One of the most effective ways to engage with your customer market is to use social media. Each platform offers different usage opportunities to suit your company’s needs. It’s a great way to enhance your presence and encourage customer interaction. Today on the Atlanta Small Business Show we welcome Cher Jones, founder of Socially Active to tell us how entrepreneurs should use social media to brand themselves and their businesses.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Welcoming to the Atlanta Small Business Show, Cher, how are ya?
Cher Jones: I am fantastic. I’m happy to be here.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Good, good. Can we start off by you telling, us why it is important for small businesses to have an active presence on social media.
Cher Jones: These days, if you don’t have a presence on social media, it’s like you don’t exist. Interestingly enough, that was the same way we felt about websites, 15 years ago.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Yeah.
Cher Jones: Now, if you are not on social, people even have the one … They have that spidey sense tingling, whereas like, “Are they really a business?”
Jim Fitzpatrick: Right.
Cher Jones: Do I get to trust them?
Jim Fitzpatrick: Yeah, they begin to question your integrity right? Wow, if they’re not on Facebook and Twitter and all of these others. In fact, what are some of, the social media platforms that every small business owner should incorporate into their digital branding strategy?
Cher Jones: It’s interesting, because that’s one of those, it depends kind of questions. I would say right now, depending on what type of business they have, it’s either Linkedin, depending on if they are service based, professional provider, or if they have a product they have to be on Instagram. If you have the dollars and you have the content, Facebook can be amazing. The problem is, right now, with Facebook’s platform, is, you need to pay to play as a business, to get access to your content, so people can actually see it.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Should every type of business have a social presence?
Cher Jones: I believe that there are benefits to it all, because, the reason why you could leverage social media for business, even if you are a solo plumber and you’re going out to jobs, you can leverage Instagram or Facebook for example, to bring people in and along the way of what you do. It shows your expertise. It also keeps you top of mind. People get to know, like, and trust you. Also, it’s kind of like, when you’re looking for a job, more people get jobs when they actually have one. It’s the same thing for business owners as well.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Sure. When should businesses post content on social media? When’s the best time to do that? How many times should they do it in a day?
Cher Jones: Generally speaking, it’s during break times, early morning times, when we wake up. That’s the first thing we do, is we look at our phones, our devices. And then, at lunch time we take a little break, maybe around two o’clock, we’re taking a little break. And then, again, when perhaps those who are commuting, using transit, they’re taking a break around five, 5:30. They’re looking at their devices, and again when things settle down at the home, after everybody’s eaten, and everybody’s good to go.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Sure.
Cher Jones: It’s just being logical about it. But then, it also depends on the logic of the time, when your clients are on. If you’re on eastern standard time zone, but yet your customers are in California, you have to do the math on the timing.
Jim Fitzpatrick: How can you cultivate a genuine and authentic presence online, in order to be relatable to your clients?
Cher Jones: I would say the best thing to do is really to be yourself. When people interact and engage with your content, when they connect with you face-to-face, cause I don’t like to delineate between online life and offline life, because it’s the same world at this point.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Talk to us a little bit, about the importance of social media analytics, when trying to grow your online presence. What should we look for?
Cher Jones: Well, when you know your numbers, you know what’s working. What you’re looking for is engagement. You’re looking at how many people are engaging on what types of content. When I say engagement, that could be as simple as a like, a share, someone sends you a direct message as a result. Also, if we get a little, bit further, are we tracking people leaving the social sites to go onto your website, your landing page, sign up for something, buy a ticket. You can see which pieces of content are actually resonating with your audience and making sure that your calls-to-action are being answered.
Jim Fitzpatrick: All that makes sense. I know for the business owners and the entrepreneurs that are watching today, we may have blown their mind a little, bit. By the same token, maybe there’s people out there, that have said, “Hey. I’ve been in social media and these tips have been very, very helpful to me.” I wanna thank you Cher Jones, very much. Founder of Socially Active. What’s your website address for those that are watching, that they wanna get more information?
Cher Jones: Sociallyactivetraining.com. I help everybody get branded and social for business, whether you are an entrepreneur, or you have an entire team that needs to learn how to be social.
Jim Fitzpatrick: For those that are watching, take her up on that offer. I think you’ll get a lot out of it. She’s one of the ones to follow on social, that’s for sure. Thank you so much Cher.
Cher Jones: Thank you so much.