Is social media marketing worth any effort?
What are some basics POS dealers need to know?
I know I keep harping on to POS dealers about getting involved with social media marketing. I just wanted to clarify a few of the benefits and how dealers could easily go about setting something up.
Primary advantages of social media marketing:
- Increases brand awareness – both for your business & Uniwell
One of the key challenges we are facing is getting the Uniwell name to be ‘out there’ in the POS marketplace alongside the dozens of competition products that are available. The act of ‘Following’ another account means that you appear on their feed – even if they don’t choose to return the follow. Also, once you do have a few followers, your account will appear in the suggestions of their followers, and so on and so forth…
- It’s free, and doesn’t need to take up too much time
It costs nothing to set up these accounts and to be active. There isn’t a lot of marketing activity that you can involve yourself with that doesn’t actually cost you. And you can do this work in ‘down time’… so either when things are quiet or when you are ‘off duty’. WARNING: Social media can be addictive, and any tangible benefits that come from marketing this way will take some time. I am not suggesting you drop everything and spend hours each week focusing on this… (more about that later)
- Assists your SEO
One thing a number of dealers have asked me is how to increase their visibility in search engine results. Apart from the obvious paid services (such as Google Adwords), having a well set up website, connected social media accounts and regular, relevant content can help this. Also, using hashtags and mentioning collaborative businesses in your posts will also increase the volume of content that search engines trawl through to achieve results. Again – this is not an instant fix, but its something you can do (for little outlay) that can help.
- It can be a form of customer reference marketing
Posting pictures of POS installations you perform (preferably with the permission of the business) is a passive form of customer reference marketing. Your work is seen in the context of your local business community. And often your post can act as a form of collaborative marketing – a positive reference to your client’s business. This can assist in getting your client to ‘follow’ you and ‘like’ your posts… which is also a way to strengthen the working relationship.
- Allows you to connect with local businesses, business associations and relevant industry groups
You have a genuine interest in seeing local businesses succeed – you want local cafes, bars and other hospitality venues to be profitable… that helps you stay in business! So taking the time to search out local business organisations, councils and other community groups on social media, following them and liking/commenting on appropriate content that they post will demonstrate your interest.
Some brief tips on how to go about it:
- Choose your platform(s)
From my experience, not all social media platforms are worth the same amount of effort – so here are my suggestions:
Instagram seems to be the most popular platform among small businesses like cafes and bars – so this is my first choice. Post site photos and infographics. One downside of Instagram is that you can’t share a ‘live’ web link. But you can set your account for ‘business’ so that it allows easy contact via phone and email.
Twitter is more for business organisations, though many small businesses do use it, so I would definitely suggest that all dealers have a Twitter account. You can share webpages and infographics, and connect to local chambers of commerce, industry magazines etc.
Also of note is that the phone apps for Instagram and Twitter allow you to have multiple accounts connected, so you can switch easily between personal and business accounts.
Personally, I find Facebook less relevant. It’s more complicated to set up, and I get less connection response than the other mediums. However, if you use Facebook personally, you can quite easily set up a connected ‘Page’ for your business, and like and comment as that page…
- Have a complete profile
One mistake you can make is to create the account but not set it up correctly. Make sure you have a profile picture (even if its of a company logo, or a photo of a local landmark), a description of your business (including your location) and your contact details. Also, its important to complete your profile AND post one or two photos on your account BEFORE you start making connections, so that when you connect, the other party can see what you are about.
- Make meaningful connections
As already discussed, search for your existing customers, other local businesses in your target market and business organisations from your region. Remember, the action of following them will make your business appear on their account – so at least they will see your business name and can choose to investigate further.
- Be active – but don’t waste time
Social media marketing requires a balance between putting enough time into it, and not letting it waste your time. As a guide, I’d suggest that it would take you an hour or two to set up each account (including adding all your details, posting some opening content, and making some initial connections), and then around half an hour a week to post something useful and check for posts that are worth liking/commenting on. Just don’t leave your account unchecked or without new content for months… personally, if I come across an unmaintained account, I would consider it to be neglected and probably wouldn’t bother connecting with the business.
- Post something new regularly
I would suggest posting some new content on your account at least once a month – but preferably weekly. You can vary the content, including installation photos, infographics, and other locally relevant material. Bear in mind that on Twitter you can ‘Retweet’ which means if you see a post on the Uniwell, Lynx Software or Uniwell4POS account, you can retweet it, and add it to your own content. This actually provides a benefit to the original account, as their post gets increased traffic and coverage.
Social media marketing can seem to be too complex and a time waster – but it’s a massive part of the society we are part of these days, so if we can use it to our advantage, we can benefit from it. I am happy to assist you with setting up and maintaining a meaningful social media program… my suggestion is to follow through on this for a 3 month trial to see if you get some meaningful connections and marketing benefits from it.
Your getting involved in social media marketing and actively collaborating with Uniwell’s & Lynx Software’s marketing efforts will have a positive impact on the work we are trying to do in getting the Uniwell product name out there. We want your businesses to succeed, and see this as a way we can assist you to that end!