They See You Before You See Them: The Social Media Drive By

More and more, this is the case for businesses. If someone is looking for a new accountant, plumber, realtor, etc, most people will ask a friend or post a request for recommendations on their Facebook page. When they find a name they are interested in, what’s their next move? It’s used to be a phone call or a visit to an office. Not anymore. In the 21st century, the first thing most people do is type your name into their search bar. And a practice that’s becoming even more common is checking you out on social media. Believe it or not, what your company does, or does not do, on social media says a lot about you, especially to anyone under 40.

Now would be a good time to pause and consider what, if any, social media channels you have and what they look like to a person looking at you for the first time. Are you even on social media? If you have a Facebook page, does it look professional, well organized, relevant? Or does it look like an afterthought, or something you threw up there just so you have something up there. What about your LinkedIn page? Twitter account?

This is not to say you need to be on all social media channels. But you should be on ones that are relevant to your business. Hands down, everyone needs a Facebook page. I mean, more than 1 Billion people are on it. Need we say more? Facebook has become part of the everyday norm, like a mailbox. Pretty much everyone has one, unless you are living off the grid.

If you are still not getting the big picture. Picture this. Let’s go back 30 years in time. There is no social media. Got it? OK, now a person gets your name from someone. So, they get in their car and drive by your place of business to check you out. What they see is an old, outdated office. The signs in the windows are outdated. It really looks like no one has been keeping up with the place. What do you think their next move is? They keep on driving. And in the 21st century, when someone checks you out on social media, it’s the equivalent of a pre-internet drive by.

In seconds you can lose business and not even know it, simply by the perception you are putting out there on social media. How many potential clients have you lost to the social media drive by? They go whooshing past, with a swipe or click of the button. And you know what they likely do? If it’s 30 years ago, they drive by the next business with the pretty office and updated signs and welcoming storefront, and they stop. They walk in, and they give that business a chance to win their business. It’s the same thing 30 years later. So where does your business fall? The 2000’s or 1980’s?