Fear to change.
Fear of the board of directors.
Fear of job loss.

Fear. Fear. Fear. (blah blah blah)

I believe that the fear you should have (that you don’t) is the Fear of becoming irrelevant.

I’m especially writing this FOR the big companies. Why would I do that? Afterall, I am a small business owner myself. It’s because they can’t see the forest for the trees. It’s because they are contributing to an incredible amount of financial waste in the world.

And… it just hurts my feelings to watch it.

That said, this article also applies to you, Mr. Small Business Owner. So, what can you do to “up your game” online using social media?

Where do you stand in the marketing world of today? Would you say that you are rocking it? Or, would you say that you are confused about what it all means?

If you are confused, you are not alone. But what steps do you take? What should you focus on?

Here are three easy steps to start with.

Focus on A customer:
Don’t talk to the masses. Don’t talk to a group of people. Talk to one person at a time. You say that no one could possibly have time for that. I hear you. The goal is to refine your perfect target market, create a mental image of a specific “right person” and always talk to them specifically – and individually.

Get vulnerable:
When you are talking with an individual online (i.e. putting your message in front of them) you have to get vulnerable. Open, honest talk is inexpensive and very effective. If you feel like you have to mask your product or service behind a puffy headline or meaningless business words that no one actually uses, it only reveals the weakness in your offer. Straight talk with your individual target will outweigh big fancy words (or expensive production) every day of the week.

Manage the conversation and manage your reputation:
Many large companies are worried about online reputation management. You are soooo afraid that your company will “go viral” in a bad way, that you miss the opportunities to be seen in a good way.

Before you overlook using some of the most powerful communication tools that have ever existed, follow the fear. What is your fear? You are afraid that a disgruntled customer will get on your social account and call you out? Well, if you do a bad job, that’s exactly what they are going to do. Ok, so, now what?

Customer:
XYZ Company did me wrong. They are awful and I’d never do business with them again!
XYZ Company:
I’m so sorry if we dropped the ball. We always make it right with our customers. We’d like to hear more about the problem and will message you for details.

Is this a problem, or an opportunity?

It’s an opportunity.

You were able to calmly diffuse the problem. Additionally, you were able to reinforce your level of service. “We always make it right…” Are you kidding me? You DON’T want that to be seen??? You should! Are the people at your company supposed to be robots that don’t make mistakes? Impossible! Show your humanity. This will work to your advantage.

Disclaimer: If your product or service is not good. If you are not proud of your business and your customer service is questionable, you WILL fail. I always like that saying, “good marketing makes bad companies fail faster.”

So, be thoughtful. Have a plan. Communicate clearly.

Go forth into the digital world and rock it!

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