These days it seems we’re all Tweeting, Facebooking, Youtubing Gurus. But being a ‘social’ business means much more than posting a link to your website on Twitter, or plugging your latest event on your facebook page.
It’s about translating face to face conversations into online dialogue. You wouldn’t meet someone at a seminar and flog them a new piece of furniture. Neither would you go to a networking lunch and force feed someone your award-winning cheese. So don’t do it online.
Let’s take a new Twitter follower for instance. Why are they following you? Build the relationship slowly, find out about their business, how is it you can help them? And there’s no reason why these conversations can’t be public – so people can see you’re engaging. There’s nothing worse than an automated response. Yes there is – an automated response directing you to their website.
At Family Business Place we use online social media tools as exactly that – tools. Tools to help our other marketing efforts, tools to engage with people before we meet them in the flesh at an event, tools to gauge what it is our family businesses want from us as a resource. Platforms like Twitter and Facebook also provide us with the perfect opportunity to flag up fabulous family businesses, rave about their brands, and generally help them to raise their profile. It’s a ready-made PR machine ready and waiting, but you just need to remember you’re still talking to REAL people so adjust and personalise your message accordingly.