Ah Social Media, it seems like that’s all anyone is talking about these days, it’s not the future it’s the present. If you are a young college student and are interested in owning a business of your own, Social Media will become more to you than just updating your Facebook status, it will become an important tool that is cost-effective and enables you to reach your audience in a way that is personal and enjoyable to them.
College Pro Painters understands the need for social media in a business, and has corporate Facebook and Twitter profiles that are updated regularly to impact both consumers and team members. College Pro also offers training to their Franchise Managers outlining how social media can and should be used in the business space. College Pro managers and painters may have a bit of a “leg-up” on the business world when it comes to this new marketing tactic, as it is largely a product of their generation.
College Pro is a student-run painting company operating in North America and Canada that allows young college students to own and run a painting or window cleaning franchise for a season, before returning to school. Social spaces like Facebook and Twitter are all relatively new and were created and pioneered largely by individuals the same age as College Pro Managers.
When considering the social space, there are 2 giants that must be accounted for: Facebook and Twitter. While most College Pro Managers know of, and probably use Facebook and Twitter personally, most will not know how to transition that into a business tool.
Facebook has the ability to create personal and business accounts. They have the same basic functionality, but provide autonomy to the creator. You can still have a personal account where you can chat and connect with friends and family in a personal way, but you now have the ability to reach out to your consumer base to promote specials, get the word out about your business and offer industry advice to your fans. College Pro recommends updating your business profile on a regular basis with a mixture of “hard-sell (promotions, specials, services offered)” and “personal (community involvement, polls and quizzes, employee bios)” updates. This will provide your target audience with information on your business, but will also give you a personality. Face it, the reason people joined Facebook in the first place was not to be “sold to,” but to connect to other people and brands, and that’s exactly what your business page should do.
Twitter is the other “biggie” that cannot be ignored. With millions of users worldwide, Twitter allows very short (160 characters max) updates to an account. Because of this, Twitter is great for “getting the word out” about special, promotions, events or links to websites or blogs. The lifespan of a “tweet” is very short, so it is essential that you provide a concise, attention-grabbing message to your audience. Twitter also allows for a bit more customization and branding than Facebook. You can create and apply a “Twitter Skin” to your profile with a logo and photos with very little technical or programming skills.
While Facebook and Twitter remain the 2 largest social networks globally, there are many others that are equally important. Yelp, is considered by some to fall in the social media realm in that it allows the user to claim a page, update that page with customized information and interact with customers. The main difference with Yelp is that is primarily a review site, which is nothing to scoff at. Thousands of users log on every day to rate services and products they have used or tried. A few bad Yelp reviews could alienate you from growing your business so it is important to “claim” your page and monitor it on a regular basis, being sure to address any negative reviews or comments.
This is the short list of social media outlets; there are dozens available, and new ones emerging all the time (such as Google’s newest venture, Google+). It is vital to stay “ahead of the curve” when it comes to social media marketing, and when you involve yourself with a brand like College Pro, you know you will always be one step ahead of the game.