Photographers and small business owners are always looking for ways to grow their business. One of the ways they do that is by setting up a website, Facebook page, Twitter profile, Instagram account, and so on and so on.
Then, they rarely, if ever, make any updates and they lose business because of it.
There is a business responsibility that comes along with managing your presence on Social Media if you REALLY want to grow your business.
Here’s an example of how NOT to use social media:
While having my website redone, I searched online to find a local photographer and went through all kinds of photos and found one that I thought might be the right one to help me.
I found her Facebook page and sent her a message inquiring about her services. A couple messages back and forth and she asked me to, “call back next week as it will be easier to discuss that way.”
Okay, no problem. It wasn’t a big deal but not the way I would have handled this customer service opportunity. I might have asked the person if I could call them (rather than asking them to call me), and if there was a time we could connect and put a bit of effort into the message so as not to make them feel they were being dismissed.
My schedule was full and I put the task of following up with this photographer on my list of things to do. The following week, it’s late afternoon and I get to that item on my list and think, “Now is the time; let’s get this done before the end of the day.”
I call her business line and she answers, “Hello” – not, “Thank you for calling business x,y,z. How can I help you?” or anything along those lines.
I introduce myself and remind her of our discussion on Facebook and she sounds confused, then she says, “Oh yeah, right.”
Next, she asks me if I could call her back in ten minutes or tomorrow because she just walked in the door to her home and her kids were going to make some noise.
There is hesitation in my voice but I say sure, no problem. This is the second flag that she doesn’t want my business, but I call back in ten minutes anyway. I get voicemail. The next day I call and get voicemail again. She never called back, nor did she follow up via Facebook.
Soon afterward, someone I know referred me to a second photographer. I go to her Facebook page and I reach out to her. She replies instantly, is super friendly and asks me for my email and phone number and says she will call me that afternoon.
One week later, she sends a reply email from a Facebook notification thanking me for contacting her again, and saying she would never have thought to look on Facebook and… that she will call that afternoon.
Another week has gone by and still no phone call.
Feeling discouraged, I get my team involved in the search. We contact a third photographer who doesn’t reply on Facebook but does reply to email and lets me know she is out of town until spring.
Finally, the fourth photographer I reach out to responds and I have an appointment!
Photographers and small business owners – you have got to do better than that.
If you use Social Media as a channel to market your business, pay attention to how you treat people when they reach out to you on that channel in an attempt to do business with you.
Don’t just create a social media account and throw things up when it’s convenient for you, giving no thought to your audience or potential customers and never check in.#SocialMedia does work when you actually respond to your inquiries. Click To Tweet
The challenge is, small business owners often don’t even recognize a paying customer when they are standing right in front of them.
In this case, it’s about photographers. But, are you guilty too? Have you done any of these things:
Abandoned social media channels you set up?
Failed to respond to comments on your blog or on social networks?
Failed to notice messages people have sent you inquiring about business?
Not keep your website and social media profiles up to date with information about your services, the best way to reach you, or when you are not taking on new clients for an extended time period?
Here are seven things you can do right now to fix this problem in your business:
- Close or deactivate any social media sites you have set up and don’t use.
- Refresh the current information about your business on social media to ensure it is current.
- Update your graphics, use nicely branded, crisp photos for your profile picture.
- Create a process to check and respond to social media daily.
- Disable the Facebook message box on your page if you don’t want to respond to business inquiries.
- Remove social icons off your website that you no longer use.
- Get clear about the content you will post on social and create a plan to keep yourself on track
Social media can become overwhelming. Even more so if you followed the path of jumping on every new platform that was available just to get your name out there. It can be manageable with a simple plan and schedule for you to show up and check in.You can make #SocialMedia work FOR you, with just a little work FROM you. Click To Tweet
Putting processes into place can help grow your business. My book, Pilot To Profit can help you learn how to navigate modern entrepreneurship so you can build your business using online marketing, social media, content marketing and sales.