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I have had so many discussions lately with people worried about finding new work or clients. It is great when business is going well and you are so busy you can’t take a break. So, what do you do to ensure that things keep going well, making sure you have new business coming in constantly? The problem is that Marketing by its very nature doesn’t guarantee work and can be an expensive and time-consuming ordeal. The age-old belief that Word of Mouth is the best marketing is in my opinion both true and false. Yes, the advantages of having clients do your advertising for you is not only cheap but an already very credible source of information for new prospective clients. I mean, obviously if I get a recommendation for a contractor from a friend I am going to believe him instead of an advertisement on the radio etc. So that is why it is true, plain and simple, Word of Mouth is a great marketing tool. But I mentioned that I also believe this saying to be false. The reason I think it is false is because Word of Mouth is not how we communicate these days. How many times have you found yourself finding out information from a Facebook post or Whatsapp group? Even in my immediate family I tend to find Social Media the quickest to get me the latest information. People don’t seem to read newspapers anymore and sit around water coolers discussing things as much as they used to. Companies even have internal Social Media platforms nowadays like Yammer and Workplace by Facebook, which they encourage employees to use to communicate. The reason this is an effective way to communicate is because it is just how we evolved in this digital age. Many well-known examples we experience like battling to get friends to sit at a dinner table without everyone on their phones, and a popular method of discipline for children being to change the Wi-Fi password until their chores are done, show us how much the change in human behavior affects our daily lives. It is for this reason I say that the new – word of mouth be Social Media. In my opinion communicating with people today seems to be something that must be done digitally.

Whether you like it or not Social Media is the way that people communicate and if you are not “plugged into the system” as it were, you will miss out on the conversation. Of course, this can mean missing out on the good and bad conversations, but the key to being successful in this field is being part of the conversation in the first place. Social Media has many of the same positive attributes that the traditional Word of Mouth has. It is cheap, and in many cases free, it is fast and allows that all important credibility aspect. Combined with the weird albeit sad truth of how much time we spend on Social Media can you not afford to be in the loop? Just about everything that people say about your company will land up on Social Media. The beauty of Social Media and information in this digital age is that if people mention your company in a good or bad way then you can use ways to be notified. You see being part of the conversation is important in more ways than one.

So, why not start reading up on this and getting your social media journey started? So how do you get started on this journey, I mean, with so many options where can you begin to learn about this? In short, I would say the best option would be Facebook. Facebook is user friendly and has, as of the first quarter in 2017, 1.94 Billion active monthly users. Facebook has many free tools you can use to get started but the best place to start is by creating a Facebook page. This gives you the opportunity to not only create an online presence, but have your logo, products and / or services, contact details and plenty of other information for prospective customers to see. The best part is that all this can be achieved within a few minutes and maintained by something as simple as your smart phone. Once this has been setup it is important to make sure that you do everything possible to maximize its benefits. With Social Media the trick, and I am in no way an expert on this is regularity. Regular updates keep these wonderful tiny things called bots happy and all you need to know about them is that they tell Google (and by Google, I mean all search engines, even the irrelevant ones) what to find and where to find it. These search engines look for keywords and the more they get mentioned the better. Now there are many different articles and resources out there to help you decide on what to schedule, but the most important thing to remember is scheduling and regular updates. Besides this the next thing to remember is that you must do everything possible to increase interaction with your audience and yes get used to seeing them as your audience. Focus on building up the audience so that you can increase your reach. The more that you put information out there the more you can control the information regarding your company.

From here you need to start learning about other tools to use. I would advise looking at a decent website and mailing list setup. If your business and clientele can be reached successfully then a Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest account will be the next steps. So, as I have just been through this I wish I could give you the step by step guide, however all I can tell you is that once you go through this you will completely understand why there are many full-time occupations focused around Social Media Marketing. The fact is that until you are established and have a marketing budget you will go through many of these processes on your own. Rest assured that the fact is that to get the analytics right and make the most of the free and cheap social media marketing, you need to have the right timing and schedule of posts. Also, be rest assured that it is not impossible to do a decent job as long as you make a point of using schedulers and making regular time in your schedule to work on it.

Lastly, I would be amiss if I did not take this opportunity to mention words like Algorithm, Groups, Stories and the importance of video and other media types. Now the reason I mention them and not go into them is because I am learning them too. I know that the Algorithm is a massively complicated calculation run by multiple servers to work out when, how and why your content is displayed online. Groups and Stories are ways to interact with your viewers and of course video content is a platform that is ever growing. Again, I reiterate that although I am not an expert, I admit it and deal with it. I deal with it by reading and finding information so that when I am ready I can utilize these tools effectively.

As always, thanks for reading, I trust you found this useful and encourage you to help me by sharing this article on my social media options below.

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