No one will mistake me for an ‘expert’ in utilizing social media marketing. However I have learned some basic things – by trial & error – that might help others break through their reluctance to try to market their businesses in this manner.
The hardest part for me was trying to decide what platform was best for my needs. In the beginning most people want to know how to start but are confused with all the information that is being directed to them. It often “turns them off” and they procrastinate with getting started – time after time.
If this sounds like you, first try one platform only. Sit down with your staff and ask them this question: “Where do you think our customers ‘hang-out’? That is, at which social network are our current clients and prospects most likely to frequent? This is where you want to start your social media marketing efforts. Do not pay for placing ads on the network chosen. Just let people know what you believe you do best. Look for some local groups with which to affiliate and contribute by commenting on various of their items. Then grow from there. Simplify the initial process. After you and your staff get more familiar with regular activities, you may want to expand or just focus more intently on what makes you most comfortable, as you explore social media marketing.
There is so much there. Make it as simple as you can. it is certainly better than doing nothing at all – forever.
I had a meeting with an agency manager this week and the conversation flowed very smoothly. We both understood one another completely and business was conducted in a very effective manner. There was real substance to our discussion points. We got a lot accomplished in an hour. We understood one another, thanks to the substance.
I was reminded of how real substance in a business discussion makes for conversation that produces results. I was also reminded of another discussion I held with an agent who is an State Manager for a large, well-known National insurance carrier. The discussion was going very well and we understood one another for sure. In the middle of the discussion – over lunch – his manager walked into the restaurant and when my manager friend saw him, of course he invited his boss to sit with us. ‘The Boss’ was a very nice guy who asked me a lot of good questions about my program. One of my answers prompted ‘The Boss’ to turn to the State Manager and say a few things – presumably relevant – but in their particular form of corporate jargon – “corporate speak”, if you will. Then they both started talking and nodding at me. Their words were intended to relate to their “corporate vision”. I am all about having clear visions but they need to be expressed in an understandable way. Apparently I was supposed to see the relevance of the many phrases of visions, to my operations. I didn’t. The points that the ‘The Boss’ was attempting to make were flying over my head without stopping-by to sink in.
The next time I meet with my State Manager business acquaintance, I will try my best to make sure his ‘Boss’ – nice guy that he is – will not wander into the same restaurant. If I ever to meet with ‘The boss’ again, I will ask for their proprietary corporate dictionary.
Maybe it is just me but give me the substance any day.