We in social media often forget there are numerous industries and businessess nascent in social media adoption. While we continue to learn the intricacies about new channels, back-end tools, and amplifying our own brands, there are business leaders who still don’t know what Twitter is or why they need a Yelp profile to push local revenue.
This week, I gave a two-hour presentation in Chicago to a 20 group in the auto-repair industry on social media and amplifying brand. To the business leaders who are owners of five to 10 local collision-repair shops throughout the country, I provided the following recommendations to introduce social media and help them tie it in with the core marketing foundation:
- Engage, for if you’re not engaged you cannot create community, control the message, or build reputation.
- Re-trench the foundation that includes the brand, the Web site and the core communications strategy aligned with business goals.
- Execute public relations as part of that core strategy so powerful content can be developed.
- Cross pollinate all social networking sites with the Web site to drive search engine marketing.
- Develop a corporate social media policy and select and train a front-line team to help build community, trust, transparency, and reputation.
- Start slowly; do not tackle all social media channels at the same time. It’s not an all-or-nothing engagement, either.
- Yelp is a must for local businesses, and a breadth of opportunity exists to take the lead in a region and vertical.
- Because women 55-65 are the fastest-growing segment on Facebook, create a business page and begin a marketing thrust to create community and a new revenue stream among that demographic.
- Managing “grudge” emotion is critical to diffuse from becoming an actual complaint or negative comment.
- Leave Internet marketing to the professionals. It’s too complex to attempt on your own.
- Respond to social media interactions within 12 hours max. If you wait 2.5 days to respond, you’re losing your community.
In your company and to your clients, are there other tips you might offer to those who are late to the party? We who lead have a ton of opportunity to help executives educate and navigate new media before the online world migrates to Web. 3.0.