In short absolutely not – this is your time to truly shine!
These are exciting times for consumers because with all of its flaws Facebook are really at the forefront of pushing the commercial sector into truly connecting with their customers and this means that small independent businesses have a complete advantage over the bigger brands.
For a few years Alicia and myself at Social Gooseberry have been educating business owners to think outside of the box in regard to advertising. Yes you need a budget, yes you need multiple approaches which include the old school – flyers, quick fix ads, special offers, announcements and such like – but now you also have the tools through social media to inspire, motivate and relate to your customers, the way independent retailers and small businesses always have.
In simple terms Facebook want you to have conversations, they want to increase the sense of community and encourage businesses to spend on adverts without putting their user base off – in short they want you to give value, to make an effort and to really understand the needs of your customers. Now all of the independent businesses we have worked with in the Southwell area, Nottinghamshire base their model on personal customer service, they know many people by name and will often provide a bespoke service simply because they have taken the time to get to know what their needs and circumstances are. Their greatest advert is word of mouth recommendation and they thrive on it.
With Facebook you can connect with your current customers at your convenience and also reach potential customers who fit with your general customer profile through targeted adverts. Facebook is still providing one of the most cost effective ways of advertising available.
So to benefit from the changes coming up in Facebook, remember:
– Get to know your customers – Who are they, what do they do before and after visiting you, what are their values, interests or problems. How do you fit in with this?
– Find Spokespeople within your business – people who will interact online via their personal profile and join in conversations whilst visibly representing your business through networking, without selling.
– Encourage Conversation – Create content that you naturally discuss with your customers as they visit you, if it works in person it will work online.
– Embrace the Video and LIVE features – nothing encourages interaction more than seeing something in action or having a person respond to comments and questions immediately.
Small businesses this really is your time to shine in being #LocalandSocial . If you would like to discuss how your business can embrace social media in a more engaging way then feel free to call me – Michelle on 07799672080 for a chat or to book a consultation.