Back in the early to mid 1990’s, business people were being told they needed a website.
In the early 2000’s, business people were being told they needed to have a business website that took online payments.
Now and for the past year or so business people are being told that they need to get to grips with social media.
Some resisted getting a website as they were an off-line business with a traditional bricks and mortar shop front. Guess what? They eventually got themselves a website.
Some resisted taking online payments as they didn’t want to manage another transaction channel. Its true that for some businesses, they may have got that website, but haven’t gone the full hog and made it e-commerce ready. But many have after resisting early on.
Now we’re seeing the social media age. Businesses are resisting or putting it off, and its only a matter of time before most bring their businesses up to speed with this phenomenon called social media.
Not all businesses listened to the above advice at first, but many did. It is these companies that listened, learned and adopted this advice that are thriving now. I would agree with those that say don’t just jump on the latest fad or bandwagon but have the willingness to learn and test something new to see if it is actually a fad or not, or if it is something to be given serious attention.
Doing things the way its always been done can be fine if that’s what your customers prefer (what they ACTUALLY prefer, not what you just THINK they do). But change in any industry and life in general is inevitable, so learn to keep up with the times or get left behind.
If you are starting up a business, you’d be well advised to at least register your Twitter username and perhaps get a Facebook page set up. Its not going to cost you anything but a few minutes of your time at the start but it could prove a worthwhile customer engagement channel in the future.
For existing businesses, I would argue its even more relevant. Providing more channels for your customers to get in touch with you and engage with your brand and business should be seen less as a burden on existing resources, but more as an opportunity to solidify an existing relationship and potentially gain more value from it.
For online businesses, the introduction of Google+ and the +1 button from the same search behemoth has many believing social search is getting more important. If this comes true, then social media literally becomes a service or business evaluation tool – your customers will be looking for signs from their ‘network’ as to whether they like your product or not and that is something no business can afford to ignore for long.
- 10 things on how to develop a winning Social Media Strategy (waithash.com)