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Social Media Here, There, EVERYWHERE. 3 Common Thoughts Clarified

Social Media Here, There, EVERYWHERE. 3 Common Thoughts Clarified

 

You see it everywhere, the little blue F icons, the red G, the blue bird, the constant “Follow Us!” verbiage from brands and yet you’re still not getting it. What’s so important about Social Media?

Perhaps you or someone you know have or had these types of thoughts:

“Social Media is just talking on Facebook or Twitter all day”

“Oh, Brand X has a Facebook page, we need that too! Another free way to push our stuff!”

“We don’t need Social Media! It just gives a public arena for negative comments.”

Sound familiar? Let's answer them, shall we?

“Social Media is just talking on [insert site] all day”

In a way, yes. However, it is engagement; it’s finding out what’s bugging your customers, what’s making them happy, and also fixing their problems quickly and effectively. It's not talking about the weather, or what you had for dinner. It's talking about relevant topics that make sure your customer remembers you in some way.

So really, would you rather be on hold for 30 minutes to talk to a human or gain a direct line of communication access to your favorite brand? Well now you can, and you should offer that for your customers too.

Consider your business meetings where you have face-to-face discussion with potential prospects, gaining their trust by building a relationship, and ultimately converting them into a loyal and happy customer.

Social Media aims to do the same, but now, the reach is instantly around the world and is much, much faster in developing lasting relationships leading to more sales, and more referrals for being on top of their mind.

P2P equals people to people
Image Credit: Self-made in iOS6 app "Color Cap"

Click to Tweet this Quote!

“Oh, Brand X has a Facebook page, we need that too! Another free way to push our stuff!”

What's that sound? I hear a loud and annoying alarm bell that's constantly ringing in my ears. Where's this bell coming from?

Your pushy marketing messages.

Do not use Social Media as JUST another promotional vehicle ONLY for your promotions. If you saw a page that only had sales talk, would you spend much time on it? What about a page that offers useful tips that help your everyday life or work? Most likely you’ll stay to read the content a bit more to see if it’s relevant to you.

 It’s not to say that you can’t push your promotions, you can still do so by seeding it here and there, but you should be focusing on what can help or entertain your customers so that they see you in a positive light, keep you on top of mind, and not just a “company looking to gain my sale”

Teddy Roosevelt- No One Cares How Much You Know Quote
Image Credit: Self-made with Color Cap app and TR image from AllWords

Click to Tweet this Quote!

Meaning, you can shout all you want on how awesome your company is and that they’d be a fool to not buy from you, but until the potential customer knows you care and not just a number, they will not listen.

Here’s a breakdown of the major social sites you may already be a part of or should be thinking of joining:

Facebook Icon Facebook launched in 2004, hit over one billion active users this past September which still makes them the #1 social site. Members generally share what they like to their friends and are increasingly using it to stay up-to-date with the brands they like. Companies can also use it to improve Google Rank along with nurturing relationships and enhancing Customer Service.

Twitter Icon Twitter launched in 2006, have become one of the top 10 most visited sites and is described as the “SMS of the Internet.” Members tweet 140 characters at a time typically of what’s happening “at the moment” or “real-time” events and carry on micro-blogging conversations with friends, strangers, and brands.  You will also see hashtags (#) to group conversations related to that topic.

 Launched in 2005 by 3 former PayPal employees, and purchased by Google in 2006, there shouldn’t be anyone that hasn’t heard of YouTube, the #1 video sharing site. This is a great platform to put a face to your company along with uploading how-to instructional videos.

Google+ Icon Google+ launched in 2011 and while this multilingual social networking site isn't as popular as Facebook, it provides valuable SEO and ranking benefits. It also integrates with other Google products like Search, YouTube, Android, Chrome, and Gmail.

LinkedIn Icon LinkedIn launched in 2003 and this social networking site, used mainly for professional networking, is great for building contacts along with creating a company page to promote news/products. You can also have your employees link to the page, where potential contacts can reach out to the appropriate person.

Pinterest Icon Pinterest launched in 2010, and the social photo sharing site resembles a “pinboard” where members pin rich photos of anything and everything related to their interests, hobbies, inspiration and more. This site is great for companies with product photography and for those without, you can still re-pin related photos to your profession. Maybe you’re a dentist? You can create a collection of celebrities with pearly whites to encourage proper dental care.

Instagram Icon Instagram also launched in 2010, is another social photo sharing site but typically used via mobile cameras for on-the-go uploading and includes digital filters to place various enhancing effects on your picture. Facebook bought Instagram in April 2012 for $1 billion.

Here is a humorous explanation of Social Media using a donut topic

Social Media Explained with a Donut
Photo Credit: douglaswray’s Instagram

For companies starting out in social media, you should gather information as to where your customers are likely to be by searching for keywords at the social sites before making the mistake of trying to juggle all of them. Facebook and Twitter platforms can be searched via #keyword in their search fields (i.e. #ecommerce). You can also poll your customers asking them what social site they are on or what they would like to see you on. 

“We don’t need Social Media! It just gives a public arena for negative comments.”

This has been a common concern for many, but truth of the matter is, people are already talking about you. There’s no sense in burying your head into the ground blocking out potential negative comments and pretending you don’t hear.

Wouldn't you want to listen to what customers feel is hindering your business from becoming great? And wouldn't it be better that they’re complaining directly to you instead of their family and friends so that you can fix it or address the issue?

There are people who complain out of wanting you to fix the problem and people who complain to complain. A majority I've seen are the former, and if you make a good effort to listen and address them, the customer can be forgiving and will be extremely appreciative that you took the time.

Jetblue being sympathetic
Image Credit: Mashable

Don’t be afraid of saying “I’m sorry” as well. You’re not taking the blame up front, it’s acknowledging that you’re sympathetic to what they’re experiencing and are reaching out to assist. For instance, “I’m sorry you’re going through [issue]. I’ve sent you a private message to discuss further on how we can help”

By publicly addressing their concern, you give reassurance to other bystanders that you’ll help when the time comes when they’re in need. If the concern can’t be addressed in one or two responses, then I’d suggest using private messages in case there is an exchange of personal information (i.e. email, secret question/answer verification etc)

So there you have it, the 3 most common thoughts clarified so there’s no reason why your company shouldn't be on at least ONE social site. Before, not every company had a website. Now, if you don’t have a website, people dismiss you as a company. This will be the same for Social Media. Social Media is not just a fad, and it won’t go away, so get out there and greet your customers!

We want to see your social pages too! Feel free and link them in the comments below and we may feature them in a future blog or social media post!

Cheers,

+Alice Ly
Social Media Manager
Lucrazon Ecommerce


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