When I ask business owners if they have a Facebook page or Twitter handle, many times they look at me like I have eight heads. But, these days, using social media to reach, engage and stay in touch with your customers should be another item in your marketing toolbox, just like a press release or promotional flyer.
Part of the problem is the idea that social media is for college kids, parents who like flooding Facebook with photos of their ultrasounds and foodies who feel the need to share what they are eating for breakfast, lunch and dinner. While that is partially true, it is also one of the best ways to build a relationship with your customer when you are not standing face-to-face.
According to Pew Internet Project research, 69 percent of online adults use social media as of August 2012.
That’s a lot of potential buyers.
Ask yourself this: When do you get the opportunity to talk directly to your customer?
It’s not very often.
If you’re a small retail outlet you might know a good number of the people who come into your store. You probably also know their pet’s name and ages. But, your time with them is limited.
Social media allows you to expand that time. It puts your store, or brand, directly in front of them at times when they’re not expecting – like at their desk at work, or while they’re waiting in the airport to catch a flight.
And, the best part, especially in this economy, it is likely your least expensive marketing tool, since typically there is no charge to use the popular social platforms. Even if you hire someone to create a solid social strategy for you, it’s still less than other options.