What Bartending Taught Me About Branding


Bartending – Branding

I moonlight as a bartender and I absolutely love it. I’m very good at it and make great tips. I reasoned that I was excelling at it because I have product knowledge and I understand the art of mixing flavors. I figured that those skills, combined with my quick bartending brandingwit were responsible for my success. Then I noticed that a group of customers were following me even when I changed bars. The fact that they would ask when I was working and show up on those days got me to thinking. (Though I admit, being a bar industry type, I was inclined to attribute my Bar Star status to my awesomeness! It just had to be my awesomeness, rugged good looks, or then again, maybe it was simply my humility that was bringing them in!)

After speaking with a wonderful couple who are a pair of my regulars, I discovered that I had actually created a brand for myself without realizing it. A brand which included not only my beverage knowledge and mixing creativity, but also the newsboy hat that I love wearing, plus an element which I soon discovered was the key to it all.

Bartending – Branding: The ‘Why’ Factor

What makes me a good bartender is also part of what makes me tick in other areas. I realized that when I’m behind the bar (and other places for that matter) my desire is to facilitate a unique and positive experience. Stepping back and figuring out why I do what I do was really eye opening. My “look” and attitude behind the bar all serve a single purpose. They are meant to provide my customers with the experience they are looking for. Be it a first date, an anniversary, or simply a chat and a beer after work, my goal is always to have my PEEPS leave in a better state than when they came in. This is my ‘why’. If I am successful, they will come back again and again.

Integrating Your Personal ‘Why’

Discovering why I do what I do behind the bar helped me really uncover and fine-tune my brand. Now, in every endeavor I undertake I ask myself this question: “Why do I do this?” By discovering the ‘why’, I am able to fine-tune my personal brand and the brand of the business or individual I am working with. This helps them take the lead in their industry and achieve their immediate and long term goals.

Working behind the bar, the goals of the customer are very often time sensitive. That being the case, I like to read their body language and converse with them to discover their ‘why’ for the visit. Once this is established, I mesh my ‘why’ to theirs and we become a team with a common goal which has more tools to accomplish these goals. Once I discovered this formula, I realized that it is easily transferable to clients I work with on marketing and branding. My goal is always for them to have the best possible experience and to help them take the lead.

The Benefits

By seeking out the ‘why’ first, we build a solid foundation together for the project. This will then facilitate an upbeat and efficient process – which in turn yields positive results. There is also the strong likelihood of exceeding the expectations set out at the beginning of the project. Behind the bar, in marketing, or in any other industry, establishing a good relationship leads to the all-important Satisfied Customer and repeat business is a consequence. A satisfied customer is a delighted customer, and we all know that delighted customers are the best promoters of you and your business.

The Silver ‘Re’ Cap

  • Discover ‘Why’ you do what you do
  • Integrate your ‘Why’ with your businesses ‘Why’
  • Build your brand around ‘Why’

Social Media is a Conversation


Colin is the Social Media and Content Marketing guru at OTR Web Solutions a web development and content marketing company since 2000, with offices in Canada, USA, Europe and South America.


Creating Fun Content for Your ‘Snoozer’ industry


Creating Fun Content for Your Boring Industry

Ah Marketing, those of us that get into this industry love the challenge and creativity required. We get to meet with clients who are excited about their product or service and then come up with a corporate branding strategy to effectively present them to the public. It’s challenging, fun, measurable and always changing. Things are be going great and then … ‘the email’ arrives.

Your boss is very happy with your work as of late and has a new client for you. A new iStock_000011073926XSmallproject!! It’s corporate branding strategy and one blog post per week and the client wants excitement, Sweet!! The new client is a Self Storage business. Okay, so a snoozer came down the line and it’s your job to create fun content that targets consumers. Your first thought, ‘Who wants to read about big empty rooms where we store random ‘stuff’ we don’t use?’ ‘*blink, blink*

One of your co-workers passes by your desk and sees the look of stunned disbelief on your face. You just point at the email. He smirks, pats you on the shoulder and keeps walking, wishing you luck as he makes his getaway. Your look in their direction says, ‘take me with you.’ Alas, you are left to deal with the yawner of a job.

Boring < Fun Factor

In this case the obstacle is comparable to a rather large mountain. The kind with a permanent snow cap. This ‘Boring’ mountain is what you need to summit. You are going to need to create the ‘Fun Factor’ here. It’s a good thing that as a marketer you have some artistic freedom. First, you should ask yourself about storage lockers to help you create fun content. Here are a few facts:

  • They come in various sizes
  • They are secure
  • Some are heated

Now you need to ask yourself what is fun about this? Think about a couple doing a cleanup. He sees the 6×8 storage locker as a great garage for his Harley. She figures out that she can store 1248 pairs of shoes in the box in the same space with a walkway down the middle for access! You’re on to something! During your weekly post you can add a fun fact about what you can store in various lockers. Shoes, bikes, garden gnomes, vinyl records, pillows, the possibilities are endless. This will create some fun for the viewer. The main purpose of this part of the corporate branding strategy is fun. Sure it’s nice to know that 1248 pairs of shoes or a Harley can fit into the same storage locker, but it’s not vital. Price, security, space and heating are important, but they aren’t fun. Garden gnomes are fun!

Create Remarkable Content eBook


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Simplicity = Fun

Once you tap into something fun the tendency will be to overdo it. You know what happens when something fun gets over complicated? It ceases to be fun!

Don’t do it!

It is very important that you keep the fun factor = to simplicity. You have selected your fun factor, in this case, ‘how many ? can fit in the storage unit’. Avoid the temptation to build a database of random objects and and locker sizes. That will be fun for only one visit, then the magic will be gone. On the other hand if you release one new Locker Fact per week, it will be fun and some will even return just to see what has been posted. The payoff will come when someone decides they need a storage locker. By creating fun content your clients product will be filed away in the publics’ brain in a positive, fun way. When they need a storage locker they will most likely call Fun Factor Storage first.

Silver ‘Re’ Cap

  • Create the fun. Sometimes it isn’t there to begin with
  • Keep It Simple Silly – Don’t overcomplicate
  • Create fun content (It’s worth mentioning twice)

More examples of fun content for snoozer industries can be found here in our free eBook shown above.

Social Media is a Conversation


Colin is the Social Media and Content Marketing guru at OTR Web Solutions a web development and content marketing company since 2000, with offices in Canada, USA, Europe and South America.


Web Designer Insider: Finding the Balance


Web Designer Insider : Finding the Balance

You’re not happy with your website, the design is old and feels stale. You are not generating leads at the rate of your competitors and you are now looking to redesign. Where do you put the bulk of your focus? Artistic  ‘Wow’ factor or into functionality and lead generation? How do you find the balance in the web development process?

Recently a thread of emails was shooting back in forth between marketing and design at OTR web systems and one email in particular from our veteran designer caught my eye. Igor, the designer in question, made some interesting and thought provoking statements.

Designers often want to be cutting edge with design on every site. They want the site to be web designersartistically brilliant and have the wow factor.This is completely understandable, they are after all artists. Here’s what he had to say. The following statement really grabbed my attention and provoked me to read more. I found it very interesting to get a glimpse into the mind of a veteran web designer.

“There are many fantastic websites made by very talented designers. Sometimes I am really envy on the creativity they show. As a colleague I am impressed! But would I be impressed as a client?!”

The reason this struck me is because the artist is more focused on the needs of the customer. The ego says art, the intellect says effectiveness. He wants to satisfy the clients needs for web development first!

Be Effective First

By focussing on effective web development first Igor is producing a product that will be seen. He has included all the keywords, SEO and other various tools needed to be found online and then be able to convert visitors more effectively. The absolute flip side is developing with artistry as the first priority and then having a beautiful, stunning web page that will rarely be found, if ever, because it has not been properly optimized, or is lacking in content. Igor sums it up nicely,

“When I am creating the website layout I am keeping this in mind – the purpose of the website is not to impress visitors and clients with fancy solutions. They are not coming toResponsive Web Design admire the design of the website. They are looking for some information, solution… practical things. The purpose of the website is to give them what they want fast and easy to find.”

Do Not Neglect the Artistry 

Effectiveness first, but the artistry must not be forgotten during the web development process. You have all visited those web sites where you feel like you are on a construction site or need sunglasses just to view the page! It is not a pleasing experience and you are much less likely to return to that particular web site. When working through the web development process effectiveness and artistry should be ranked 1 and 1a.

The Silver ‘Re’ Cap

  • Focus on web effectiveness first
  • Do not neglect artistry
  • Effectiveness and Artistry are ranked 1 and 1a
  • Make sure your designer understands the above points!

Effectiveness first, It won’t matter how artistically amazing your website is if no one can find it or just as damaging is if the visitor can not figure out what to do once they are at your site. Make sure your website functions first, then make it as visually wonderful as possible.

As always your comments and opinions are valued and desired.

Social Media is a Conversation


Colin is the Social Media and Content Marketing guru at OTR Web Solutions a web development & content marketing company since 2000, with offices in Canada, USA, Europe and South America.


Responsive Website: The Happy Medium


Responsive Website: The Happy Medium

Not to long ago you could hear the frustration marketing and IT departments around the globe. If their firm was keeping up with the latest technology then they had as many as 3 websites to keep fresh! Updating content was now 3 completely different processes. The desktop update was old hat and not a problem, then came the task of the mobile site and possibly the tablet site!

As the mobile web developed,  it was quickly discovered that browsing on your mobile device was often a frustrating experience.  You often had to scroll horizontally and vertically. As for content it was generally a skeletal version of the desktop site. Time, money, content and ease of use were all being sacrificed! This would have to change. There was a need and it would need to be satisfied.

Web Developers Respond

With  the advent of new advanced coding languages and web browsers web developers quickly filled this void and and created the happy medium, the responsive website. A site that will adapt to whichever device you happen to be using. Now as a consumer you get the same content on any device. This alone reduces bounce rates. The visitor is no longer frustrated and enjoys ease of use. In today’s online world, if it isn’t easy and convenient, then competitors site will win the day. Convenience and ease of use coupled with engaging content are what keep visitors coming back to your site.

How Does This Apply to You?

By developing a responsive website you can reduce the amount of time you spend on SEO by up to 2/3. This means you will have more time to create quality content to provide to your visitors. These visitors will now be more likely to convert to leads and then to customers. At the same time you will be reducing overhead both in finance and time! Let me say that one more time, increase visitors, the quality of the experience and at the same time reduce maintenance cost in both time and money. In today’s competitive business market saving time and money while increasing quality are the golden eggs we all strive to uncover. A properly built, designed and maintained responsive web site can help streamline your business.

The Silver ‘Re’ Cap: The Happy Medium

  • Reduce time and money spent
  • Increase traffic
  • Reduce bounce rate
  • Increase return visits
  • Decrease maintenance
  • Increase quality with time and money saved

Social Media is a Conversation


Colin is the Social Media and Content Marketing guru at OTR Web Solutions a web development & content marketing company since 2000, with offices in Canada, USA, Europe and South America.


Social Networking will Market Your Business


Social Networking to Market Your Business

If you are in business and want to be successful,  then you cannot afford to ignore social networking via social media. With more and more people engaging in social media everyday, it is vital that you create, and be active on, accounts for your business. Properly run social media accounts can capture the attention of the people and businesses looking for your services on Facebook,  Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and so forth, and bring those people to your website. More qualified traffic to your website! Who doesn’t want that?

Not convinced that social media can help your business? Here are a few statistics:

  • 27% of total U.S. internet time and 15% of total U.S. mobile internet time is spent on social networking sites. (Experian)
  • Approximately 46% of online users count on social media when making a purchase decision.  (Nielsen)
  • Companies that generate over 1000 Facebook Likes also receive nearly 1400 website visitors a day. (Hubspot)
  • Twitter has 288 million monthly active users. (Global Web Index Study)
  • Facebook has 665 million daily active users and 751 million mobile users every month. (Global Web Index Study)
  • Google+ has 359 million active users monthly. (Global Web Index Study)

You May be Surprised at Who’s Using Social Networking

There are hundreds of millions of people logged on to social networks daily and they are not all under 30 as is a common misconception.  In fact, the fastest growing demographic on Facebook and Google+ is with people between the ages of 45 and 54. Facebook has grown 46% and Google+ 56%, according to a Global Web Index Study. The same study shows that Twitter is currently the fastest growing social network showing 44% growth from June 2012 to March 2013. The fastest growing demographic on Twitter you ask? 55 to 64-year-olds with a 79%  increase in active users over the same time period.

Social Networking is growing and expanding over all age demographics, which means that your target market is undoubtedly actively engaged on a social network.  They are searching for information on products and services that you could be providing for them. You can start by looking at the statistics and finding the social network most likely to contain the target market that uses your product. Start posting relevant, informative content and show your readers that you are an expert and are the natural choice. Social networking provides such a massive marketing opportunity. Where else can you pour out your knowledge, ideas, and personality to your target market?

What’s Your Best Plan of Attack?

Using social media to market your business is time consuming, but the potential ROI is too big to ignore. If you have the time and desire to do it yourself then great, go for it and have fun! If not, you may want to budget for hiring someone in-house. You never know, you may have a someone on your team who is an active blogger. If this is the case, count your blessings and change their job description. If you do not have someone like this on your team yet you understand that you need to get on the social networking train, but you don’t have the time then you may want to consider hiring a firm that specializes in online marketing – including social media. I bet you could find one entirely suitable on a social network! 😉


As always your comments and opinions are valued and desired.

Colin is the Social Media and Content Marketing guru at OTR Social Media is a ConversationWeb Solutions a web development & content marketing company since 2000, with offices in Canada, USA, Europe and South America. 





5 Steps to an Iconic Web Presence: STEP BY STEP!


Iconic Web Presence

“STEP 1: We can have lots of fun!

STEP 2: There’s so much we can do!

STEP 3: It’s just you and me!

STEP 4: I can give you more!

STEP 5: Don’t you know that the time is right!

HOOWOAH!!”   – New Kids on the Block

Did I really just quote NKOTB in a blog post to do with creating a solid web presence andcrowd content marketing? Wow, that just happened.  I guess it is fitting. The New Kids did an amazing job of knowing their buyer personas and then delivering what they wanted. They generated significant amount revenue off 10-18 year old screaming girls with catchy, sappy songs. They were effective and as it turns out they were also onto something with their song Step by Step.

STEP 1: We Can Have Lots of Fun with Our Web Design

When designing your website the number one rule is keep it simple, don’t over complicate the design. The design needs to reflect your company culture. This is where you make your first impression! Use colors that work together and are pleasing to the eye. The last thing we want to do is offend viewers with a rainbow of colors! Unless you are selling headache medication I wouldn’t recommend loud, bright and contrasting. The design and color scheme are the frame to the content. Your content deserves to be treated with respect as do the visitors to your web site. There is an exception to this rule and that would be with your CTAs (Call to Action). The visitors’ eye should be drawn to the CTA on the page. Remember, drawn not offended by! A good rule of thumb is to make your CTA in a color that is found nowhere else on the page, again without being offensive. The eye should be drawn to the CTA in a, “Oh, what’s this?” manner. The key to an iconic web presence is to have fun with the design process whether that means you are having fun doing it in house or having fun working with a professional web design team. It’s your online presence! Have fun with it, make it yours and make sure it appeals to the masses.

STEP 2: There’s So Much We Can Do

Once your website is built the possibilities are wide and varied. Consider your product and/or service and then you can properly select the add-ons for your site. You may need an online store to sell a line of products, or a blog to educate the public about your industry. You may consider one or more types of social media to help bring traffic to your site – CTAs, Landing Pages, videos, and/or webinars. There are so many ways you can make your website unique. It can be overwhelming!  When considering the possibilities it is important to consider a few things.

    1. Which add-ons will best suit my business?
    2. How much time can I invest into my site?
    3. How much money can I invest?
    4. Can I hire someone to run my blog and social media?
    5. Which social media am I comfortable with?

These are all important questions. Pick the add-ons that best suit the needs of your business. If you don’t have a line of products to sell then you don’t need an online store.

What you invest into your site whether it is time, money or both will play a major role I how effective your web site is. If you don’t have the time to invest into research, writing good content, and going over analytics to see where you can improve then I would suggest that you make sure you have a budget to hire professionals to crate your iconic web presence.

If you’re doing things yourself then select the social media you know and do it well! If you’re a tweeter then stick to twitter and do what you know. It’s better to do fewer things like a rockstar than do everything mediocre.

STEP 3: It’s Just You and Me

It is highly recommended that you have a blog on your website and that you post regularly and consistently. Writing posts of quality content regularly will, over time, establish a loyal audience. Another benefit to a blog is that every time you post you create more pages on your website which is good for the coveted organic page rank. More importantly a blog is a great way to nurture a relationship with your visitors. Establish buyer personas and then write your blog posts for them. Write as if you are having a conversation with them one on one. This is your opportunity to develop relationships and build trust with your readers.

A good quality blog will please both people and search engines. Your blog is the key ingredient to your iconic web presence.

STEP 4: I Can Give You More

It’s important to give more to visitors. This again, builds relationships and trust. Examples of what you can give to those that click on your CTAs is eBooks, webinars, white pages, samples and any number of other tools and services that you offer. By giving you will gain leads through landing pages and most importantly build trust. Why is trust important? Trust is important because when the consumer gets to the stage in the sales cycle where they are ready to make a buying decision, who are they most likely to make their purchase with? Most will go with the business they trust. It is my opinion that building trust is the most important element in the sales cycle. It does not come quickly or easily so take the time and have the patience to earn the trust of your visitors. Use your knowledge, personality and tools to earn trust over time and then reap the rewards.

STEP 5: Don’t you know that the Time is Right

Are you timid about getting online or about changing your current web presence?

Don’t be!

There is no single greater tool in marketing your business than a well thought out, solid web presence. If you have the budget, then hire professionals to work with and attack your online marketing strategy full strength. If that budget is not there at the moment then all hope is not lost. The beautiful thing about building or reinventing your online appearance is that you can do it a piece at a time. Nowhere is it written that it must all be done at once. Start with a blog and writing some fresh new content or update your design. Start making use of social media like Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.  There are so many options. Pick one and do it well, then add another and so on. Remember it’s a marathon, not a sprint, but at the same time, the sooner you get started, the sooner your business will reap the rewards!

Silver ‘Re ‘ Cap

Create your iconic web presence STEP BY STEP! I know a lot of you just sang that! It’s alright, I’ve been doing it through the entire writing process.

    1. Have fun creating an effective design that makes the first impression you want. Take your time and do it right. If you don’t have the skill-set required, admit it and hire a professional. You only have the opportunity to make one first impression, so make it a good one.
    2. Consider all the different options to bring more traffic to your site. Blogging is highly recommended.  Past that, do what you believe is best for your business and do it well.
    3. Build a relationship with your target audience through well thought out personas and then delivering the content that they want.
    4. Create CTAs and landing pages offering something of value.
    5. Don’t wait, more and more people are making buying decisions online every hour of every day, get started and grab your piece of the pie!

otr_logo_3DAs always your comments and opinions are valued and desired.

Colin is the Social Media and Content Marketing guru at OTR WebSocial Media is a Conversation Solutions a web development & content marketing company since 2000, with offices in Canada, USA, Europe and South America.

Follow Colin on Twitter @CBSilvercap


Targeted Content: Lock On


You’re on our way! You have started a blog and are posting regularly on topics that are relevant to your industry. You have upgraded your web presence to a responsive site. (Most people are using mobile devices these days to gain access to the web and will make buying decisions on their mobile devices). You did not want to miss the boat on that and have potential customers go with a competitor because of the lack of convenience with your web presence! You’ve got your “Calls to Action” and “Landing Pages”; you’re ready. But, ninety days go by and you are not seeing the results you expected. Why? The content is relevant to your industry which is great, but is that content being directed to the right person?


We now need to create “Buyer Personas” and do so in an intentional manner. Buyer personas will help us write content that is more relevant to our specific clientèle – both current and future. We need to think of writing content the same way we would write a letter. The first thing we need to consider is: who are we writing to? It would be awfully difficult to write a good letter to someone when  we don’t know the first thing about them!


Who are they? How old are they? Are they married? Single? What is their income? Are they workaholics? We can ask all sorts of questions to create our fictitious customers. The more we ask, the better. All the questions we ask ourselves will help us identify these personas. After we establish who they are, we need to name them and even give them a picture. This will help us identify with them. We will view them all as people and thus treat them as such. Now what do we do with these personas?


Now we need to find people who are unbiased and fit our profiles. We need at least 20. The more we get, the better our results. We need to make sure we’ve prepared a list of open-ended questions to ask them. Once we’ve gathered all the data on all our personas, we can begin sorting through it and discovering what our target market needs.


We know who it is we want to sell our product to and what it is that they want!  We know who we are writing the letter to!  Now we can make sure our content speaks to them and satisfies their needs. Now that we’ve locked onto their needs as a customer, they will be more likely to seek us out when they are in need of the products and services we provide … because we are building a relationship with them. We understand them. Who doesn’t want to be understood?


  • Who is our ideal client?
  • Are there several?
  • What are their needs?
  • Lock on and feed them targeted content.

Post comments and ask questions relative to your business and asSocial Media is a Conversation a community we can provide input and improve together.

Colin is the Social Media and Content Marketing guru at OTR Web Solutions a web development & content marketing company since 2000, with offices in Canada, USA, Europe and South America.

If you have not yet moved to a responsive web presence  Read This Blog Post

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Social Media Management – Get Amplified


Social Media Management, the ever evolving field that sometime makes us want to run for the hills. It can be overwhelming, yet it is vital to our success on-line and as a business.To be successful, we need to not only be on-line, but we need to be effective on-line  Some of us understand this and then build a static website and leave it at that. After some time we notice that we are not getting any traffic and get frustrated. Maybe we took the next step and started blogging because we heard that fresh content will help us be visible and keep people coming back to our site. Now we have a limited number of people visiting our site and reading our blog posts. This is good! The problem is now that we’ve hit a plateau in the number of visitors we get and we are not gaining the business we’ve hoped to. Understanding this we then may ask, “How can we be even more visible on-line ” This is the question we ask because we want to get the biggest return on investment we possibly can on our web presence. Enter social media! In this post we will explore three social media outlets and get amplified:


Let’s think of Twitter as a front page headline on what is going on with our business blog. We have 140 characters to get our message across in a concise and intriguing manner. If we write an intriguing tweet that, of course, leads to valuable, relevant content, we will be re-tweeted and quoted by our followers. Then their followers will have the opportunity to re-tweet and so on. Twitter is where your posts have the opportunity to go viral! If we only have our blog and no twitter account then we will only have a limited number of ways to be found., but if we then tweet with a link to our blog our exposure grows exponentially.

Great Content + Twitter = More visitors

Of course we will need to convert these visitors to leads and then to customers, but we can’t very well make these conversions if they are not on our website to begin with! Social media can assist in this area as well. We can use another form of social media to put a face and personality on our business.


Facebook is where we show our human side. We still can link to our content, and attract visitors to our web presence, but here we are not limited by 140 characters. Here we can post images. We can also post about events we are holding and introduce the world to our most important resource…. our people. Even today in the age where we can find anything from our smart phone on any number of responsive websites, we still want to know who is on the other end of the deal. We want to get a feel for them before we decide to do business with them. We can use Facebook to post about a charity we are sponsoring, a corporate event we held with our co-workers and business partners. We have an opportunity to show our ‘face’. As consumers, are we more likely to do business with an email or with a business we can identify with on a human level?

Great Content + Facebook = Human Connection


Google+ is an interesting case. It does not have the following that Twitter and Facebook have. What it does have that the Twitter and Facebook do not have is a very intimate relationship with Google. When properly used, with appropriate keywords in our Google+ posts we can gain better page rank on Google. We need to be on Google+ and cultivate a following to multiply our exposure to the world through the Google search engine.

Great Content + (Google+) + Keywords = Google Love

The Silver ‘Re’ Cap

  • Twitter – Get viral! Get the exposure your great content deserves.
  • Facebook – Show off your greatest resource, your people.
  • Google+ – Better page rank through Google love.

As always we value your comments, this blog exists for you!Social Media is a Conversation

Post comments and ask questions relative to your business and as a community we can provide input and improve together.

Colin is the Social Media and Content Marketing guru at OTR Web Solutions a web development and content marketing company since 2000, with offices in Canada, USA, Europe and South America.


Social Media is a Conversation


Start the Conversation

We all know that social media is vital to promoting products and services. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, blogs, Pinterest, YouTube and so on, all provide different methods of delivering our message. The question is, are we doing it effectively? Are we just throwing up words on a page for people to read and then moving on to the next post by someone else, or are we grabbing the attention of the reader and beckoning them to be involved? Quite often I see social media being used by businesses as a form of advertising similar to print, TV, or radio. While this does get the message out on the web, it puts the ‘article’ in a box. It is closed.  What if we were to start a conversation instead?

What if we were to start a conversation about an aspect of a product or service that the reader could relate to his or her needs?  Let’s say we operate a moving company and we want to communicate the importance of proper preparations for moving day. As the movers, we most likely have more experience than the client and could simply put up a check list:

-Wrap fragile objects in bubble wrap and label fragile

-Disassemble awkward pieces

-Clearly label all rooms at the destination

-Clearly label everything being moved according to what room it is going to

These are all valid and are very good advice when it comes to making what is stressful day go smoothly. The problem is we have simply made a list. It is closed and we gain nothing more than what we have asked for. What if instead we blogged about it and asked questions about past moving experiences and what could have made them better?

We would now be showing that we want peoples’ input so we can improve our service and the moving experience. Think about it, EVERYONE has had a bad moving experience and EVERYONE has some input as to how moving day could be improved. Some companies send out a follow-up survey to ask about the experience. This is good since it tells us if we did a good job according to the criteria that we set out for ourselves. Wouldn’t it be even better if we linked all our social media outlets to our blog and posed a question such as, ‘Where was there room for improvement on your last move?’ or ‘What makes for a successful moving experience?’. By asking the questions we are giving the readers, including prospective clients, permission to give us feedback designed to improve our service. We are creating a relationship by inviting clients into the process by way of an online conversation. We can still include our checklist in the blog, but more importantly, we are inviting feedback not just allowing it.

This way of starting a conversation through social media is applicable to any product or service. We are showing prospects that we care about what we do and that we care about them. We can tap into an incredible resource that is constantly evolving. If we are tapped in then we can constantly be improving our products and services.  Not only will this position us ahead of our competition, it is more likely to convert prospects into customers – satisfied customers. So, step outside the box and invite the prospects to join in a conversation about your products and services. Who knows where it could lead?

Social Media is a ConversationAs always we value your comments, this blog exists for you!

Post comments and ask questions relative to your business and as a community we can provide input and improve together.