Social Media is like a lemonade stand run by cute kids on a hot summer day. Being accessible and offering something desirable brings interested customers directly to the stand — no chasing them down. (With apologies if I’m appropriating someone else’s phrase about social media/lemonade stands.)
Many smaller businesses and nonprofits are grappling with yet another new communication channel, and I’ve heard plenty of people ask if social media marketing is just another trend that will come and go.
The key difference is that with social media, customers are opting in, asking for information, specials and discounts. There couldn’t be a more engaged audience. Like a lemonade stand on a hot summer day, with the right offerings, people who are interested in your wares will flock to you.
This is in stark contrast to the Jehovah’s Witnesses that come to my house — knocking on the door and setting the dog into a barking fit, waking the baby, and then expecting a religious conversion at the door. The act of annoying me with a message I don’t want, at a time that is totally inconvenient, is a great example of traditional marketing — I have no control over the message, its timing or content.
Very un-lemonade stand.
As customers increasingly gain control over the messages they want, they will become more turned off by messages they don’t want. Small businesses need to understand and embrace the potential of social media marketing to give their customers what they want and when they want it.