What attracts a butterfly in real life? Food substance, the need to live or propagation. Then the same can be said of an online digital social butterfly. So how do we attract this species? How do we feed its needs while making a dollar?
A MYOB report (October 2012) states 86% of NZers use the internet every day. I am guessing probably the other 14% of NZers live in the bush without internet or are too small to reach the keyboard, smartphone, tablet or TV remote. This same report indicates NZ business, specifically small businesses are slow to take advantage of social media yet 35% have their own website.
The reasons given for this slow adoption of social media by small business owner are, not being “tech-savvy” or stating we already have a website why do we now need social media as well? The report is clear social media is treated as low priority when comparing it to core business functions, mainly due to a lack of resources or expertise.
When the internet first exploded down our dialup modems at the alarming speed of 9600 bits per second we were continual warned the internet is dangerous. “Do not let your firewall down or who knows what sorts of digital bugs can come in?” I believe this type of comment has instilled a fear in managers and owners of small business of internet use. Perhaps they have past experience of virus attacks and the following large IT costs required to repair broken software have left a strong miss trust of placing their data in the cloud.
According to NZ Ministry of Business small businesses dominate our industries in New Zealand and likely to be run by a male aged between 40-59 years old. When these managers or directors were at school computers were larger than cars and the internet was still a dream. No wonder social media is struggling to gain traction.
So how can small business (SME) use social media to bring in more business? You could encourage connecting to your customer base through a Facebook site, or maybe write a blog about your products or services, ask for feedback on potential product changes. Good communication with your customers or potentials clients will give a business the knowledge and strategy of where their business needs to head.
My title asks the question “How can Social butterflies ring the till?” By using social media you gain a better connection to your clients and gain more clients as you explore into their social networks. Sites like Linkedin help build relationships with suppliers or similar business and help human resources, source new skilled employees. All without using expensive consultants and social media tools to create these links to clients are free, so get started today. If you are in the over 40 plus bracket in age maybe you should ask your kids how to use Twitter or Facebook first.
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