I have been quietly observing a large number of business professionals jumping into social media (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, etc.) as if it were a conveyor belt they can simply throw their product pitches onto. That couldn’t be further from the truth.
There’s an incredible mob mentality these days when something “wrong” is brought to light. Worse yet, people seem to crave this stuff. Just turn on your TV or radio and see/hear this stuff being pushed all day long. It used to be that we celebrated when things were “good.” No more. And it’s for this reason you can’t blame business owners for being fearful of the speed and depth of visibility that customer complaints can be made and viewed. We’re not perfect but if you’re practicing your “not perfectness” while trying to make a living, well then that just means there are double points for mocking and ridiculing your effort.
Several years ago, I traveled the search engine and online marketing trade show circuits and made friends with some very smart people in the space. Over time I was able to weed out those who simply were part of the marketing echo chamber (a great majority of the so-called “rockstars” fit this category) and others who really really thought for themselves, citing real data and experiences and developing notions and strategies that could and should be implemented. The latter group I would call my marketing heroes.
Over time my heroes’ value to businesses has grown to the point where they are now getting hired by Fortune 100 companies more than not. But this has ruined them for me. Back in the day, they were a God-send for small and mid-size businesses (SMBs). They were immersed in the SMB world and had great empathy for their needs and requirements. Unlimited budgets weren’t part of that paradigm.
Now many of these heroes of mine are writing articles and blogging about much more philosophical topics and less about pragmatic effective strategies to be implemented on the cheap. But there are two exceptions to this worth pointing out. Continue reading “Where Did My Heroes Go?”
Have you ever heard that someone was unhappy about your service but you didn’t hear it from them? That’s because people are more likely to walk away vowing not to repeat the behavior than to seek a fix. But that doesn’t stop them from grousing about it to whoever will listen. Do I hear an “Amen!”?
Enter blogging, Twitter and Facebook and all the other ways that people can share their stories with dozens, hundred or even thousands. The realization of this is likely to send chills down most small business owners’ spines. But, this also presents a big customer service and support opportunity.
I have been one of those cobblers whose kids have no shoes. The Whatcom Marketing blog has been sorely neglected while I have been busy creating content for others. I need to take my own advice (“eat my own dog food” as some people say) and fix this.
But in the mean time, I have been graciously invited to provide a guest post on John W. Ellis’s company’s blog. So wander over to the Crescent Interactive blog and check out my latest along with John’s gems of online marketing wisdom.
Believe it or not, as a small business, you have some advantages over large businesses. For instance, you are nimbler, not needing to hold a dozen meetings to add to your inventory or adjust your marketing messaging. You’re closer to your market. Heck, you probably are part of your market.
Yet, you may not be taking advantage of opportunities that come from being “small.” You can provide customer service in your business that is more useful and intelligent than what a larger business could even hope for. Consider the most obvious, post-sale followup.