Family Express has been around for a while in the region. I am not sure when they started, but they seem to dot the map from La Porte to Monon and just about all points in between. I think it is great that they want to plant a flag on the social media landscape here in the region. What took them so long to come to the realization that they needed to do it and I wonder still more why other regional and national companies are not.
While this is directed to Family Express, I want other companies in the northwest Indiana and south Chicagoland to see this for what it really is? An open resume for what I and others in the northwest Indiana can do to help grow your business online.
Someone told me the other day some sage advice, “just because they have your ingredients does not mean they can cook your meal.” I had really debated the idea of giving away some of my ideas and secrets. I do not like to work for free, and it seems more and more people are asking to do that.
There are about a handful of us doing it well, and even less doing it right. Google those people. You will see where we are what we are doing to not only keep ourselves “top of mind”, as well as, others in the community and those that we do business. By looking around, you will see how you can do social for both business and fun all along stepping on a few landmines, hurting a few feelings and still get build a great community.
Build it with Tools
There are some great tools and competing sites and while there some are redundancy. You need to use them and do more than just have a presence. I could run a laundry list of tools to use some free and some quite expensive some are worth it and some scrape the bottom of the barrel. You will need to test and retest to see which ones work best for you. There are plug-ins that will allow you to create some really cool contests online and tie them all back to your social media campaigns. Tools that would incentivize your community to share your brand and not feel that the more people they bring in the less chance they have to win a contest.
Let’s Talk Community
I would hate for you to go out of the region to hire someone. I can point you to several local institutions that have done just that and it was easy to right through them. We all have a voice and I try to vary mine from business to business and persona to persona. At times I am successful and sometimes I am not, but when someone from outside the region tries it. They tend to fall flat on their face.
When I ask a question? I expect an answer. Most of the time, I do not need it in 5 minutes, but don’t wait 6 months. Yes, it really has happened to me. I will not divulge the names here but I will tell you, and why I feel that they are one of the region’s largest social media fails.
A Parting Shot of Wisdom
Managing a social media campaign is not going to be easy. We want to know who we are talking to, even though I have carried on conversations with dog and a cat on Twitter. I really hate talking to a logo. Let me see the person behind the curtain. You are going to get bad press and it is how you answer it will make all the difference in the world. People are going to complain, it is how you deal with it. I know the first instinct is take it off-line, but don’t do it. Let us all see how you handle the situation. Just know this, no matter what you do you will not please some people. We know that, and we all will see that you tried.
Look before you leap and with running this contest it seems as though you are. I have said it before and have heard it said a million times, “it is better to have no social media than a bad one”. Right now, people in the region are talking about your business in some shape, form or fashion. You just need to know where to go find it and respond back. Be mindful, If you know the answer to a question, it does not matter what they are asking, if you know the answer – answer it. Think “pay it forward”, create a client for life rather than a customer right now.
And, one more thing…Sugar-free NOS Energy Drinks are the bomb. Just a suggestion.