ARE YOU ONLINE? DON’T SETTLE FOR LESS THAN EXPONENTIAL GROWTH
Recently, one of my clients asked me why I felt it was important for her to be on social media. She had just started a business, and had listed Direct Marketing as her main (and only) marketing strategy. In her own words, she felt the only way to achieve orders was to pick up the phone and call the people on her mailing list to explain why the product would bring value and convenience to them.
She also explained that this method worked. One of the people she called raised several objections and, through the direct conversation, she was able to address most of his objections. He is now one of her best clients. “There”, she told me. “Direct marketing is the way forward for my business!”
I was shocked. Perhaps you agree with her? It does make sense. Perhaps in preaching the Gospel, one-on-one evangelism is what works. But in business? Really? Let’s think this through.
How many phone conversations can you have with new customers in a day? Discount the number of times you spend on leaving messages, holding on while the other person is distracted, and so on? Perhaps 8 to 10 conversations at the most. By which time you are worn out answering the same questions and repeating the same sales pitch. Let’s compare this with using a blog.
You write your sales pitch in an engaging, informative manner, and invite people to find out more by offering a free item of value, perhaps a 20% discount on the first order.
You publish testimonials from people who have used your service; perhaps include a video of a testimonial, or get them to write something down, which you can publish on YouTube. You then create an infographic about your business, and publish this on your blog. Also, you can address some of the frequent objections as to why people may not find your product or service useful.
These are examples of content you can create – for FREE – using either WordPress or Tumblr. You then share this content on your Facebook profile or page, in relevant groups, on LinkedIn – basically anywhere your audience may be.
Keep your content light and your post relevant, and people will spread the message for you . . . exponentially.
The next call you make, get their email address and follow this up with a link to your blog or your Facebook page. Add the same link to your email signature, and watch your growth in comparison to direct calls.
PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR ONLINE REPUTATION
Do you know what people are saying about you, your church or your organisation online, particularly via social media?
Whilst people may say great things about you, they can also write untrue or misunderstood facts about you, which can be tweeted, followed, re-written and shared with a wider audience.
However, this perceived problem could also be an opportunity – if handled properly. The Bible exhorts us to be ready always to give an answer to every man that asks for a reason of the hope that is in you.
Why not see every comment – whether praise or complaint – as an opportunity to share the grace of Christ Jesus our Lord? First, you have to find out what people are saying.
Set up Google Alerts
Google will email you the latest Google results based on your queries. This means that anytime your query (which could be your name, church or organisation name) is used on the web, as soon as it gets captured by the huge Google machinery, an alert is emailed to you.
Set up Social Media alerts
Google spiders are frequently unable to access social media websites and comment feeds, depending on the users’ privacy settings. Social Mention is a search engine specifically for user-generated content, such as blogs, comments, feeds and videos. Social Mention is one of a number of websites that perform this search, and provides data regarding the search, such as top users and the sentiment behind your search query.
What to do with an online comment
Firstly, DO NOT ignore it. See it as an opportunity to give a gracious loving answer that would point to the Christ in you. It could be a comment on your business or customer service, or even the behaviour of people in church. The Bible teaches that a soft answer turns away wrath. Perhaps apologise or empathise, and then give a reason or some feedback with the intent of bringing reconciliation. The Internet brings us this opportunity; let’s use it.
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