The recent decision by GM to leave facebook has caused quite a stir amongst the webs social media denizens. My marketing hero and fellow Canadian Mitch Joel has written a brilliant post analysing GM’s decision to stop spending money on facebook ads. Mitch does a way better job than I ever could discussing the reasons behind GM’s decision… so what I want to focus on here – is on the lessons that small businesses looking to use Facebook or other social media platforms to grow their businesses need to think about.
For many of the people who are learning about your business for the first time through Facebook or some other social media avenue, the web might be their primary way of learning about your business. You need to realise that the old way of marketing your business like big corporations like GM did (and still do), by using traditional means of advertising (e.g. ads in your local news papers etc) are a one way channel of communicating with your customers. When building your social media strategy, focus on the fact that most of your potential new customers, are not ready to buy your product right at that moment …. they are more likely just looking to learn information about you and your products and services.
Use this as an advantage on your social media profile.
Dont use social media sites to just advertise a string of messages as if you were copying some tv commercial. Thats not the point of social media marketing.
Engaging your customers and building relationships is.
Use Facebook or twitter to rather inform your customers about your companies products and services. Like David Meerman Scott says in his book The New Rules of Marketing and PR - when customers arrive at your site, you don’t need to grab their attention, you already have it.
Remember that when customers come to you online, they are not looking for more adverts and messages to be bombarded with … they are looking for information to help them make a decision.
First develop relationships with your customers. Engage them. The sales will follow!