In our contemporary world of today, most entrepreneurs use social media to enhance their businesses in several ways. This is because of the several benefits such businesses will derive from social media platforms. However, let us define the key phrases in our title.
This is an online platform for social interactions among friends and contacts that afford you the opportunities to create and share information and ideas in virtual communities. From this definition, we can deduce that the social media platform has a pool full of people or contacts; has a pool full of information or ideas and opportunities to create and share with others whatever is of interest that you wish to share.
This refers to businesses that are done in the physical, where buyers and sellers meet one on one to interact and agree on terms for the transaction. Offline businesses require physical infrastructures like offices, factories, electronic and print media for the advert, and a lot of human resources for efficient service delivery. In the offline business platform, customers see whatever they want to buy physically; advertisements are done on Televisions, Radios, Magazines, and Newspapers and on Bill Boards; payments are made either with cheques or in cash, and sellers and customers meet physical, discuss and agree on terms of the transaction.
At this junction, it is important to highlight some of the benefits your business can enjoy from social media platforms. These will help you know the best strategies for your business as an entrepreneur. Social media afford you the opportunity to introduce your new products and brand to targeted contacts who in turn can become your potential customers. Whichever social media platforms you belong to, you can build and grow your contacts base to become your targeted clients or customers.
You can advertise existing products and services on some social media platforms. This could be either in your timeline or fan page etc. Some social media have spaces for paid advertisements with a wider audience than your contacts, fan page members, or group members. Thus, you can take advantage of this to promote your offline business. Building your brand or business image and keeping it fresh in the minds of people is very important in enhancing your business. Social media are sites that millions of people visit daily. You can therefore seize the opportunities to build and constantly keep your brand image in the minds of millions of people when you constantly post and advertise on social media.
Cracking Social Media Platform
Social media is a real-time interaction platform. This means you can always interact with your clients or customers at regular intervals. This will help your brand or business have a human face and you will readily know the opinions and views of your clients. People want to be able to ask questions, express their minds and get quick responses, social media gives you this chance to interact with your potential customers. Several social media have platforms for groups of like minds. People or businesses that are in the same fields or offer the same services can meet and share interests, ideas, challenges, etc. The interactions between group members help them to know each other and find ways of promoting their businesses. Social media help in positioning the entrepreneur as an expert consultant. People who need the services can easily contact you for offline transactions. Thus helping you build a loyal brand or business customer base.
So much for the benefits, let us shift our attention to the strategies for enhancing your offline business with social media. You must understand that social media is far more than content and conversations. It is a platform where you have thousands of contacts, fans or followers ready to be converted to clients or customers. There are several methods one can use to convert social media contacts to customers and derive great benefits for your offline business.
Three Myths About Social Media Strategies
The first strategy is to have a special offer for your online contacts who visit your business place personally. The offer should be posted online with a code to identify them when they appear physically. The special offer must be very attractive and could be in form of a discount, reward, or something that is worth an online contact coming physically to patronize your business.
Also, you can always post in your social media blog descriptive articles, images, comments, and content that draw attention to you or your business. This will make your contacts, fans, and followers want to meet you or visit your office physically. If it is permitted you can post your URL so that people can easily reach you. You can search on social media for contacts and group members in your immediate environment or locality, those who can easily come over to your shop, factory, or office. The strategy is to target these contacts and convert them to become your customers. If your business is nationwide or international you can develop a method targeting your fan base and refer them to your offices and outlets across the country or internationally.
Another very effective method is to extract the emails of members of your targeted groups of contact and send them direct or individual emails inviting them to visit your offline business office. An enticing offer will do the trick to pull them to become your customers. You can also mail them your newsletter, promotion offers, new arrivals or products, etc.
It is also very good to advertise your offline business on any of the social media paid-page. Here you can reach a wider audience that can become potential customers. In the advert, you can give a description of your services or products and how you can be contacted. The advert will have images that can attract potential customers to your offline business.
You must develop a good interactive pattern with your social media contacts. This will build confidence in them and they will be willing to contact you personally to patronize your offline business. Effective interactions with your online contacts will also make them refer other customers to you. On the other hand, poor interaction can have a negative effect as well. Incorporate your offline business website with some major social media. This will increase the number of people who visit your website and invariably have contact with you or your offline business.
Make sure the press releases, catalogues of your new products, and promotions of your offline business are posted on your website and also shared with your social media contacts base. Thus, they will always have new and fresh information about your business. Of course, this will pull them to want to do business with you physically. Develop yourself to become an expert consultant to your social media contacts in your niche. Be ready to play the role of “customer service” to your potential customers. Answer their questions and queries quickly; provide advice and support services; inform them of new products or services and if possible ensure that they are able to call you directly. By so doing you can direct them to your offline business place.
I encourage you to either join or affiliate your offline business with as many social media as possible. This will increase your contact base and create more sources of interactions like blogs, forums, and timelines between you and your targeted audience or potential customers. The numbers of social media are increased by the day but here are some that you can easily join and utilize to your advantage. Facebook, Pinterest, Linked In, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, Yookos, YouTube, and Tumblr.