PCOC - Fall 2013 - (Page 20)

Your Guide to Social Media Startup By Brian Bluff, Site-Seeker, Inc. Some proactive CEOs and business leaders are already active on social media. And that’s great to hear. For those that aren’t yet, I can certainly understand the hesitation. Security, excessive time consumption and I’d be remiss if I didn’t include this popular quote: “My customers aren’t on social media!” are some of the most worrisome areas. Despite these frustrations however, you still can’t afford to be inactive on these channels. Even pest control professionals are finding ways to interact with audience members, learn about new trends in the field, and grow their businesses. You have to be present and start engaging with your customers. Today. There is Always Risk Yes, there is some risk associated with social media. But there is risk with employees in general with protecting trade secrets, confidential internal information, or business ideas. Just as managers have always had to regulate and trust staff in the past, now they must do so with social media in mind. Think about this. We “allow” our employees to answer the phone, send emails and participate in meetings and trade shows, right? So while social media does give our employees a somewhat louder voice, I believe the potential for harm is out there regardless of your business policies or practices. Internal workshops and a set “what not to do” list of guidelines might avoid future embarrassment or online crises. Or, improve your recruiting practices so you are hiring with better confidence that one of your staff members won’t have lose lips, or lose fingers, as they prepare posts on personal and/or corporate social media pages. Above all, there is no substitute for great employees. Great Work Takes Time Social media, when done right, takes a considerable amount of time. Then again, so is managing a pile of new leads – and no one would ever want to ignore that! Any business practice can be time-consuming, but strategies can help regulate the process and suggest how to perform to get the most out of that experience. One of the top priorities of a social media plan is to establish you and your team as industry experts. In pest control, there are many searches on both Google and within social media sites each day that relate to certain types of pests and/or tips on how to eliminate them. Guess who they are aggregating toward? The ones who are present, active and available to field their questions. Listen, share, provide value so online users see you as a source of valuable information and a leader in the field. The next time they have an ant infestation, or ponder how safe your products are to the environment, they won’t look to the yellow pages, they will visit your Facebook page instead. Creating content is the best way to be found on the web – especially in a field as competitive and research-focused as pest control. Share valuable insight into pests and insects, where customers can learn what might be affecting their homes each season. Blog posts, infographics, and multimedia are also great means to educating your audience and demonstrating your leadership role. Creating content, posting, monitoring feeds and reacting quickly all www.pcoc.org / Fall 2013 20 takes time. But it should be worth it as your social capital and customer base grows. The more time you invest, the higher the return. To help save time, learn how to repurpose content efficiently. Capture your thoughts and then build them out in different formats – a blog post, a white paper, a SlideShare presentation, a YouTube video, an e-newsletter article. Give each audience the main message and a little something different so you are not being excessively repetitive (in case they follow you on multiple platforms). Social Media is Not Frivolous I understand where one might think social media is useless, but I have to disagree. Wikipedia (in itself part of the social revolution), references that half of Twitter content is spam or not relevant. If your view of social media is shouting “look at what I just did,” then you are right, it *is* frivolous. But if you are more concerned about creating and sharing content that your key public will find useful, then it most certainly is not. Focus on the other half of the population who is using it the right way, passing along news articles and participating in worthwhile conversations. This audience will be worth your time, enhancing your brand’s online presence and possibly building route development. http://www.pcoc.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of PCOC - Fall 2013

President’s Message
Martyn’s Corner
PCOC Expo 2013: A Pictorial Highlight
Expo 2013 Bed Bug Presentation: Control and Management Updates
Overview of NEW California Aeration Plan (CAP)
Calbug Project: Public Needed to Uncover Clues in Natural History Collections
Your Guide to Social Media Startup
Federal Update
Insurance Small Employer Responsibilities under Health Care Reform Act
State Capitol Report Back to Business
Firm Profile Round the Clock Pest Control
Index to Advertisers
Advertiser.com

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