By Nancy Drexler
Imagine that you run a restaurant. Like any business owner, you worry about increasing your sales, managing your overhead, keeping your customers satisfied and controlling your reputation. And there are simply not enough hours in the day. When you do find the time, you access the Internet for one of two reasons: to stay in touch with the people in your universe or to grow your business. To accomplish the latter, you look at industry trends, review new products, explore recipes and read local restaurant reviews.
Then this item pops up on your Facebook page: EMV is coming.
Or worse: We are ready for EMV. Are you?
What is your reaction?
Let's say you have a lull between the lunch and dinner rushes, so you do have a little time to read the post. You learn that it was written by WhateverPay, a business that can solve the Europay, MasterCard and Visa (EMV) implementation issues you didn't know you had.
Let's face it: there is nothing social about payment acceptance. Nothing. So why do we continue to post "all about us" messages on social media sites? When it comes to social media, we are an industry of fast followers. We learned that this new form of media was attracting millions of readers, and we jumped right on it. We moved our websites to WordPress templates and then to wide-screen, very white templates, and we said less in order to say more. We thought about all the things we could write about ourselves that would make us sound good and look good to all those online surfers.
But we forgot to think about the important stuff. Here are four tips to help you get the results you seek from social media marketing:
The bottom line: Remember that you are speaking to individuals. Think back to the beginning of this article. If you want to build brand visibility and thought leadership among restaurateurs, be where they are (restaurant sites, menu sites, etc.) and tailor your messages to their interests and needs (it's about reducing overhead not complying with new EMV regulations).
The bottom line: Just because someone likes you, connects with you, follows you or notices you that doesn't mean the person is going to buy your product or service. Social media is one part of a marketing toolbox. You need the rest of the pieces.
When Dan Price posted about EMV on social media, he wrote, "Help us spread the word to avoid some of the predatory practices we've seen." With that one simple line, Dan did three important things: made the EMV message meaningful, encouraged sharing and reinforced his brand as an all-around great company that truly cares about small business owners.
The bottom line: Marketing today is about building a personality for your company. Not just for today, but for years from now. People do business with people, not companies. If you keep changing your name, logos, colors and priorities, you are not being interesting; you are being schizophrenic.
Decide who you are and will be, and then make sure everything you say and do reflects that brand.
And you thought it would be easy?
Nancy Drexler is the President of Acquired Marketing, a boutique marketing firm for businesses in the payments industry. To learn more about what Acquired Marketing can do for you, visit www.acquiredmarketing.com, call 917-743-5258 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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