Everything they told me was a lie. Location. Location. Location. That was the first lie I learned in business school. You have to be in the perfect location. For the longest time that was true and if you are a generic business like a fast food restaurant maybe it still is. I am guessing that the business you have opened or your thinking about opening isn’t generic and if it is maybe this article isn’t for you but if your goal is to create something so special and unique that people will tweet about it, snap about it and in the end drive to it, this is something you need to read.
Every rule of business and marketing has changed in just the last few years. Powerful marketing that was only available to the big guys like Coca-Cola and McDonalds is now in the hands of any person with a smartphone for free or at a very small fee. Social network marketing has become a powerful tool in the arsenal of any business and small businesses have the advantage because we can adopt new platforms quicker than the big guys.
Think about this. Facebook was only an idea in someone’s head in 2004. It wasn’t until 2006 that Facebook became available to the public. For practical use it is only 10 years old. If Facebook was a person it wouldn’t be old enough to have sex yet! Instagram and Snapchat are much younger and now Snapchat is the platform to watch as it grows faster than any other. At 1933 we use snapchat geofilters that work very well for less than $10. Being the first to market makes it very cheap.
I could put up a list of do’s and don’ts but it would be irrelevant in 6 months. That is how fast things are changing. Some guy in his moms basement is about to unleash the next big thing in social networking and we can’t even predict what it might be.
Here is what I know for sure. You may or may not see yourself as a marketer but the second you singed that lease or opened that webstore you became a world class marketer because if you didn’t you are already out of business. It is now your job to learn about all social platforms and your first job is to start posting. On all platforms. Bad content is better than no content.
Start putting your name out, and oh by the way, you are now a brand. Not only should you brand your business the way I do 1933 Restaurant & Bar, check out our Facebook page, but you yourself are now a brand. Ask Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, John Paul Dejoria, and others.
In the old marketing you had to make the billion first and then build your personal brand. Today this is not the case. The people in charge have lost the power and it is now in the consumer’s hand. This massive shift is comparable to the printing press and may even be bigger. The consumer has ultimate control. They can destroy you or build your brand for you in the blink of an eye.
I think businesses know that the game is changing but they have no idea how fast and how drastically the old guard has been tossed out. I recently saw some statistics presented by David M Scott that suggested that the vast majority of people under the age of 30 have never read a newspaper. They still read just off of that outboard brain we call a smartphone. David went on to say that less than 10% of purchasing decisions have come from hearing a commercial on the radio or television, yet those mediums are more expensive than ever. Every day I see another of my friends is ditching cable for streaming services like Netflix or Amazon. How do I hear about this? Well, Facebook of course.
In 2015 I ran my entire campaign for Justice Court Judge on Social Media. I never bought a traditional ad. No radio. No television. No newspaper. The only time I used the newspaper was when the local paper had mistakenly reported I had not properly filed my campaign finance paperwork. They agreed to correct and retract the story… the next week. I went straight to social media and made a response. I was not surprised by the comments. Most people had not even seen the article. It was further proof to me that things were changing. And the result of my campaign? 83.75% of the popular vote. By far my best showing yet.
If you own a business start a business page on Facebook today. Also start a page for yourself. Not a personal page but a public figure page. If you bake cakes post about cakes. If you are a dentist post about the latest in dental care. If you are in business you are an expert. It is time to let the rest of the world see that. If you are a good writer, blog. If you are charismatic, Vlog (video blog). Do not be afraid. Social media is a huge world. Someone somewhere is going to dig what you do.
The only rule is to be yourself. Social media will tear you apart if you try and be something you are not. You absolutely have to be genuine. If you are a 40 year old man who likes my little pony go with it. No I won’t like your page but if that’s the real you someone will.
In the end, social media is not the decline of civilization it’s been called. It is a huge leap forward. It is power to the people. Let’s be the great entrepreneurs we know we are and run with this thing. Live life inspired my friends.
Stafford Shurden is a marketing and business coach and has been in business for himself for 20 years. He also owns 1933 Restaurant, Shurden Farms, and Stafford Media. You can email Stafford at firstname.lastname@example.org