Social Media Comes into Rescue Small Businesses
The last time I visited a clothing store, the attendant never greeted me, paid no attention to my existence, and after I asked how she was doing, she didn’t respond. As vengeance to that girl’s poor idea of customer service, I returned the item and purchased the same item from Amazon.com where the prompt on the screen greeted me very politely, and it thanked me very nicely. If only those screen prompts were people saying, “Welcome,” and, “thank you.”
Even though my experience was far better with a screen prompt than with a human, it is still much better to do business with a person than an automated machine. It’s in our human DNA to want to interact with people, and, currently, the majority of people prefer to trust a person than an automated system, robot, or machine. That’s where small businesses have the advantage on social media over large businesses.
Eventually our world will become a world much like the world portrayed in the Pixar movie, “Wall-E,” where we interact with robots and automated systems. Perhaps our world isn’t ready to trust robots and automated systems. Are we moving in that direction? Of course! OSH recently put out there automated customer service robot, the OSH Bot, that is being tested in a San Jose, CA store now, and airports are replacing janitors with robots that can clean 8 times the amount of square footage of floor in an hour than a human can do. Hospitals are replacing humans that distribute medications to patients with robots. The robot even counts the pills based on the doctor’s prescription entered into a system that relays the information to the robot. Those are just a few examples. But for now, it’s nice to know there is a human on the other side of business.
With Business moving into the growing internet world across every industry, it becomes incredibly difficult to see the human side of business. The human side is the best part of a business. Without the human aspect, there is no business, and there is no point. That’s where social media for business comes into save the day!
Yes, doing business on social media is a pain in between two buns! Yes, it’s time consuming! And everyone agrees that the Return on Investment (ROI) is difficult to see and sometimes isn’t worth the time to measure. The truth is… consumers of every type are on social media, and ignoring it would be a terrible mistake! The benefits of social media can be huge; especially for a small business.
Large businesses have the resources to advertise on much larger scales where they can create an image and a face to their business with much more expensive methods. Most small businesses don’t have the resources to create witty television commercials, funny radio advertisements, and huge billboards. The advantage small business has over large businesses on social media is that large businesses don’t have the resources to keep up with such large amounts of volume interacting on their social media platforms, so people get turned off. Small businesses do have that ability. That’s where social media comes into rescue small businesses.
Social media may not yield an immediate return, and measuring that return may be impossible, but leaving some one impressed and leaving a business’s image imprinted in the minds of many is a difficult return to measure anyways.
Social Media platforms offer innumerable opportunities to interact with customers on a customer service level, sales level, and, especially, marketing level. It is so easy to target your audience with social media advertising, and ads are as sure to be seen on social media sites as they are on television. Marketing efforts can easily portray the brand of a business on social media, and the customer can easily visit the company’s fan page and or website.
There is definitely a lot of competition on social media, and the competition is only growing, so it’s important to create a professional and lasting image on social media that matches the business’s image online and offline. The secret to reaping in the benefits of Social Media is to take risk. Much like risk exists in any advertising form or in any business practice, it is essential to spend money to make money, but do so wisely.
iBrand Your Business has released a lot of information on marketing; specifically marketing on social media, and even more specifically, marketing on Facebook. By learning the methods available to do business on social media, any business can thrive while advertising on social media. Is it the only avenue to advertise? Of course not! The argument here is that it ought to be an avenue to consider and budget into your marketing campaigns. Obviously, a business that sells used commercial airliners or manufactures cans for canned foods won’t do very well on social media. But, even then, I bet there is at least one consumer on social media who is interested to buy a used commercial airliner or cans for canned foods.
Any business, whose target exists on social media, ought to consider a social media platform. It shouldn’t be the primary source of marketing and customer interaction, but it does allow a business to share the human side of business with its customers. Even in a world where cashiers at a local super market are robots, and hair stylists are robots, it is still much better to interact with a human than it is with a machine, so show off the human side of business and do so proudly using social media. Just be sure not to be like the girl in the opening of this article because you’ll be replaced with Amazon or some other machine with really nice prompts!
To Your iBranding Success,
Sergio with the iBrand Your Business Team