Do you advertise in magazines or newspapers? The radio perhaps?image of baby in headphones

How do you measure the results from this advertising? How do you engage with anyone reading or listening to your advert? The simple answer is you probably do not.

This is one of the reasons that I am amazed that businesses cannot see the major benefits of using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and social media in general. Where else can you not only track and measure everything you do and say but also engage with potential and existing customers on a daily basis?

If you own a high street shop and somebody walked into your shop what would be your first action? Yes you would ask them if you can help them or if there was something in particular that they are looking for, wouldn`t you? So why miss this kind of opportunity online?

“I don`t have time for social media!”

I think I`ve mentioned it before but I hear many business owners state “I don`t have time for social media” and my reply is along the lines of “what you are really saying is you haven`t got time to listen to your customers then?” No I`m not trying to be smart but it does seem strange to me that some businesses will not even try to see if social media will benefit their business, even if it is just to listen to your customers.

image of stressed businessman covering his earsSome of the larger corporations are now employing CLO`s, Chief Listening Officers, who are employed solely to monitor social media and to seize on any opportunity and pass it to the relevant department within that company. Okay we cannot all possibly employ a CLO but we can afford a little bit of time to listen to what is being said online, can we afford NOT to?

I`m not for one minute suggesting that as a sole trader or one-man band that you need to sit on Facebook or Twitter all day waiting for an opportunity but there is software out there that does make it a lot easier. If you haven`t already I would suggest checking out the likes of Hootsuite, Tweetdeck or my favourite Sprout Social. These platforms can help you monitor exactly what is being said about you or your business, they make sure that you do not miss an enquiry and you can even search for your main keywords to find conversations about your products and services.

I`m not suggesting that you should drop the old forms of advertising as this can be effective and is still a part of your overall marketing strategy, but also do not ignore the power of social media. Using the likes of Google Analytics and Facebook Insights can give you all the information that you need these days to see what works for your business and more importantly what doesn`t!woman whispering on to a mans ear

My advice is to get your business ears syringed out, buy your business a hearing aid and start to listen to your customers today!

Until next time
Martin

Martin offers effective social media training, 1-2-1 consultancy and strategies to help your business to benefit from the power of social media.

You can follow Martin on Google+, Twitter and Facebook