I had the opportunity to do a segment on the Gail Vaz Oxlade late night radio show last week. Many of you will know her from her television programs on the Slice Network. I brought with me, Karen Armstrong who is one of my clients. Gail was interested in speaking with a client who had had success with social media and discuss some of the strategies involved in making it work. Of course, I was excited to have the opportunity (thank you Kim Stark for forwarding me Gail’s tweet!) to participate and to showcase Karen’s success story. I was a little surprised at one of the questions Gail asked me though that pertained to ‘how I deal with business owners who consider social media to be ‘frivolous’ and turn it into a business building tool’. If you would like to listen to the interview with Gail, you will find it in the sidebar on the right side of the screen.
There are business owners that still think that social media is frivolous? I thought we were past that lol! Hopefully any of my clients out there who are reading this post, would agree that Social Media is certainly not frivolous and will chime in here with comments on their experiences.
I actually have many clients who, when they stay committed to the process, have seen good results using social media tools. Karen for example, has seen a 143% uplift in visits to her website in the past month over the same period last year. This has happened as a result of Karen staying on top of her blogs, posting regular entries on her Facebook business page and engaging her audience in an authentic way. In opening herself up, building those relationships and demonstrating not only her expertise but showing a willingness to share who she is as a person as well as a business entity, people have begun to trust her and are more comfortable enrolling in her seminars and private sessions. Of course for your business model, you might need to engage people in a different social media space, but the overall concept is the same.
The biggest change Karen has seen in her business, is the shift in the chase, whereby, instead of having to spend time and marketing dollars finding an audience for her sessions, people are now chasing her asking her when her next session will be. This shows that Karen has done a great job in building the relationships and is moving people comfortably through the sales cycle. This would be considered the 2nd ROI or more traditional Return on Investment that you can experience. The first and most important ROI, is Return on Influence. The more often that you can demonstrate that you are an expert in your field, the more likely people will think of you when they think of your product or service and feel good about contacting you.
It’s important to reiterate though, as I have in many previous blog posts, that Social Media is not about ‘buy my stuff’. The focus must be on relationship building and sharing your knowledge. People ultimately buy from people they know, like and trust. And, it can take time to get traction, so don’t be in a hurry to dismiss it and say it doesn’t work. You must be patient and consistent.
As a small business owner myself, I understand that you wear many hats and that there are just so many hours in the day. But, if you don’t successfully get the word out and build those relationships, ultimately, your success will be hindered. And with social media tools being ‘free’, there is really no excuse not to incorporate a good social media strategy into your overall marketing plan.
So, social media – frivolous? I don’t think so….but what do YOU think? I’d love your feedback. And don’t forget to leave a link back to your own blog via the commentluv feature you’ll find here on the site.
Until next time,