Recently, I interviewed Shiv Singh live on Indie Business Radio. Shiv is the author of Social Media Marketing For Dummies (affiliate link). He is also the Global Social Media lead at Razorfish, a brand engagement company. Shiv thinks that, in some ways, the term social media is a misnomer. In fact, in his social media presentations and workshops, he often asks participants to refrain from using the term for at least the first hour.
I love Shiv's perspective on this issue. Social media is icing, not cake, and small business owners cannot effectively use it wthout first establishing a solid niche and plan. Shiv's insights in this regard are worth paying attention to. You can listen to the show using the podcast link at the bottom of this post. Here are some highlights from the show.
It's a Commitment, Not a Campaign. Using social media is all about connecting with your customers. As a result, you can't see it as just a series of isolated marketing campaigns or events. In other words, it's not about setting up FaceBook Fan Page because everyone says you should. It's about setting up a FaceBook Fan Page and then making long-term plans to use it to attract and engage the people who take time from their busy lives to join you there.
To illustrate this point, Shiv used the example of a toll free customer service line. If you set one up and no one calls the first day, you can't conclude that you don't need to offer customer service.
You must be in it for the long haul. If you're not, neither will anyone else.
Listen to the show (podcast stream link below) to enjoy specific tips (including the best time of day to post something to your Fan Page!!) on how to cultivate and nurture community on your FaceBook Fan Page.
- The Better the Product, the More Useful the Social Media. In response to my question about whether social media makes it “easier” for small businesses to market their products, Shiv said it depends on how good your product is. If the product is well planned, well thought out, well delivered, it will be easier to use social media to share it. This is where small businesses can have an advantage, says Shiv.
Since large companies often confuse their customers by trying to make one product do too many things, small businesses can focus the resources they have to make a product not only useful, but worth talking about. The takeaways here are don't bite off more than you can chew, don't try to be all things to all people.
Listen to the show (podcast stream link below) for tips on encouraging your customers to share the benefits of your products with their friends.
- The Growing Importance of Mobile Technologies. Shiv pointed out something that I feel strongly about, and that is the amazing usefulness of smart phones. He pointed out that phones are for more than making phone calls these days. Location technologies make it easy for people to find things right where they are. You can be standing on a street corner looking for the closest place to buy a sandwich, and your phone can help you find it. It can also help you find people and other places.
As a small businesses owner, it's vital that you keep up with mobile technologies so you can make yourself as findable as possible on them. Listen to the show (podcast link below) for more of Shiv's predictions about the future benefits of mobile technologies for small business owners.
Listen to the Show
Get more of Shiv's tips wherever it's convenient for you. You can download the entire show on iTunes (search on Indie Business). You can also stream it or download it at my radio show website, where you can also pick up a copy of Shiv's book. If you like where you are right now, simply click on the podcast stream link at the bottom of this post to listen right now! It's a great way to digest useful information while you work.
Click here to enjoy the companion newsletter for this show. The newsletter features links to some of my most popular Indie Business Radio Shows through the years (think tips for launching your own magazine, for bootstrapping your business, for search engine optimization and more!). The issue also contains my tips on finding and making the most of the “sweet spot” in your business!
Question: What do you think of Shiv's tips? I'm interested in how I can encourage you to engage consistently on FaceBook so you can build your “fan base.” Do share your tips, questions and experiences with us!