Often I talk about the need for businesses to get into social media so that they don’t get passed by because their competitors have gotten into the business. Whereas that’s true, what can’t be missed is that there must be a real world component to social media marketing.

The Other Cola (Peru)
Creative Commons License Geraint Rowland via Compfight

For instance, say you make contact with someone because of your blog. Most probably they’re going to reach you by email or phone if you’ve remembered to add a contact page to your blog, or at least have a link to your business website, which should have contact information on it. This means that you’re following up with people in a more personal manner, whether it’s email or phone or, if you’re lucky, meeting someone in person.

I point this out because if your website or blog is so good that it actually does attract business, what you can’t take a chance on is that people are letdown by what they see once they’ve reached out to you. I don’t hide from anyone that I’m a one man operation, but some companies represent themselves as large corporations and suddenly find that they don’t have either the skills or resources to handle certain types of work that might come their way.

Another thing I’ve recommended businesses should do is follow both their business name and their industry on Twitter using hashtags. Many businesses have done this and have used the customer service potential to their benefit. However, what I’ve also seen is some companies using the opportunity to go on the attack rather than help their customers out, or reach out to a customer, answer the first query, then not follow up with any visible action.

Social media isn’t a game where business is concerned. Irk just one person, the wrong person, and you can believe that thousands will know about it soon enough. And when that happens, it’ll be hard for any business to follow up with all those other people to apologize, if it’s warranted, because they won’t know who they all are.

You can’t avoid social media because whether you like it or not, you’ll be pulled into it if you don’t act. It’s better if you make the decision to do it on your own. But be proactive across the board. Get it as right as you can. Your business will prosper and you’ll thank me later. 😉
 

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