“All businesses are being forced to go social.” That’s according to Michael Brito.
Maybe you’ve been waiting to see if all the buzz about having a blog, a Facebook page or a Twitter account is just another passing trend. Delaying or avoiding social media altogether may have been the general mindset a few months ago but no longer.
And while the talk (for businesses) about social media engagement surrounds marketing, it’s important to know there’s more to it.
Brito says that most brands get it. And he observes that most brands are doing a really good job listening to their customers through social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Blog, etc.).
So, being a copywriter in the dental industry and one who happens to be a social media convert and consultant I must ask – why wait to dive into social media? Or, if you’ve been dabbling, why not ratchet it up?
3 ways to ratchet-up your mindset and use of social media as a dental industry business:
1) Join the “evolution.”
The days of solely marketing your products and services via direct mail (I said solely so), a competitive postcard mailer, a Yellow Pages ad, and if budgets allow, a radio or TV spot are diminishing. Why would you exclusively limit yourself to these marketing approaches?
Use them. But consider how much more effective and inexpensive (in many cases free) it is to engage your clientele through social media. After all, they’re using it. And could be wondering about your absence.
Brito says, “…organizations are evolving from businesses that merely engage in social behavior into social businesses. There’s a huge difference.”
2) Maximize the “social pillars.”
“Social business is built on three pillars – people, governance, and technology,” according to Brito. And the principles apply to any size organization.
Social media helps eliminate barriers. It especially deals with how we communicate our opinions and feelings about brands.
Imagine how your product and service equity will increase when clients communicate their satisfaction via social media. And they can do it in-the-moment…in real-time! Think less survey forms or ad naseum “how-did-we-do-today?” questions upon check-out.
Equally social businesses are held accountable for their quality (or lack of it) too. You don’t want a viral surge of negative influence about how your company or practice dropped the ball when it came to customer service, etc.
The technology is there and improving as we speak. Already, businesses are seeing the value of QR coding (more on that in future posts), location based social media tools like Foursquare, Gowalla, Facebook places, etc.
You can virtually run your marketing from a single laptop or even a smartphone (remotely). And monitor the feedback instantly.
3) Welcome the conversation.
A 2009 study revealed that 85% of Americans using social media think companies should have an active presence in the social media universe.
And according to Brito, “Out of the 85% of people who want companies to be present in social media (get this):
>34% want companies to actively interact with them
>51% want companies to interact with them as needed or by request
>8% think companies should only be passively involved on social media
>7% think companies should not be involved at all.”
No more waffling or dabbling! Social media is here and your prospects and clientele are ready to keep the conversation going.