In every business "how to book" and seminar one of the main emphasize is networking, and it is accepted as common sense that to build your business you have to know a range of people. Sometimes these are people you meet at networking groups. Sometimes it is an acquaintance you meet at the grocery store.
And it is a solid practice.
A practice that hold true for your Facebook, Google +, Linkedin, and Twitter interactions. And even Pinterest - "pinning" makes a difference too.
When you "like," "follow," "connect," or "create a circle" another site, or customer, you begin to get their postings in your "newsfeed." Your newsfeed is usually found in your "home" on most of the platforms. However, what you see in your newsfeed is not, at that point, showing up on your public profile. This holds true for either personal, or business, pages; both of which have "home" icons and newsfeeds.
Those postings in your newsfeeds offer a wonderful chance to help out your business associates and clients. As you read through your newsfeeds you can also share or retweet your colleagues' postings, and with this you help broaden their visibility. And remember, if you are pleased with their business - add a comment, or recommend them.
So, when you go out to post, keep your business friends in mind, and help them out. It not only will help strengthen their web presence, but yours' too.
More often than not we take "likes," "friends," "follows," "sharing," "retweets," and "endorsements" for granted; requests for them happen so often that they become background noise. Or an annoyance. For a business page, however, they form part of the life blood of the media interaction, particularly since search engines are more heavily tracking social media traffic.
What most don't realize is how thrilling a "like" or a "follow" can be to a business starting off into the strange world of social media.
And comments of satisfied customers can make a owner's whole day.
In truth, this holds true for most small businesses and their social media accounts. Activity means that people are staying aware of the business and their services.
Yet with the demands of keeping up with their own media platforms businesses sometimes it is easy to forget to return the favor for their customers.
For business to business relations "liking" a customer's page helps build activity for both, and to take that a step further - sharing posts between pages really helps. And it goes beyond that too; by keeping up with clients' pages, personal or business, you learn what is important to them. Plus you learn where you can help - whether as a business or as a person, by supporting their favorite causes.
So when you are out posting to your own social media sites make sure to look in on your clients'.
Like their pages.
Endorse their talents.
And share generously!
Whether presenting to an a live audience, or via the power of a digital medium, a well-told story matters. A well-crafted story builds connections, and begins the process of trust.
It has been said, to the point of cliche, that we are being bombarded with information, and even if it is a cliche it is also true. Everyone, particularly every business, wants our attention. And yet, conversely, despite the flood tide of information and marketing that the digital age has brought about, it has also been said that that it can bring businesses and customers closer together.
This is particularly true for local businesses, with a target market of their hometown, and the surrounding areas. The local business that makes effective use of social media is able to have a better feel for their clients, and the clients feel that they have a say.
So how do stories factor in?
In order to create a environment for client loyalty the business, and its owner, need to present a powerful tale about that business. What was the spark for the beginning? Who are the people that have made it grow? What is the driving focus and belief? And equally important, how have the company, and their staff, supported the community?
The key to the story's power is that the presenter needs to be honest in their tale. The message has to be authentic, because the audience, the clients, know in their gut when the tale is a sham. They know when they are just being given what the teller thinks they want to hear.
It has also been said that good storyteller, or a good writer, needs to "show - not tell" when creating their story.
Businesses can do this by alerting their clients to stories about how they are part of the community, or about how they went beyond for a customer. The businesses also need to be consistent in telling their tale - it cannot be only once in a while.
For a company's social media strategy this is not one short tale, but must be considered like an epic - a powerful tale told over many, many days. A tale told with variety and creativity.
Cathy Mosley brings her 26 years of storytelling and writing experience to the realm of Social Media. To help small businesses.