In a recent article for the York Daily Record, Stephanie Reighart presents what local business owners in York, Pennsylvania have to say about mixing business with social media.
Knowing the Customer
According to Mandy Arnold, the president of York-based Gavin Advertising, the age-old adage of “knowing the customer” is essential to social media strategies for business. She explains that it is very important to learn about what customers like, as well as what they don’t like. Likewise, she encourages business owners to engage, and not to annoy, their customers.
Meanwhile, Arnold states that posting on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter will also help increase the online visibility of a business by creating ways for prospective customers to know about their product and service offerings. Notably, she is also a board member for Downtown Inc.
Befriending the Customer
Another way of becoming successful in promoting businesses online is by befriending customers. This is attested to by Leslie Einhorn Ravitz, who manages the Facebook and Twitter accounts for the Yorktowne Hotel in the area. Ravitz shares that they envision the hotel as “part of the family,” a community hotel where people can expect quality and friendly service.
Ravitz mentions that being active online provides the hotel with a “personality.” Since creating the hotel’s Facebook page two years ago, she has watched its popularity grow online. The page now boasts of 1,100 likes, which she considers not just a mere “fans” but as “friends.” Arnold cites that this kind of mindset is essential to growth, as social media helps to spread information about the business.
Social Media Business Tips
Arnold says that while visualizing Downtown Inc.’s social media plan, they started by keeping track of what people found most interesting, and what they were ignoring. In time, Downtown Inc became a major hub online for learning about events happening downtown. Her tips on using social media for business are as follows:
1. Be accessible. Make it easy for new online visitors to “follow” or “like” a page.
2. Be authentic. Personality is the key to building trust among customers.
3. Be realistic. Ensure that the resources being poured into a social media plan are worth the returns.
4. Be visual. Adding pictures can help attract news customers.
5. Be careful with the language and words used, especially since social media is a public platform.
6. Be responsive. Reply to customer messages as soon as possible.
7. Do not post “too much” activity as this can annoy customers.