Hello? Are you there?

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Photo credit Michael Pujals

Photo credit Michael Pujals

Here in Aroostook County, business success or failure depends greatly on word-of-mouth from neighbors, family and friends – and word travels fast. That’s the way it was when I was growing up here and that hasn’t changed.

Change doesn’t necessarily happen fast in our communities but…technology does. And people of all ages living here in Aroostook County spend time online. A lot of time. They watch and post videos, chat, tweet, “check-in”, review, play, share, pin, like….they shop, manage investments, manage banking, pay bills, diagnose that strange symptom, and “Google-it” whenever they need a quick answer to just about anything. And not only on their computers at home or work – they’re on their mobile devices too. Mobile phones, pads, pods, TV’s, watches, glasses…just about anything can come with Wi-Fi and applications.

The word-of-mouth is now about what’s happening on Facebook and other social networking sites. That is where your customers are.

Are you there? Is your business on Facebook? Twitter? Are you meeting customers not only at your shop door but on their online networks? They are looking for you. And they are talking about you. Do you know what they are saying? Are you participating in the conversation?

Businesses have unlimited opportunities to advertise and promote their business – online and off. Nothing beats the opportunity for a first-hand conversation with a potential customer. And I don’t need to tell you how important it is for a customer to have a good experience. A thank you goes a long way. Online social networks provide you the opportunity to introduce yourself, promote your business and say thank you as often as you’d like.

I hear all kinds of excuses from business owners about why they don’t use social media for their business promotions. As soon as I say the words “social media”, “social networking” or “online marketing” here in The County, I see eyes glaze over. The bottom line is…ready? Business owners are too busy doing what they do best: Running their business. As they should be. When I see eyes glazing and before I lose them completely, I tend to say “I can help”.

I’m not old enough to have experienced this first hand but I’ve heard stories about the days when you could pick up the phone and ask an operator to connect you to the person you’re trying to call. The operator manages the switchboard and “ta-da” you’re connected.

Imagine the switchboard is the social network. And I am the operator. Let me help connect you.

kristenKristen Wells, Director of Social Media

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