Lots of small town business people tell me they just aren’t sure how to behave on social media. They don’t know what to say, or how to act. Which is funny, because they are the perfect model.
|If you know how to work with customers in person,
you know how to work with customers online.
That’s my theory.
See, I think small town business owners know exactly how to act when a customer walks right up to them. Why should it be different online? I know it is a bit different, but the same attitude of service is there.
I keep writing about this, because it’s absolutely true. The latest is at Marketing Profs: The Liquor Store Model for Social Media Marketing Success. (You have to sign in, but there is no fee.)
If you own a store in a small town, then you’re ahead of anyone who doesn’t. You already know that you have to build connections, get involved, think long-term, be honest, be helpful, and all the other keys. This time, your small town background is an advantage.
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Kevin Schweizer says
Oh so true. If you know how to interact and build customer loyalty in person, you shouldn’t have a problem doing the same thing online. Just be genuine and interesting.
Becky McCray says
Kevin, it certainly doesn’t do to make online into something more complex than in person.
Tracy Brown says
Hi Becky – This is something I wonder about…
I’m great face-to-face in customer service situations. I’m confident when it comes to engaging people and I love it. I happen to be someone who can easily strike up a conversation with people out and about. Just this past winter I helped a farmer by working as a vendor at a local farmers market. I had a great time and the young woman staffing the booth with me got a kick out of my “up-selling.” (Actually, I was mostly just chatting and talking about the product. The food sold itself.)
And yet, online it DOES feel different. I’ve been online socially in various capacities (for fun and for business) for several years now, but it’s definitely more challenging to build and keep those good, strong relationships. Perhaps it’s because people have “numbers” by their names (followers, email subscribers, connections, etc.) and we’re all wearing our ranking publicly. It’s a little like standing before the audience in your underwear. ;)
I have a couple of clients that I assist in social media. Ironically, that comes easier for me! We have fun strategizing engagement, and using an honest, authentic voice. The results have been positive. And yet, we all agree: Online, it’s very different then “the real world.”
Maybe someday we’ll feel different. In the meantime, we’ll do our best to navigate and fit in. :)
Thank you for your post, Becky! I don’t always comment, but I always check out your blog posts here.
Becky McCray says
Tracy, you’ve hit on the difficulties. It does feel different, and it’s easier to talk about others than about yourself sometimes.
One way you can put that to use is to talk about others as much as possible. A retail business can talk about customers who do great things. A service business can talk about the people in the community. You can talk about people who inspire you.
Thanks for dropping in to comment today, Tracy. I think your thoughts will help others as well.