquisition grows. It’s a case of followers beget followers beget followers. The more followers you get exponentially grows the potential for even more as their network is now connected to you.

Finally, Jay notes that businesses often talk about the lifetime value of a customer. With the proper use of social media, you can increase that value because you are consistently in their minds – whether they are about to make a purchase or not.

I know this applies to my field, too. I realize that not everyone is ready to launch a PR campaign. But if I stay in front of them, reminding them about what I have to offer, then when the time comes they’ll think of me.

Keep in mind that while social media can be one of the greatest things going for you, it can also be one of the most damaging if you don’t handle it correctly.

On social media you want to look and act your best at all times, conveying a professional image that gives people the assurance you’re someone they want to do business with.

Let’s get #trending!

Marsha

P.S. If you need professional social media management, strategy and design to positively represent your brand and get results, give us a call at 727-443-7115 ext. 215 or Click Here to get your Free Media Analysis.

 

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