Will you be my friend? A simple school yard question is becoming a major player in the business world. From Best Buy to Zappos, successful businesses recognize the importance of social media. These businesses are actively participating in Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, YouTube and a variety of other social media platforms.
Why You Should Participate In Social Media
- Consumers participate in social media and want businesses to participate as well. They are using social media sites as a way to find the products, services and businesses they need.
- Levels the playing field . Social media helps small businesses compete with large corporations by giving them a relatively free way to promote their business.
- Opportunity to understand customers . Social media gives you the opportunity to provide customer service and feedback while connecting you with a greater audience. (Helps you understand your customers wants and needs)
- Cost-effective Marketing. Social Media helps build brand awareness while you monitor your business’s reputation. It is an easy form of communication that gives you the ability to talk about yourself and the ability to listen to what others say about you. If handled properly, even negative comments can help promote your business.
- Generates leads and business opportunities. Actively communicating with members of your community will lead to opportunities you might not have otherwise known about.
- Your Competitors are there.
If those reasons do not persuade you to participate in social media, think about this, “Who’s opinion matters more to you? Someone you know and trust or a complete stranger?” With a little time and effort, social media can help you become that trusted friend to your consumers.
How Can You Effectively Use Social Media For Your Business?
There are numerous social media platforms to choose from: Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, YouTube, LinkedIn, GoogleBuzz, blogs, etc. The key is not to go overboard. Start with one platform and spend the time nurturing it. With any social media endeavor you will need to:
- Promote it — Let friends and customers know how and where to find you in the social media world. Use the same promotion techniques as you do your website URL.
- Actively Participate — Take an interest in the people you meet through social media. Begin by devoting an hour or two a week to your social media platform and seek out others using social media.
- Listen — To what customers and your competition have to say. With the right response even negative comments can be a plus for your shop. Listening to what customers want can place you ahead of the trends instead of behind.
- Integrate your marketing strategies — Include your social media when developing offline and online marketing strategies. Example: announce Mother’s Day specials through your social media platform.
- Watch Others — Take a look at how other florists and businesses are using social media.
Who’s Lead Can You Follow?
Several Flower Shop Network members utilize social media.
(Did you know Flower Shop Network will help you set up a Facebook Business Page? Did you know you can place a link to your Facebook page on your FSN website and you can place a link to your Web site from Facebook?)
With the help of FSN, Dara at Jeff Madill’s Flower Shop in Madill OK created a Business Page. Since March 24th, the shop has gone from 0 to 150 fans and has actively placed pictures on their Facebook page. They have used Facebook to let customers know of upcoming events. Here is an example of a post on their Facebook page … Don’t Forget to order EARLY for MADILL PROM.. It’s April 17th…We have all kinds of NEW Bracelets and fun BLING to jazz up any corsage and boutonniere.…
Lake City Florist in Lake City FL uses YouTube to showcase their wedding flowers by displaying the videos on their website.
Apple Blossoms Floral Designs and Gifts In Tampa FL uses a blog to keep his customer informed. He also stays connected with customers through his Facebook page.
Some florists use more than one social media platform. If you use multiple platforms, be sure to formulate a strategy that includes specific goals for each platform, as well as a combined goal involving all social media platforms.
What About Flower Shop Network And Social Media?
For the past year, FSN has been spending time connecting with florists and consumers via Facebook, Twitter, My Space, and the Bloomin’ Blog.
You can fan us on Facebook at Fan FSN.
You can follow us on twitter at FSN
You can find us on MySpace at Flower Shop Network.
You can see our videos on You Tube at Flower Shop Network
You can get ideas, ask questions and share information on the Flower Shop Network’s Blog Blog at Bloomin Blog.
By connecting with florists and the consumer through these social media outlets, FSN has been able to develop helpful products for florists, to address questions and to share ideas. We, also, learned a lot about people all across the United States and Canada. Developing relationships with florists and others has been a rewarding experience for everyone at Flower Shop Network.
Interested in learning more about social media? Check out How To Promote Your Shop On Facebook.