In sales, I hear all kinds of objections, the biggest being, “I get all my business from word of mouth.” The next question I ask after hearing this is, “Are you taking advantage of social media?” The answer is almost always no, that social media is for college kids, and that it wouldn’t work for their business.
Social Media can work for just about every kind of business. The trick is to think outside the box in figuring how to make it work for yours. Facebook is the new “word of mouth advertising” and is the most visited site in the world – Google is number two. People used to chat with their neighbors outside while the kids were playing or would call each other to find out if they knew of a good company to use. Today, instead, they simply go onto Facebook and ask their friends there if they know of a good company.
Let’s use an example of how you could use social media to help your business. Say you are a kitchen remodeler. One way could be to make sure you take a couple of before and after photos of each kitchen you work on. Once a project is complete and you’re doing your last walk-through with the homeowners, instead of asking them if you could keep a sign out front on their lawn displaying your company info, ask them to “like” your business on Facebook. Tell them that you took some great before and after photos of their kitchen and would like to share the photos with them. They then ‘like’ your business page (with business pages, people ‘like’ you rather than adding you as a friend of your personal page) and you go ahead and tag them in the pictures you took.
The average person has over 150 friends on Facebook, so once you tag the photos of the brand-new kitchen, the photos show up on the homeowner’s personal page. All of their friends see that your company just did a brand-new kitchen for them and it’s an automatic referral if any of those friends are looking to get a new kitchen now or in the future.
Everyone that likes your business page becomes your new customer list. You can keep them up to date on changes or promotions you have going on, always keeping your business at the top of their minds so they don’t go somewhere else when you offer the services they may need. It’s in ways like this that social media can really help you take your word of mouth advertising to the next level.
With all the different social media outlets out there like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, it’s time consuming to keep your business current. A lot of businesses now are hiring companies to manage it for them. Not only is social media a must for your business these days when it comes to word of mouth, but now most search engines are taking the social presence of your business into account as well. When deciding who to show in results for searches of your product or service, the algorithms now take into account your business’ social presence – just one more reason you can’t afford not to get your business on social media.