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How To Make Social Media Your Bitch – Part 1

social-media
How many times have you cursed Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and on and on to the unholy depths of hell?

This is going to be a  pretty large series and will be ongoing - so who knows how many parts it will be. My main goal here is to get you up and running and using Social Media to its fullest extent. Part 1 is just an introduction to wet your appetite and get you excited about taking control of your Social Media and Digital Marketing accounts. So how do you begin:

Where to start online? Is a question is hear on a daily basis and believe me when I tell you there are a plethora of options out there. The most valuable asset that you can have in your burgeoning online arsenal is this - start TODAY! Since the majority of the readers for this site have brick and mortar locations we already know where you want your online viewers to go. You want asses in the seats (not to be to crude). This is your mortar-base (kinda like home-base for you sports fans). The mortar-base is where online becomes reality, because let's face it, you could have 30,000 followers but if none of them come to your business it means nothing to your bottom-line, except that you have 30,000 lookie-lou's online. Now the next path in this format is a hitching post (no, not that kind of hitching post), it has one purpose: to drive people to your mortar-base. we will cover the most popular outposts to help you drive traffic to your website. Remember throughout the book that the goal of social media is to bring potential customers to your website or store.

Get ready, we will be covering the most popular hitching posts that will help drive traffic to your establishment and get asses in those seats. You must remember that the goal of social media is to bring potential customers to your establishment.

Are you ready?

The one thing that people forget about social media is something that is so vital and so important that it seems silly when you think of it. Do you know what it is yet? It's staring you in the face, the objective of Social Media is to be SOCIAL. You don't walk into a bar sit in a corner and then leave with 30 new possible friends and a bunch of phone numbers. NO! you do not, however if you're social, you may leave with a few phone numbers and maybe one or two new people that found you interesting enough. Online social media is the same as going to a bar, where you get to meet new and interesting people. They get to know your business and what you do, and your sole goal in those early meet-ups is to attract them to your mortar - base. Get them to the place where you can offer them a product or service.

MANAGING YOUR HITCHING POSTS

One of the most important things that you can do when you first begin your time online is to create a solid digital foundation. Now if you have a website, start there, this is where you are going to ask - is this giving visitors the necessary information that they need (menu, contact information, reservations(if you take them), specials, etc.) does it give an overview of my establishment that I am proud of. Then get ready to read these posts to optimize your online presence and hitching posts. For example: • Does your Facebook page have a link back to your site? • Does your Twitter bio link to your site? • Do you send occasional messages asking your throngs of admirers if they would like to get more serious by visiting your mortar-base online?  I’ll talk about these tips and more throughout series to make sure you can connect to new people on social media and drive them back to your establishment (mortar-base). No matter which hitching-post you use, always connect it back to your e-mortar-base. It doesn't mean every message has to have a link to your website, but keep it in mind so you're making it easy for people to give you their attention by paying for your product or service.

One of the questions I get asked a lot is - WHICH SOCIAL MEDIA NETWORK SHOULD I USE? Let me tell you there is definitely no shortage of social media networks out there and seems that there are more and more popping up all the time.

However what I can tell you is simply this. Depending on your target customers and your personality, some social media tools will work better than others. In this series, I will highlight the MOST popular networks for F&B. Not all of them will be right for you, but you should, at least, know what they do and why you should or should not use them. I will teach you how to use the top 6 networks and once you master them you’ll be set for online success.

Here's the thing: What I learned from being my own boss is that there's more security in taking responsibility for my own future. To me, it is not a question of ease or difficulty. It's simply a question of what do I hope to accomplish and what do I hope to create. I would rather be the guardian of my own future (or even present) as opposed to entrusting that to someone else? I'm all about lowering risk and lowering perception of risk. For me, I think it's actually a conservative thing to be an entrepreneur. I'm choosing the safe thing because I trust whatever it is that I can create. That is what you have to have in your mind, every time you think that something is difficult or monotonous. You have to have belief in yourself and what you hope to accomplish, with that said, this is not a flash in the pan. Social media is something that you have to diligently work at so here goes:

MARK ZUCKERBERG WON'T RETURN MY CALLS

Facebook first launched when I was at Culinary School again for the second time for Hospitality Management. At that time, it was only available for university students and was used as an internal college directory. We would scour page after page looking to put a name to a chance meet of that beautiful person who walked by us. The growth of this network raised red flags in the administration. The President of my Culinary School sent out an email to the students saying something along the lines of: “We’ve tried to contact the creator of this site, someone named Mark Zuckerberg. He has not returned our calls or emails so we must recommend that you not provide personal details. The site is in no way affiliated with the college.”

I remember signing up and my friend Charlie, greeted me with a high-five photo - (expletive) finally! I knew you had it in you.  That was the beginning of the end for me. I fell in love with what was to become social media.

Today over 1/7th of the world’s population is on Facebook. It is a great place to accumulate photos, messages and silly group messages, but what makes Facebook a dream is that it can now also be used for businesses. Without truly realizing it, people share their interests, friends and even marital status with Facebook, that is why I am saying Facebook is a business can quickly talk to their ideal customers and enable their current customers to market on their behalf. The ability to talk to customers and have customers talk back to the business makes Facebook the best place to communicate with your current audience. With this audience you can encourage repeat buyers, ask them to help bring in new clients or just get feedback on how to improve your products and services. People love to spend time collecting silly group memberships, but all of those silly interactions can add up to a real relationship with your customers. As Amy Porterfield notes: “The ultimate goal is to move fans outside of Facebook to a website or sales page, but first you need to build trust and identify leads. And that’s where Facebook marketing reigns supreme.”




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