An Open Letter To Central Mass Business Owners

Have you embraced Social Media?

Dear Central MA Business Owners:

I’m writing this letter with the hopes that in these tough economic times you are willing and open to considering the new standard for customer service and social engagement. We all know it’s hard enough to get the customers in the door so once they’re in you need to be sure they want to and will come back. The days of the little box on the counter with the comment cards is long gone and in its place is a much larger Comment Box known as the Internet. Social Media sites like Yelp and Foursquare and Facebook and Twitter are redefining how your customers are sharing their experiences with friends, family, and potentially hundreds and even thousands of others…

Where do I begin?

Have you set up a Facebook page for your business yet? Sure you only own a small family restaurant in Leominster…who cares right? Wrong! Maybe you have set up your page…But…have you been to it since you posted your menu and your phone number and the pictures of your specials that day back in September when you first set up your profile? Probably not…

Have you spent time on your Facebook page and interacted with the one or two customers that have left comments about your business? I’m sure you’re excited to see the rave reviews but do you pretend not to see the comment from the college kid who’s wings were dry and waited 30 minutes for  a refill on his Coors Light? Probably…but guess what…the next time that college kid and his 5 or 6 buddies want to go out for beers and wings they aren’t going back to your restaurant. Were you aware that your Tuesday morning cashier is the only reason why Mrs. Johnson comes back every week for her scratch tickets, her milk, her bread and her deli meat even though she could save money at the big store down the street?

You or somebody within your organization needs to be monitoring these sites and acknowledge each and every one of these comments with sincere concern and an assurance that you will make it right for your customer when it comes to negative reviews and to offer gratitude and recognition for the customers with praise for you or your employees. Social Media is all about the conversation with your customers. Maybe you own a hardware store and somebody is looking for tips on how to hang a new shower door…offer up some tips to help them…guess what, you sell shower doors…

I just became the Mayor of your Restaurant

Start by spending a few minutes online and check out Yelp and Foursquare. Look up your business. Is your business listed? Are people leaving reviews? Are they happy with the service you are providing? Did you know people are scoring points for frequenting your place of business and there is possibly a Mayor or a Duke, or a Duchess… Do you even know what Foursquare is and why your business has a Mayor? If not, don’t feel bad…you’re still unfortunately in the majority with respect to most businesses in Central MA. Maybe you’re a sole proprietor with barely enough time to balance the check book, order your produce, and get payroll processed by Wednesday afternoon…maybe you need some help with all of this…

There really is no Competition

The reality is with Social Media exploding the way it has been in recent years…and even recent months…you’re in a great position to be doing something that your competition knows nothing about; Engaging with your customers and creating a brand awareness with legs long enough to walk into your competitors restaurant and carry the customers back to yours…

I’m not a social media guru, I’m not a marketing expert, but I’m on Twitter, I’m on Yelp, and I’m on Foursquare, and so are thousands of others in Central Ma. I check in daily all over Leominster, Fitchburg, and the surrounding cities and towns wherever my travels may take me. I’m your customer and so are the hundreds or thousands of others signed into these sites and I’d love to help you with your social media campaign. Do you want to know how to get started with all of this? Post a comment below with any questions you might  have and let’s see if we can’t get you out in front of your competition with a little hard work, a lot of passion, and some simple steps to creating a road map to social media success…Do you have specific questions about your particular business? You can also Email at rob @ robbeland (dot) com

Regards,

Your Customer

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