A recent tweet on the Twitter channel of Google Small Business asked, “What’s your favorite way to connect with your customers?”
What's your favorite way to connect with your customers?— Google Small Business (@GoogleSmallBiz) August 6, 2021
Now, I think this survey’s a little skewed in favor of social media. I say that because this was on Twitter, which is a social media platform, so of course, the businesses that follow Google Small Businesses would have a favorable view of social media.
They’re on social media! Perhaps a more representative sampling would’ve been to survey small business owners using a channel that isn’t a social media channel.
Anyway, if you’re a digital marketer who has a message to share, social media can be a great place to be.
But a lot of business owners on social media are just that–they’re “on” social media, but that’s all.
Why not go further? Build a following on social media, or at least communicate via as many channels as possible (which would include social media).
Social Media During an Emergency
This can actually be great in an emergency.
Suppose that something happens to your autoresponder or email automation service–say, their servers went down.
And let’s further say that you have some urgent message to send out. Well, if you’ve built up various channels of communication–say, a vibrant Facebook page and a growing Twitter following–you can send out a message via those available channels. Yes, it’s not the same as having access to your email list, but at least you’d get the word out to some of your customers.
I remember, years ago, hearing that during a natural disaster somewhere, Twitter was much more frequently updated than a major news channel.
(And if you think about it, it makes sense: a person can update their Twitter feed, and within seconds, the world can see it. With dozens or hundreds of people doing this, you can have many more perspectives on the disaster than a major news channel that just has a few cameras.)
If Your Business Is Social, Then Social Media’s Great!
I’d say that almost all great businesses are built on something other than the products or services they offer.
And that’s not just my idea, people who have built great companies that have changed the world have said that very thing. I’m reminded of a popular video featuring Steve Jobs. In that video, he mentioned something (among many things) that was profound: Nike’s ads didn’t have products in them.
Instead, Nike’s ads (at least at the time) spoke to something more…social.
So, I ask you: what’s the value that your product or service points toward?
If you’re a restaurant owner, is it the value of family and friends?
If you’re a gym owner or naturopath, is it the value of being healthy (not just fit, but healthy)?
If you sell farming equipment, is it the value of healthy, locally-grown foods?
Those values should help you convey your message, and from that message, you can create many, many social media posts that help keep you at the front of your customers’ minds.
Now, you may not have time to do a lot of this, which is why you may need someone to help you with this, but I hope you do see the value in this.
Social media has its pros and cons, but used properly, it can be a great way to keep in touch with your current and future customers.