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!
Recently I realized that I had been rather spoiled by the quality of service that Microwebb Software provided, and because of that I will unabashedly give them a salute. What brought this realization was hearing how many business owners were not really sure about the companies they had hired to do search engine optimization. With MicroWebb Software I learned about the process, and what I was paying for.
Unfortunately search engine optimization is not the only area where otherwise savvy business owners take a leap of faith. This also holds true when it comes to their websites and social media platforms.
A lot of this stems from the fact that computers and the internet can be intimidating, but indispensable. Business owners have been told that both websites, and social media, is now needed for modern marketing, and so the owners, sometimes reluctantly, have a website built. Then, perhaps, they enter the realm of social media.
Of course, with larger companies they can hire someone to handle all of the intricacies, and the rest of the staff can stay focused on the real work. For the small to mid-sized business owners, however, they first tackle the large investment of hiring someone to create their website, and when the site is done they are willing to let it "do its thing." Then they may turn their attention to Facebook and Twitter, but often they cannot see much purpose to the exercise.
And after a while the owners are approached and told that their website needs something called "search engine optimization." It sounds necessary, and much like was done with the original website, the owners hire someone to deal with the mystery.
Where all of this is leading is a suggestion for a checklist that every business owner should keep. The realm of the internet, and web-based marketing, is speeding up, and this information is becoming indispensable.
1. Keep your web designer's name and contact information handy so they can keep your site updated with social media icons, and links for blogs.
2. The name of the company who did your search engine optimization so that you know what their package included. You will end up having more questions, such as, "Does it include handling social media marketing too?
3. Keep a list of your user names and passwords to your social media sites. What once appeared to be frivolous is now becoming a vital part of your marketing strategy.
Take nothing for granted.
Even if you don't really want to deal with it - keep the information at hand!!
As a professional storyteller I have become used to the standard response to my profession......
"Do you tell in pre-schools?"
At this point I usually give my little elevator history lesson about how storytelling is a very old performing art, which can provide entertainment for all ages. I usually place a particular emphasis how folk stories, from the world's cultures, cover pretty much all of the human condition.
When I started my new business, White Fox Social Media, I made the mistake of assuming that this was an occupation that was fairly self-explanatory. So I was particularly surprised by the bemused reaction of many of my friends. And then I learned that there was also a second, consistent, reaction that came from business associates.
My friends, at the point I've declared, "I've gone into social media marketing," give me a incredulous look. Followed by an, "Oh." And by both look and tone they make it clear that I have said the equivalent of, "I have decided to re-create the Pyramid of Giza out of fluff bunnies."
Reactions are better when I mention this new occupation to business associates, since they are very aware of the power of social media in their marketing strategy. In many cases, though, it is apparent that they view the multiple needs of social media as akin to grappling a giant squid.
So now I am developing two new elevator speeches.
One for my friends about how social media has evolved to play a vital role in marketing.
And one for my business associates to explain that the giant squid can be handled - one tentacle at a time.
Some may wonder how a storyteller wanders off into the full-time business of social media marketing. And, I'll admit, I have occasionally wondered that myself, though not with any regrets. Social Media offers an intriguing array of opportunities to tell stories, and I am looking forward to doing so for my clients.
Over the last year I have been aggressively networking for my storytelling business, White Fox Productions, Ltd, and during many lunches social media was discussed. Often times one of the luncheon members would give a little talk on the topic, and it never failed that many of the listeners said that they didn't have the time to do their business's Facebook page consistently.
And that wasn't even getting into all of the other platforms, such as Twitter, or Pinterest.
The idea lurked in the back of my mind, where I was beginning to pull together the realization I had the needed skills.
Over the last few years I had been studying how best to market my storytelling, and so was learning about how best to use Facebook, and other platforms, to my benefit. And I also have a background in writing, which has been used for the blogs, but still under-utilized.
Many years back I had dreams (delusions?) of being a novelist, and did a creative writing portfolio for my Masters in English. Somehow, though, the novel sidetracked me into storytelling. I had been trying to write a believable folk musician, but I did not play a musical instrument or sing. And at one point I had the opportunity at a writer's conference to ask writer/musician, Emma Bull, how to write a believable musician. She told me, "Perform something. Get in front of an audience."
A year later storyteller, Dan Keding, offered a workshop in storytelling.
That was perfect! I loved listening to folk stories, and figured that I could at least practice my new found skills on family - and hapless friends.
And after twenty-six years I am still storytelling (the novel is in the file cabinet), and now it is time to combine the storytelling and the writing into a new business venture.
So, last week, White Fox Social Media was born.
Cathy Mosley brings her 26 years of storytelling and writing experience to the realm of Social Media. To help small businesses.