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  2. Marketing

Getting the Most Out of Social Media

Intro by Skip Cohen

There are still too many of you who don’t put enough “social” into your social media efforts. Sure, you’re out there posting and sharing, but to Sarah Petty’s point in today’s post, you’re not making your investment personal. You’re not building a relationship, just trying to influence awareness and sales.

Well, the best way to increase awareness for your reputation, not just your business is to get involved in building relationships with your clients rather than being just another vendor in their lives.

Here’s a perfect and easy example. The first thing I do every morning is to hit Facebook’s birthday list. I do a fast scroll to see who’s got a birthday. Obviously, I don’t personally know everyone that’s on my friend list, but there are hundreds of photographers who I’ve met over the years, and some of them have become terrific friends. It’s so easy to wish them “Happy Birthday,” and maintain a presence.

The second thing I do is scroll through my Facebook “Home” page, which gives me a chance to see what everyone posted over the last day. It’s perfect for keeping up with what’s happening in their lives, and it helps me be a better resource and as sappy as it sounds, friend! It’s so easy to comment on things friends are sharing.

And for those of you who are rolling your eyes and thinking, “I don’t have the time!” Relationship building is your greatest marketing tool, and social media is one of the best ways to stay active and maintain a presence in the lives of your target audience.

Social media, combined with hand-written notes, phone calls, and personal face to face time, gives you a chance to make yourself different from most of your competitors!

By Sarah Petty

When you’re building out your social networks, you need to actually become friends with the people on your database rather than seeing them as channels to sell to.

I am talking about befriending them, treating them the way they’ve shown they want to be treated and engaging them the way they’ve shown they want to be engaged.

If you hear about a client winning an award or being honored, send them a personal note congratulating them!

If you are friends with members of your database on Facebook, LinkedIn, or any other network, and you see that they posted something interesting, comment on it and give them love.

I hopped online one day and I saw one of my clients was running a school fund-raiser, and because I was listening, I had the opportunity to reach out and donate a studio gift certificate for the auction.

The goal is to become more of a friend than a service provider. It’s all about building and maintaining genuine relationships.

Social media is a hotspot for boutique businesses. And it’s a great way to nurture your database—but only if you do it right.

Social media is not a place to post your rapid-fire sale (which you won’t do after reading this book anyway) or push your products every hour.

Your database will turn you off if you invade their social space with sales messages.

However, they’ll be turned on by your approach if you treat them like friends.

Listen, share, and connect with all the people in your database if they’ll allow it and as long as you don’t overstep their boundaries. Would the clients of a boutique salon be interested in watching a new product demonstration on how to straighten curly hair? Sure. But do they want to hear “Call me today for a consultation” over and over and over? Not so much. They want information they believe they won’t get anywhere else.