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Posts Tagged "Small Business"

Small Business Still Doesn’t Understand Social Media

Small Business Still Doesn’t Understand Social Media

By on Jan 10, 2014 in Blog and Commentary by Miller Finch | 4 comments

Small business is still not understanding the Social part of social media. Their accounts are a steady stream of self-promotion. And when a fan does like or comment on a post, there is no response from the page! Crickets! Would you watch a TV show of just commercials?  No. But that’s what this constant promotion stuff is like. So if you saw a program of just commercials (and I don’t mean a show of funny or award winning ones) you’d probably just turn it off, right? Guess what happens with small business social media accounts that just promote promote promote? Unliked, Unfollowed, Disconnected. You have to offer your audience something more than just stuff about yourself. Me Me Me gets old fast. Imagine someone at a gathering comes up to you and just talks all about themselves. Kind of off-putting, no? I had a recent client who decided to go with some “fancy” marketing firm for their social media, website, and everything else. The client had been very pleased with my work, wrote me a great review, but wanted this big-guns company to run her show. Well, evidently this fancy marketing firm didn’t get the memo about how to use SOCIAL media which goes to show you that bigger is not necessarily better. This marketing company is posting social updates that are all about an upcoming seminar or her stuff. That’s it. Eight posts about the seminar, one about her blog post.  Where are the quotes, outside articles, fun stuff, and shares/retweets from other pages or accounts?  It’s not interesting anymore. It’s become a megaphone for ME ME ME. Ugh. This situation is not exclusive to this person either. I see restaurants and other businesses that only post about their food or their products. They are using social media as a broadcast tool, rather than a helpful and conversational one.  And much as I love local businesses, there should be more to it than just posts about themselves. These small businesses still don’t understand Social Media. What about posting things relative to the community you are in? With the recent polar cold, posts could have been done about coat drives or staying safe in the cold or how to...

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Afraid of Negative Reviews or Comments on Social Media?

Afraid of Negative Reviews or Comments on Social Media?

By on Nov 14, 2013 in Blog and Commentary by Miller Finch | 0 comments

Many small businesses do not use social media in their marketing efforts because they are afraid of negative feedback.  It’s true that social media amplifies everything about a business, for good or for bad. But hiding under the covers doesn’t mean that the sun doesn’t come up just because you can’t see it. People ARE talking about you on social media, whether you are there or not. It’s the new Word of Mouth. And as the adage says, “The best defense is a good offense” — be in the game so  you know what is being said and so you can steer the conversation. By monitoring what is being said on social media platforms, you can offer remedies to a disgruntled customer, resolving issues, and even thanking your customers for their loyalty and business.  These responses will benefit you by showing the rest of your audience that you are responsive to problems and are willing to fix them. But you’ve got to be there to know what is going on. If you aren’t there to respond to a problem, that customer complaint can go viral without you having a clue.  This is every business’s nightmare, so wake up and participate.  It’s easy enough to monitor your accounts by setting up email notifications. Use your smartphone apps as well so you can monitor and respond via mobile. So what happens when people post on your Facebook page or elsewhere (have you checked your Reviews on Yelp and Google lately?) that your business is terrible in some fashion or other?  How do you respond? For one thing, do not delete the post unless it is profane, off-topic, libelous, or other type of crossing-the-line activity.  But if the negative comment or review tells you something about your business that you were unaware of, take it as an important lesson on what to improve. And respond to that comment/review with thanks to the commenter for taking time to give input and that you will undertake improvement of that issue promptly. Negative feedback is beneficial to you when you use it as a way to improve your business and create a good impression to your customers.  If you hide negative feedback, you aren’t doing...

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Market Your Business Where Your Audience Is

Market Your Business Where Your Audience Is

By on Nov 12, 2013 in Blog and Commentary by Miller Finch | 6 comments

Small and medium businesses that don’t use social media marketing for their company don’t understand how it can impact their business growth.  They see social media marketing as silly, a time-sapper, or are looking for fast results.  Social media is a time-sapper, yes, but silly and yielding fast results, no. When a business sets up social media accounts — Facebook business page, Twitter account, LinkedIn business page, Pinterest boards — they are reaching out to connect with their audience on a social level. It’s giving more than receiving. It’s putting a human face/voice to the business and encouraging conversation with their audience. It is not promotion – promotion – promotion! Would you walk up to someone you just met and launch into a spiel about what you are selling? No, unless you want him/her to run away from you. You have a human conversation, an interchange before saying what you’re about and how you can be helpful to them directly. On social media, you want to be helpful too. Offer information that benefits your audience without selling your stuff. Yes, information on your offerings may be interlaced with other, outside information, but using the rule of 70% helpful-fun-interesting info to 30% selling info. For example, if you are a Restaurant, don’t just post your specials of the day, post about local goings-on in your community such as fund-raising drives, art shows, etc. If you are an Insurance agent, post about safety tips for driving in bad weather, how to winterize a home to save energy costs, the dangers of texting and driving, etc. If you are a Health Care professional, post helpful tips on self-care for various minor ailments such as tired muscles, ideas on healthy recipes,  the latest research on __, etc. These ideas will keep your social media accounts useful to  your audience while establishing you and your business as leaders in your field. Posting helpful content also shows that you want to participate with your audience and establish a connection with them.  You can’t get this connection when you only post about what you sell. Social media is a huge time investment to be involved in a way that it requires.  It’s an ongoing effort to...

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Why Small Business Doesn’t See the Value in Social Media

Why Small Business Doesn’t See the Value in Social Media

By on Oct 21, 2013 in Blog and Commentary by Miller Finch | 0 comments

If I had a nickel for every time I heard a small business owner say they don’t see the value in being present on Social Media, I’d be very rich.  So I researched this issue, because I really wanted to know why and because I couldn’t understand what they were doing on social media to make it not valuable to them. After much digging and comparing Facebook pages and Twitter accounts of small businesses local to me and elsewhere, I came up with a list of 16 items as to why Social Media has no value (seemingly) to small businesses.  Over time, I’ll be presenting blog posts on these items, offering insights and solutions. But for now, here’s the list I came up with. Feel free to add in the comments any other reasons that I might have overlooked. Small businesses are not realizing the value of social media because: They don’t understand social media – what it is, what it does, how it can be    used advantageously  They are afraid of social media and negative posts  Their business has something wrong with it and they want to hide it (they need to fix the underlying problems)  They STILL think it’s a fad   They think it’s a broadcast medium, like radio or print   They expect instant results – microwave mindset instead of crockpot slow and steady   They are doing it wrong – wrong posts, wrong timing   They are not consistent   They are not in it for the long haul   Their expectations don’t align with what social media is   They give their social media to their kid or an intern who is not business trained, perpetuating their no-value   position   They are basing social media on what they see in their personal feeds   They are not willing to invest the time or money into making social media work for them   They don’t stay on top of the constant platform changes   They don’t have an overall marketing plan or annual marketing budget   They think social media is easy and free If you DO see the value in Social Media for your business, please contact us for a free consultation...

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Small Businesses and the Value of Social Media Marketing

Small Businesses and the Value of Social Media Marketing

By on Apr 30, 2013 in Blog and Commentary by Miller Finch | 4 comments

  The Marketing world consists of many avenues of communication, from your  business cards, your signage, your product – price – promotion – people – and place (5Ps), how you answer your phone & greet customers, your website, your advertising, and much more, and now, your social media platforms. If someone were to ask you, what’s the Return on Investment for your sign, your phone or your website, do you know?  Probably not.  But you know it would have a negative impact if you did not have those things.  They are so ‘normal’ as to not be thought of as special anymore.  Social media as a part of a marketing mix is now the norm, but it is amazing that many businesses still disregard it as a waste of time and having no value, holding it to a different standard than other marketing tactics when part of the problem may be their own actions or inactions. Is that advertising campaign you just ran a waste of time and money?  Unless you are giving out coupons that can be redeemed — and you tally those redemptions — you really don’t know what effect your marketing and advertising is having.  You are advertising and marketing to get your name out there to generate more sales by interested people.  If you don’t market or advertise, you are unknown.  If you don’t ask how people found you, you have no idea of the ROI of those efforts. If you don’t benchmark your numbers, it’s a guess. The advantage of social media marketing is that it’s marketing where most people are, especially Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn for B2B’s.   The sale is not made on social media, the sale is made on  your website or at your physical location.  Social media, like other marketing tools,  makes you visible to the audience that needs you and will buy from you from your website or retail location. Social Media is NOT sales, it is Marketing to make those sales. Marketing takes consistent effort to stay in front of your audience.  If you aren’t seen, you are forgotten. Problems getting in the way of seeing the value of social media for small businesses are: 1. Not being...

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