Social Media can no longer be viewed as a passing fad or something that your teenage kids are into.  It has become much more by utilizing real time capabilities for communication and information sharing.  Individuals can access business hours, payment options, customer referrals, and much more at 4 am if they wish.  Now is the time to jump in feet first and check out the new space, you never know, you might actually like it.  

If executed properly Social Media can:

  • Offer transparency that customers demand
  • Cut down on phone time, and interruptions to work flow
  • Add value to your business by enriching relationships
  • Differentiate your business from others
  • A venue for referrals and recommendations

Collateral including: business cards, flyers, websites, and social media profiles should offer a cohesive image of the brand in a way that conveys a commitment to quality, and your unique personality.  Potential customers are inundated with choices and options and a great website, or social profile can further your image and reach.  It is growing increasingly imperative to engage the audience that relies on the internet for a majority of their information.  From personal experience I know that I have chosen restaurants, doctors, boutiques based on the professionalism of their website.  If you have a dated, half built website what kind of service can be expected?  You wouldn’t go to a business meeting with cut of jeans and a ratty T-shirt would you? 

Websites and profiles are often times a prospective customer’s first glimpse at the level of professionalism they can expect when they upon visiting your establishment.  Just like making your windows at home energy efficient, make sure that your virtual reach is adding value to your operation and not distracting from it.  Efficiency is the key to being successful in the Social Media-sphere.  Try just a half hour a day by you or someone in your company to be the personality that reaches out to the public.  The first step is to tighten up what is already being projected.  Take an objective look at your website, some competitors, and see where you measure up.  It may be beneficial to get a fresh set of eyes to look over what you have done in the past and look for areas to improve upon, and areas that you are highly effective.  It often times takes minimal effort to have a great impact. 

Just like any new work out routine your muscles respond with discipline, and continued use.  Here are a few platforms to explore for your own benefit.  Depending on time constraints and personalities some may be a better fit than others.  Contemplate incorporating the following for your social media campaign:

Blogging – Blogs offer a platform to share industry news, happenings, and valuable information offered in a timely manor to your audience.  You can set up a blog for free at, or for free.  You could then hyperlink the blog back to your website.

Social Networking – Sites like Twitter can be used to promote events, give a ways, or specials.  This must all be done in 140 characters or less so it is an incredibly effective tool for providing quick bits of information.  Additional sites like LinkedIn, and Facebook offer additional opportunities to collaborate with colleagues and the community.

Referral Sites – Sites like offer the community a forum to offer word of mouth opinions and referrals.  Some good some bad, but most of all they are unbiased.  Yelp offer businesses an opportunity to share more information about their business, events, special offers, etc all for free. 

Which ever combination of social media venues you choose to explore make sure you are consistent with your message, and keep your audience in mind.  If you offer valuable, and interesting information your readership will grow, and your sincerity will be a reflection of you, the staff, and your business as a whole.

Emily Dunn