If you think the buzz created by social networking and smart PR moves is a passing fancy, think again. Forward-thinking business owners are tapping into people’s passion for peeking into the lives of others –They are using this to create buzz to help them build their businesses slowly or at an explosive rate. For example, Naked Pizza (a small New Orleans-based pizza kitchen) recently went viral when one of their social media-savvy owners, Jeff Leach, started using Twitter, Facebook and other social media to its maximum exposure and tap into the social media’s marketing potential. When he placed the business’s new Twitter name on a busy street side billboard, the buzz about Naked Pizza went viral. As a result, Leach and co-owner Randy Crochet sold multi-unit franchises in four cities across the United States and had plans to open two pizza kitchens in Dubai by the end of 2011. And they accomplished all this while operating out of a test kitchen in New Orleans.
According to a senior marketing research analyst who was interviewed in Entrepreneur Magazine Online, it was more than pure coincidence that Naked Pizza experienced such explosive growth from their use of social media and smart public relations moves.
Gain-Close Retain – See below for a larger version of the image but these are the key areas we have found to to effective tools during the three phases of customer interaction which are explored in our iSocialSales and other courses.
- Promote Your Product or Service Along With Your Mission. What’s your business’s mission and do your customers know it? A mission helps form the foundation of your business plan and provides potential customers or clients with something they can identify with. A mission that’s service-focused or has the intent to make a difference can be the deciding factor leading consumers to choose your business over the nearby competitor. Promote your product or service and your mission together on your Facebook page or from your Twitter account.
- Connect With Consumers on Topics They Care About. People like to feel they’re making a difference, but don’t often have time to invest in doing so. Is your business connected to a cause, such as the environment or health issues? Use your public relations and marketing methods to reach people concerned about those issues. Rent space at your city’s health or green living exposition. Add a blog to your business website and write about the concerns your business hopes to help address.
- Build Your Reputation and Relationships Wisely. Once your business’s reputation is established, a lot of work is required to change it, which is why negative buzz can be so damaging. Naked Pizza was able to capitalize on the fact that their biggest competitors weren’t offering health-conscious menu items like them and this helped them corner the market on healthy pizza. In addition to being meticulous in building your reputation it’s equally important that your marketing efforts help you form and strengthen positive customer relations.
Just as negative buzz has the power to damage a business, positive buzz can help one grow. But, as the points above demonstrate, meaningless buzz will take a business only so far. Leach and Crochet, the owners of Naked Pizza, started out by building a reputation based on a mission and commitment toward consumer health and the desire to confront the epidemic of obesity. Rather than using social media and good PR moves to help your business obtain 15 minutes of fame, you can develop long-lasting business growth and earn the attention of the consumer by including these considerations as constants in your business.