Every week I speak to business people who are facing the same dilemma. They keep hearing that they should be using Social Media* for Business, but they have no idea WHAT that really means. Facebook? Twitter? YouTube? Blogging? And even if they did know HOW, they don’t know WHEN they’d have the time for it.
And even if they knew when, the biggest question of all is WHY?
There are as many answers to How and What as there are different kinds of businesses. But the answer to WHY? is always the same**:
To Increase Revenue
This is the first in a series of posts that address just this issue. I will attempt to answer the question WHY? for different types of businesses.
BUSINESS TYPE #1: BUSINESS DEPENDS UPON REFERRALS, NOT MARKETING
“Our business depends on referrals for all of our new clients. We never market or advertise. Our stellar reputation is why people choose us. WHY should we use Social Media?”
Imagine this Scenario:
One of your current happy clients tells a colleague how your company has done a fantastic job for her. The colleague writes down your name (or your company name). Remember, your best clients aren’t walking around with a stack of your businesses cards, as much as you wish they would!
The colleague (this person could be your dream client!) has no other choice but to do a Google search for your company in order to find your contact info. What will she see? Get into the head of that potential client and perform that same Google search for yourself. What appears on your screen is pretty much what she sees.
Is your website the only listing on the page? Does it tell your company’s story in a way that the potential client will see value in hiring you? Is there anything else appearing on the screen that conveys the message that you want this client to see?
If your answer is NO, then you have a wonderful opportunity: Social Media (I use the term loosely) is the way to increase your business profile on the web and moreover, make sure that your story is told in the way that will make a potential client sit up and say “This is exactly what I am looking for!”
Research shows that people use search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing) more often than any other research tool as the #1 source of information gathering in preparation for a purchasing decision (even when they have been referred!).
And it’s only natural. Everyone wants to get a little bit more information about a company before they pick up the phone and call, and the Internet has made it possible to research quickly and easily. I’m sure you’ve done it yourself.
What we don’t know is how many potential clients have searched for your company after having been referred and DID NOT CHOOSE YOU because your Internet presence did not convey that your company provides exactly what they need.
WHY? Because Lost Opportunity results in Lost Revenue! That’s Why! Now…HOW, WHAT and WHEN are easy! Let’s talk.
*I use Social Media as a catchall term for content marketing, blogging, and using Facebook, Twitter, etc.
**Disclosure: every now and then I do work with a client that does not have a revenue producing agenda, but instead is looking for pure visibility in her or his field.