Traditional business owners would cringe to hear someone say that they run their business with 6 people across 3 cities in 2 provinces and NO walk-in traffic. But that is exactly what Jeff MacArthur has done with his team at MGI Media.
“We’ve gotten to a point with online infrastructure that there’s not many barriers to doing what we do remotely.”
The need for the open office walk-in to view products and services available to the commercial consumer has since been replaced with websites, online portfolios, and social media testimonials. The power of the new online community, through website and social media integration, has allowed media companies to securely send their products to clients on the internet. The day-to-day business of handshakes and board room meetings are quickly being replaced by webcams and Skype.
“These are the things that have helped us to maintain the kind of low overhead that you need to to have a small business that will grow.”
You’ve passed the point of mastering the basics and have established a solid presence on Facebook and Twitter. You’ve provided promotions for your online audience, and have listened to the comments and suggestions people have made about your business. But without changing your business model to suit the demands of your online consumers, how do you prove to them you are listening?
Lisa Middleton, and her team at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, have built an online presence that is one of the strongest in the arts community in Canada. The team uses a simple Fan of the Week promotion to show their followers how much they appreciate their views, reviews, and photos from their Festival experience.
“We recognize them on our (Facebook) wall and in our About section for the following week. They don’t receive anything other than just the pure recognition. We just really want them to know that we’re reading; we’re listening to what they have to say and that we’re interested.”
Not every business, even ones with a strong online presence, will see that promotion as something that would fit for them. But there are fundamentals of what Middleton is doing that are universal:
Many companies incorporate a Facebook page to help boost their online presence. Setting up a page is simple, and it’s easy for employees to promote the page by inviting their Facebook friends to ‘like’ the page.
But after several days, weeks, and months, many pages find themselves with no new traffic, despite a significant investment of time in populating the page with interesting and influential content. The page itself has failed to breach the inner circle of people originally invited to check it out.
So how do you drive traffic back to your Facebook page? Have a contest? Use an e-mail blast? Promote it on your website more? Chris Farias, who is an imaginitarian and partner at Kitestring, suggests that Facebook itself may be the solution.
“I like the ads where you click and they have ‘Like us on our page’, so I’ll go check it out and see what they’re doing.”
It’s an interesting concept: using social media to drive your presence on social media. You already know the person uses Facebook, so why not target them directly? Plus, if you have populated your page with valuable and informative content about your business, this type of ad could be what gets your content seen. In addition to that, Facebook is an affordable source of advertising when targeted and messaged properly.