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I Met A Business Owner This Week Who Said That His Business Isn’t Going To Use Social Media.
Why? Because he personally doesn’t like to use social media.
If you are reading this story on this blog, I probably don’t have to point out the absurdity of this thinking, but just in case…
It’s Q4 2014. With the holidays coming, you have very little time to decide what your 2015 marketing outlook is if you haven’t already done so.
But let me tell you one thing that you can take to the bank. In 2015 more of your consumers will be connected than at any time in the past. They will be online, using social media, looking for the products and services that they want to buy and relying on the information they find online to inform their decisions. The opposite is also true. Fewer of your consumers will be disconnected.
If you think that you are going to do business in 2015 without making an investment in web, search or social marketing then on behalf of your competitors, you have their thanks for allowing them to grab your clients.
In 2015, more people will be using Facebook and Twitter than ever before and more of them will be using it as a search engine to find the places they want to go and the things they want to buy. Not in the traditional “type a keyword” kind of way, but in the social interaction way. In other words, they’re going to be having conversations about their needs.
If your business isn’t in the mix and part of the conversation, you’ll just be forgotten. To help prevent that eventuality, I’m going to give you a short punch list of things that your business needs to do in order to survive through 2015.
If you are reading this while sitting next to a truck load of cash, then go enjoy your money. This isn’t for you. But if you want to give your business a fighting chance in 2015, take a seat.
Redesign Your Website
If your site was built on the cheap or it was built by some techie that is disconnected from your business needs, you need to reconsider your online presence. If you are not generating leads, then you should have no expectation of that changing just because the clock rings in the new year. If you have no access to your site, your developer, your hosting company or you don’t know what any of that means, then you need to sit down with your key employees and sort it out.
While you’re at it, take a look at your competitors’ sites. If theirs are better, then get moving. If theirs are worse, get moving anyway because they are probably regrouping.
Here’s another thing to consider; if your employees don’t show your site to prospects because they think it sucks, that’s a good indication that it does.
Your new 2015 paradigm should be to build a new and iterative website that is updated with small fine tuned changes to continue to enhance your presence and meet the needs of your customers.
Nowadays, there are fewer and fewer bad websites. You don’t have the luxury of being left behind.
Your 2015 audience will be more connected than ever before. If they can’t find you on their mobile device, I assure you they’ll find your competitor.
If you aren’t giving them a channel to talk to you on social media, they’ll create their own. One that you won’t be able to control.
Social isn’t any harder to manage than any other communication medium, it just takes a different mindset. You have a phone because you know lots of people will call you. Well, now it’s 2015. Some people are using the phone and some are using social. Just like with a phone, if you’re not there to answer the call, you’ll miss the sale.
Embrace LinkedIn Profiles
Most businesses print business cards as an after thought, but business cards are becoming less and less relevant. More and more businesses are relying on business profiles such as LinkedIn to be their repository for contact information. If your phone number or your email changes, your business card is useless, but your LinkedIn profile – assuming you update it – will always be current.
Your LinkedIn profile also affords you something else your business card doesn’t; a narrative of what you do and why people should do business with you. It’s a fact that better profiles get found more and stimulate more business. You don’t have to have a LinkedIn profile, but more and more business people are using those profiles to find the people they want to hire and work with.
While we’re on this subject, I’ve talked in the past about investing in the LinkedIn profiles of your employees so that every employee makes your business shine. If you haven’t done that, do it now so that your business is at its best in 2015.
Get Real Marketing Help And Insight
Hire a marketing company to do an evaluation of your business. If you’re the “I don’t like social” type of person or think that you know your customers, but are struggling to generate leads and close business, then take this dose of tough love; you’re wrong and you need help.
A good marketing company can see your business the way the outside world sees your business. That’s usually much clearer than you can yourself. This has tremendous value and can result in two things:
First, you can create a practical direction for your business based on the way your business is instead of the way you perceive it.
Second, and more importantly, you can get an objective report of your weaknesses. Those weaknesses are more likely to prevent you from closing a sale. Your strengths may not be able to overcome them unless you make some changes.
There are billions more web sites, landing pages, squeeze pages, email campaigns, social profiles, business pages, search engine listings, podcasts and videos than there were this time last year. There is an army of business people and creative professionals out there looking at your lunch and getting ready to eat it.
The question is, are you going to lie down and let them take it?