Is Social Media Right For You?
When it comes to social media, there is no shortage of options for you to use. There is Ello, Instagram, Youtube, Vine, Twitter, Meerkat, Snapchat, Pinterest, and of course, Facebook.
Now which one is the right one for you? Each social media platform has its own advantages and disadvantages, and each has a different form of communication.
• Vine and Youtube are video based, with Vine focusing on just seconds of video to deliver your message, and Youtube allowing you all the time you want for your videos
• Pinterest is content based and a great way to collect stories, articles and images that relate to your particular interests and themes
• Twitter limits your content to just 144 characters (but Twitter is soon to lift this content restriction)
• Instagram is image based enabling you to share your images with followers
• Facebook is the grand-daddy of them all content, images, video, fans, followers, and communities
You really need to focus on what you are trying to accomplish through social media, you need to set goals and objectives. As an example, if you are looking for a means to communicate rapidly, reaching your followers wherever they are, including their purse or back pocket, Twitter is likely the platform for you. If you are online a lot and have the knack for finding recipes, fashion tips and interesting articles that you would like to share, setting up your own Pin Board on Pinterest is probably the platform for you.
But if you are looking to find potential customers, and communicate with your existing customers, Facebook is likely the best platform for you.
Facebook has over a billion users worldwide. In fact, in some countries, over 80 percent of the population uses it. It’s a fantastic platform allowing you to post, share, and comment on pictures, videos and content. It also enables a business to build a community of followers (fans), and communicate with them, for almost free. I say almost free, because it may not cost you cash out of pocket, but there is a cost of your time in administering your page and profile, and your time is worth something. Facebook also allows some commercial activity to advertise your business to potential customers. Of all the choices available today, Facebook is likely the best option for a drycleaner.
Please understand, simply creating your Facebook profile, and setting up a Facebook page for your business does not assure you huge amounts of followers. I’ve seen a lot of drycleaners Facebook pages, and despite a drycleaner’s best efforts, few cleaners pages seem to build beyond 300 fans (followers). Why is that?
Well, we have to face the facts. Drycleaning, on the whole, is not a glamorous business. It’s simply not enough to be on Facebook, you have to create content that is interesting and engaging. Yes, the biggest challenge drycleaners face is to make dirty laundry sexy, exciting and interesting, that is a tall order. But it’s not impossible.
I firmly believe that drycleaners have forgotten how to sell their services. We’ve become so focused on our businesses, that we’ve forgotten how to promote the vital role our service provides.
Drycleaning’s roots are based on the fashion industry. The fashion industry is filled with exciting, sexy, continuous and interesting change. New fabrics, new fashions, new styles, the ever changing new designs are continuously being introduced in Paris, Milan and New York.
We (drycleaners) are a vital part of ‘looking good.’ We are the masters of the fresh, like new look, at a reasonable price. We really need to stress the convenience and lifestyle regular dry cleaning brings. We need to deliver the message to our current customers, to new potential customers and reach out to the younger generations to educate them about what looking good is all about. And on a cost basis, the best way to accomplish this is through social media, preferably via Facebook.
Creating interesting content can be difficult because not everyone is adept at writing, taking great pictures, using Photoshop to make pictures more interesting, or shooting videos. Being dull and boring will NOT accomplish your goal of building a huge base of fans and followers. You see, the biggest secret to being successful using social media is to be engaging.
Engagement is people liking, sharing and interacting by commenting on your content. In fact, Facebook monitors and measures how people engage with your content using an extremely complicated algorithm called Edge Rank. Edge Rank monitors over 100,000 different attributes, and ultimately determines how your page is featured to your users and others. Thus, engagement is king.
If people are not liking, sharing, or commenting on your content, there is likely a reason. Social media is not a media where you can push your message out there and expect people to interact. The entire basis of all social media is based on people interacting with other people. It’s not the medium to simply browbeat people with a heavily commercial message. If you continuously post content that screams ‘Buy my stuff, buy my stuff,’ you are going to find limited or no success. So, you need to find a balance between ‘selling yourself and your service’ and being interesting and engaging. It’s an extremely difficult line to walk.
Mastering social media is not entirely an easy task. You may not be able to assign the administration of your page to a couple of your employees and expect them to build a massive following for you. You can’t brow beat customers to your page, let alone to your door. You need an extremely soft sell approach. Plus, you need to be an author that can create interesting engaging content…that skill can be in short supply when faced with the hours of running a complex business such as drycleaning. Keep in mind, everything you post online is entirely out there, open to customers (and potential customers) criticism, it’s expected that we put our best face forward. After all, we are in the appearance business.
If you would like to discuss social media (with no obligation whatsoever), please feel free to engage me via email: Darcy Moen
Darcy Moen opened his first drycleaning shop at the age nineteen. Over the next sixteen years, he built his first 600 square foot plant into a chain of 5 stores, creating and testing his own marketing programs along the way. Darcy is a multi-media marketer, working in digital signage, video, print, direct mail, web, email and is a social media expert certified by Facebook for Pages, Insights, and Ad systems. Please visit www.drycleanersuniversity.com.