Ok Social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook have grown on from being a place for teens and geeks to collaborate to a dynamic medium to help in businesses. Though the debate over whether Twitter and Facebook are just fads or sustainable businesses is yet to be adjudicated, the ecommerce merchants have a more pressing question to be answered; Can Twitter and Facebook help in business development? Yes, says the Application Dynamics CEO Lawrence Cramer.
Cramer points out that a direct connection can be drawn between Twitter/Facebook activities and increased sales. He quotes an example of how the GrapewineKillers, a group of wineries in Washington State, posted the release of their latest wine on their Facebook page and before you know it their showroom was full. They have nearly 1500 people following them on Facebook. The William Church winery is using their Twitter account in just the similar way to see similar results.
Four Keys to Social Media Success
The usual mistake that businessmen do while using Twitter or Facebook is to breach the code of conduct set by these social networking sites. These sites are similar to any forums or newsgroups in this aspect, where a rule is meant to be followed and etiquettes are meant to be adhered to. A conduct breach is an opportunity lost. Small businesses fail to understand this and lose out on the advantages offered by Twitter and Facebook.
Cramer points out the following as the four keys to social media success
Avoid Running Ads: An overdose of advertisement will kill your business. A merchant who posts too much promotional content will be mocked up and shunned by self-appointed “list cleansers”. He will be looked upon as “an Amway salesman at a family reunion”, points out Cramer. This will cost him his business.
- Care about Others: Be involved in conversations with the members of the community. You will succeed only when you say you care. Members of a community demonstrate an interest in each other.
- Establish your Expertise: When a businessman participates in the conversations, he will be exposed to opportunities where he can share his experiences and insights. He can direct the others to his website or blog to elaborate on his points.
- Promote Your Brand: Sensible promoting of your brand can help in your business. This is unlike the blatant selling of your product. For instance, when a wine-lover in your community tweets “I love a good Chardonnay,” you can reply by saying “We are releasing the 2007 Chardonnay this weekend. You’re welcome to stop by.” This is subtlety personified.
Twitter and Facebook might leave the face of the earth tomorrow. Whether they will survive long term or cease to exist shortly should not be the matter of concern for the merchants. Today, they are the most cost-efficient means to reach out to the customers and a wise businessman will realize and appreciate its potential in helping him promote his business at the moment and will utilize it properly.