While statistics show that some 85% of small businesses are using social media, especially Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google +, those statistics say nothing about active engaging pages. Unfortunately the majority of business owners have no idea how to engage with their fan base, and most have no idea how to grow their fan base, other than by inviting their friend’s list from personal pages. Read more
Is your Company Missing out on this great opportunity?
“Many Australian companies are missing out on an insanely brilliant opportunity to connect with customers and other stakeholders.
And while the ball has potentially been dropped by the PR or marketing departments, the blame should be sheeted home to the CEO.
I’m talking about establishing and nurturing a content-rich blog (as part of a well-considered content marketing strategy – but it’s the blogging that I want to focus on).
If you’re a CEO and your organisation has not got a blog (or at least a ‘socialised’ online newsroom): why on earth not?
As the leader of an organisation with multiple stakeholders, you could be using a blog as an interactive platform to drive discussion around important issues, establish industry thought-leadership, educate customers and help provide solutions to their problems (relevant to your business). This is before the potential benefits of increased SEO are taken into account.
Now, before I drop too much of the blame at the feet of PR and marketing people, I’ve met many clever and passionate people in those departments who were keen to pursue a blog for their organisation only to have the initiative stymied either by the ‘C suite’, legal or IT departments (or combination thereof).
When I say ‘blog’, essentially I’m talking about an online platform that can be leveraged by a company to spread ideas, generate conversation and build rapport with relevant and interested audiences.
A blog isn’t necessarily just text, either. It can just as easily house video content, audio (podcasts), photos, charts and infographics etc. Think of it as your own media channel – your company’s ‘digital heart’.
It’s important, however, that you don’t use the company blog for corporate chest-beating (I suppose you can, but only the board will read it and get excited. No one else will – not even your employees).
It’s not for jargon-filled press releases or blatant product plugs. Instead, a blog should inspire, educate, inform and/or entertain its readers. Unlike most company websites, it should give people a reason to come back time and time again.
Passion to connect
Back to the CEO for a minute. Does the CEO need his or her own blog? No, not necessarily. It depends on whether they’ve got anything to say – a point of view – or a passion to connect with their constituents. And they need to be willing to update it at least eight times per month (and the content needs to come from them – it can’t simply be ghostwritten by the company’s PR person).
I think it’s more important for the company to have a vibrant blog the CEO can regularly contribute to, along with other experts within the organisation, rather than having a CEO-only blog that rarely gets updated.
And, critically, if they don’t contribute to the blog, at the very least the CEO needs to give it their full support – otherwise the project may never properly get off the ground.”
Consultant, blogger, speaker and entrepreneur Trevor Young describes himself as ‘a PR Warrior on the front line of the communications revolution’. Trevor is director of strategy and innovation with public relations firm Edelman Australia; he blogs at prwarrior.com and manages Australian blogging directory and news site bloghub.com.au
In what is seen as a very shaky and untrustworthy business economy, building trust with your current customers and your prospective ones is the golden ticket to boosting your business. Social media is the key tool that unlocks that trust.
The old adage “content is king” as far as the Internet is concerned is still a very true statement. Sharing relevant, informational and useful content on your social media outlets is one of the best ways to start building a trusting relationship with your current clients and a trusting relationship that can open the door to new business from your prospective clients.
If you write an article on your own blog, share this with your followers. If you write an article that gets published by a Read more
Social media is a very effective tool you can use to effectively keep your existing customers engaged while luring in new customers and holding their interest at the same time. Social media for business is also about sharing information with your ideal customers, your target market, and your prospects so that they are drawn to your business like metal is drawn to a magnet. But they will only hang around if they feel part of a community that is providing them with value.
Levels of Engagement
Every company has levels of engagement. The goal for every business is to engage customers so much that they are loyal to your business an
d to your business only. The best example of a customer engagement strategy is a bank. The typical account a new customer comes in to open is a cheque account. While the banker is opening the cheque account, they are also telling the customer all about the benefits of opening a savings account.
A few weeks later, the customer receives an e-mail telling them that they are pre-approved for a car loan with the bank. Then a letter comes in the regular mail to introduce the mortgage division of the bank. In the end, there are customers that wind up with all of these types of accounts with the one bank. Read more
Consumers want to do business with credible businesses and credible business owners. Social media can bridge the gap between someone not thinking you and your business are credible to the land of high credibility. Building credibility with your current and prospective customers requires you to become an expert, be the solution to the problems and issues your customers and prospects are having, and to interact with them so that they know there is an expert behind the brand, business, or organization.
Position Yourself as an Expert
Your first step in building credibility on social media networks is to position yourself as an expert in your field. There are a myriad of ways for you to do this. Each day, you can share a tip or piece of advice that is relevant to your audience. When you read a newspaper or industry news article, share to a little tidbit of information and the link to where readers can find more information.
Since you are not always trying to sell your followers something but are, instead, simply trying to share information with them, this is the key to building credibility with both your current and prospective customers.
Resolve their Problems
When you are sharing information, use the problem-solution formula. This formula entails that you state a problem in your status update that your customers are currently experiencing. Then provide the solution or a hint to the solution. Finally, provide a link that goes directly to the page where they can find the product or service, article, blog post, or wherever you want to send them for Read more