Ten years ago, social media was not a talking point during sales calls. As a young sales rep for a Pennysaver in upstate New York I visited all different types of businesses. I met with car dealers, independent grocers, woodworking companies, dog groomers and real estate agents. In 2007, there was not a single person I discussed social media with.
Social Media comes on the scene, to mixed reviews among SMBs
By 2011, I was talking about Facebook and Twitter a lot. This was a period I’ll call the eye roll period. When I brought up social media, store owners rolled their eyes. Store owners viewed social media with skepticism. No one was quite sure how social media applied to their business. Many told me it was a passing fad. The eye roll period lasted from about 2011 to 2014.
At the same time, others were actively engaged and had a growing following on social media.
New York Pizzeria get it
A small pizzeria in upstate New York amazed me. By 2011, New York Pizzeria already had thousands of social media followers. Every time they posted a picture or video it received hundreds, if not thousands of likes on Facebook. The most amazing part? This restaurant is in a town with a population of 2,542 people. Now, their Facebook page has over 7,600 likes. They’ve received more than 570 reviews on their page with a 4.8 star rating!
The owners, Frank & Betsey Baio, have incredible relationships with their customers. Natives of New Berlin, NY already knew that. But what if you didn’t know the area? What if you didn’t know Frank and Betsey? How did you know this restaurant was amazing? Before social media, maybe you didn’t.
Yet, the Baios had foresight. Facebook provided them with a platform. Now everyone can see how connected they are to their community and customers. A website could never have allowed them to represent themselves this way.
The Baios used social media to create a digital footprint of their customer relationships and reputation. We know that the first step in the customer journey is researching a local business online. When someone is looking for a restaurant in upstate New York, New York Pizzeria has a commanding presence.
Social Media today
The eye rollers have turned into the willing. Today, when I say social media, people respond with, “I know it is important, but I’m not sure what to do.” The eye rollers have turned into reluctant participants.
The good news for store owners is that it is not too late! Just because you didn’t start early doesn’t mean that you missed the boat. There are more platforms today than ever. There are more social media users than ever. Opportunities are abound to grow your business using social media.
As a store owner you need working knowledge of social media to capitalize on the opportunities. You’re likely dedicating resources to social media management right now. Whether an employee is spending time on it, you’re paying a company to manage it or you’re doing it yourself.
In coming blog articles we will cover the basics of where social media is today. We’ll also discuss ways to turbo charge your social media marketing efforts.