I was recently talking to a business owner who was lamenting slow sales, lagging revenues, and a lack of customers. He asked me to meet with him a give him some ideas in what he might do to spark interest in his company and products. After visiting with him for about 15 minutes I realized this guy was a genius when it came to his industry and his chosen line of work. This guy has real world knowledge of his industry, know how you only get by spending years in the business. He needed to share that expertise with his customers and prospective customers not only here in Boise but around the region and even around the country. But how to deliver that knowledge and expertise where people could really benefit from it. Right away I suggested social media. He has a website, a pretty good one at that. It’s a e-commerce site that sells the products and services that his business offers. He sells to customers across the country.
The only problem with the site was it was solely a shopping site, and if you didn’t know where to look for it on the web you would never find it. I asked if he had any type of social media tie-ins on his website. He did not, worse yet he didn’t have a LinkedIn page; he thought Facebook and Twitter were a waste of time. When I asked him why he felt that way he told me the experience of his daughter. His daughter was a MySpace junkie. “She was always wasting time on that stupid site” he said. I could see his point, but I suggested he just start a Twitter page for his business and give it a chance. I suggested he give some helpful tips when it came to his industry that he customers could use. Right away he started getting followers. On his website he placed a link to his new Twitter page. He started to Tweet product discounts and product links back to his main site. Its been a total of 8 days and he now has 150 followers. But more importantly he was able to track 12 sales from his Twitter traffic. He called me today and asked what’s next, in just 8 days he saw the need for social media in his marketing efforts. I gave him some other suggestions, I’ll keep you updated and let you know what other successes he encounters and even the challenges he may come across.
Just as a side point, it’s very simple and easy to set up a Twitter account and a Fan page on Facebook. If you have a webmaster that can help you with the set up even better. As a warning, in my previous employment I had a customer who paid a firm $2,500 to set up a Twitter page, so far Twitter is free and fairly easy to set up. If by chance you do need some assistance with a Facebook Fan page or a Twitter account please feel free to contact me and I can give you the name and number of a couple of gentleman that are webmasters that would charge a small fraction of that price to assist and train you. The point is this, in today’s market place old traditional marketing methods are going the way of the Sony Walkman, into obscurity. If you are going to reach customers both new and existing you need to keep up with the ever-changing scene of outlets that technology provides.
Justo Fuentes has spent the past number of years in the small business banking sector. He can be reached at 208-447-9815 or e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org