Social_Media

Are You Socially Inept At Social Media?

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pintrest, Quibble, Ideaspace, Beammeup…okay, the last three I made up, but the point I am trying to make is that social media networks are being created faster than I can think up a quirky name.

I can recall recent conversations with colleagues discussing whether or not social media was a fad or an effective marketing tool.  Well, it appears from the numerous platforms that are now available, and the number of large companies who Tweet daily, that social media is here to stay.  If you haven’t considered how to use it to build your business, then you may be missing out on a valuable marketing tool. Here are some tips to consider when creating a social media presence for your business.

  • Focus your approach – Have a goal in mind when creating your presence.  What do you want to accomplish?  Is it brand awareness?  Do you want to build a database of your clients?  Are you trying to get feedback on a new product or service? Once you can answer these and other questions, then you are in a better position to find your customers and interact with them to get your desired results.
  • Engage your customer – You’ve created a Facebook page and you can’t seem to get people to visit it or comment on your posts.  Have you provided an opportunity to sufficiently connect with your customer?  Social media changes quickly and in order to win fans and keep them you must figure out a way to make your customers the star of your show. Be creative and use your social media campaign as a way to get to know your customer. A good way to do this is to create a blog to help your customer get to know who you are and what makes you/your product special. Maya Furbert of Fatimaya, indie vintage clothing boutique on Court Street, subscribes to this notion stating that “it is about sharing my journey with Fatimaya with my customers.”  She added that “it is important to keep it fresh and mix it up and I do this by creating a look of the day or I will share a photo of myself picking up new merchandise to engage my customers”.
  • Don’t take your customer for granted – Don’t assume that your customers want what you are selling.  Social media is a way for your customers to share with you what they want.  You have to be willing to listen and be flexible enough to meet their expectations. Track customer behavior and look for what increases the chance of them making a purchase. Maya finds that Instagram works for her.  She said “asking questions does not work for me, but a picture of a new cute outfit gets my customers excited.  I can respond to them immediately because I get their posts on my phone.”
  • All “Likes” and No Money – You have the most liked page in the land of Social Media, but for some reason that has not translated into more sales.  Why? You must make sure that people have a clear understanding of what you want them to do.  Optimize your page by including calls to action.  If you want to build a database then ensure there is a way for people to leave you their pertinent information. Once you have shared your story or information, be sure to direct your customer on what to do next – to learn more or to purchase.

With social media you can speak to your perfect customer, engage them and respond to their needs in real time. This puts the control in your hands and gives you the opportunity to become socially adept at social media.  For those of you who still feel that mastering your social media game is a daunting task, don’t fret, there is a local company, Go Social, willing to take on the management of your social media to help you get the most out of this medium.  You can contact Go Social at info@gosocialbda.com.   To find out what’s new from Fatimaya, email fatimayainc@gmail.com or check them out on Facebook.

Jamillah Lodge is a Business Development Officer for Bermuda Economic Development Corporation. She specializes in providing aspiring and existing entrepreneurs with business development advice and loan guarantee assistance.  In addition, she manages the marketing and communications plan for the Corporation and oversees the development of a mentorship and youth entrepreneurship programme. She has a degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing.  The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer and should serve a general guide and should not be considered as replacement advice from a lawyer, accountant or other professional service provider. Readers should consult with the appropriate professionals as necessary.

If you have questions about starting a business in Bermuda, just ask BEDC: Email us at info@bedc.bm or call 292-5570.

 

4 Steps

Four Things You Should Know When Starting Your Own Business

 

Considering starting your own business?  Well here are four things that you should consider prior to getting started.

  1. Some entrepreneurs are born, others are made: It is true that some of us have a natural inclination towards entrepreneurship. A lemonade stand at ten years old, a babysitting club at fifteen, a cosmetics business to carry you through college…. Sound like you? It may, which means that you’re naturally a risk-taker and a maker of your own financial destiny. Or you may not be. Regardless of which category you fall in, do something right now: let go of all preconceived ideas about the typical traits of a successful entrepreneur. No theory can tell you that you don’t have what it takes to build a successful business. If you want to, you can.
  2. Start With What You Love: Remember that we are usually good at things that we enjoy the most. Building a business around what you are passionate about ensures that when the going gets tough, when the administrative side of business management gets boring, and when your own fears, limitations, and cynicism try to get the best of your enthusiasm, your passion carries you through. At the very least, that means that every day, you will wake up going to a job you like. A successful business is often a hobby with a sound business model. So if you are starting a business, make sure it’s something you enjoy, something that you love: something you’re passionate about.
  3. Know what you’re good at: A common pitfall for entrepreneurs is thinking they have to be good at everything. It is true that when you choose to be a one-person operation, you often find yourself having to do everyone’s job. That doesn’t mean you have to know everything. If you think that, you may spread yourself too thin trying to be the proverbial jack-of-all-trades. It is very important to know what you’re good at and focus on it: make it your core business. Then seek out the expertise you don’t have: mentors, advisors, online publications, training courses… etc. Knowledgeable help is out there: use it.
  4. Surround yourself with positive people: Building a business is a lot of work. You will have questions and encounter obstacles. It is never too early to find trustworthy and knowledgeable advisors and mentors who will nurture your efforts to bring your business idea to fruition. Make sure they have your best interest at heart. Successful in their own right, they will guide you, encourage you, give you advice, and provide you with a sounding board. Make sure they have a positive outlook on life: that will ensure that not only you will benefit from their know-how: they will also keep your inspiration and enthusiasm going when challenges arise.

If you have questions about starting a business in Bermuda, just ask BSBDC: Email us at info@bsbdc.bm or call 292-5570.