Last night I taught the first session of a six-week “Social Media Marketing For Small Businesses” course on Orcas Island. The class is sponsored by The Funhouse, based on suggestions from the Chamber of Commerce and the Orcas Green Business Alliance. The attendees are a mix of small businesses and non-profits working in both the tourist economy and the “locals” economy.
One of our key efforts on this first night was to define what social media is, and how we can use it to grow our businesses.
I made a deliberate choice to focus on strategy first and tools second. Instead of defining social media as “Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn,” we focused on how the whole idea of two-way communication can help us build authentic connection with our customers or clients.
Together we came up with a list of 6 ways to use social media:
- Word of Mouth
- Market Research
- Become an Expert/Connect with Potential Customers
- Damage Control/Customer Service
- Build Traffic
Obviously there are more, but we’re trying to focus on finding a clear path of action for each business or non-profit to take through the confusing minefield of social media.
We had an interesting discussion about word of mouth marketing, and how we can get people to spread the word about our businesses.
Much of the time, we think about what we want to tell other people. The mindset shift is to start thinking about what other people want to tell other people.
I like to think of it as giving someone the gift of something interesting to talk about at the water cooler.
And it just happened that a perfect example of this appeared in my email this morning, courtesy of Michael Martine at remarkablogger.com:
I ran across this website last night and sat, spellbound, for over an hour as I went through it. I was so moved by it that I wanted to share it with you. It affected me so much that I had to shut everything down for a while and just think about my life.
I hope that you are also affected in the same positive way I was.
After all, there isn’t really much time, is there?
P.S. – If you want to share this site with people, I think you’ll be doing one small thing to help the world be a better place. To make it easy for you to share this on Twitter, just copy the text below and paste it into Twitter:
RT @remarkablogger What do you want to do before you die? – http://bit.ly/3J0Yy9
P.P.S. – Did this site move you? I would love to hear your thoughts and reaction to it. Feel free to reply to this email and tell me what you think. I want to hear from you.
Here are a few things he did really well:
- He sent something interesting, authentic, and unselfish.
- He gave me an easy way to spread the word that required minimal thought and effort.
- He asked for feedback and ongoing communication.
Thoughts or responses? Please make a comment!