But social media isn’t changing just the face of franchising. It’s changing the way we do business. All of us. Every business. It doesn’t matter if you sell to consumers or if you sell to other businesses. It doesn’t matter if you have a product or if you have a service. Social media is changing the way you talk to your customers and it’s time to get on the bandwagon.
Technology is changing so quickly that this isn’t about the newest and greatest social network (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.). It’s about RELATIONSHIPS. It’s about connecting and engaging, one-on-one, with your customers at a very personal level. And the technologies, whatever they happen to be at this moment, are what allow you to do that.
We’ve only been using social media for Arment Dietrich since January. In the past six and a half months, it has:
* Developed an intense loyalty with our existing clients because they now see us as people and talk to us daily, even if it’s not about work. They see us even more now as partners…not as some vendor that does their outside communication.
* Created a brand for Arment Dietrich outside of our niche markets and outside of Chicago.
* Developed a way for us to create thought leadership, gain feedback, solicit ideas, and also balance criticism, which is making me a better leader (even if it sometimes hurts).
* Allowed us to prospect for new business leads globally.
* Created new interest from talent wanting to work here.
* Made us smarter…not only in the knowledge and wisdom we gain daily from the people we connect with, but also in how we run the business, how we work with our clients, and how we create our own category expertise.
Social media is not a trend. This is not a fad. It is the way we all expect to communicate going into the future.