3 social media lessons for small business from “Alex from Target”

“Alex from Target” is a good looking teenager with a typical job at Target, who became famous in a matter of hours, when a teenage customer took a photo of him to send to a friend, while he was minding his own business. The photo, somehow, went super viral and hundreds of thousands of twitter users began following Alex’s personal twitter,  with “#AlexFromTarget” becoming the top trend. He even got celebrity talk show host Ellen DeGeneres attention, who invited him to be on her show. Target quickly jumped in the conversation, twitting “we heart Alex too”, and even though this was all about this teenage boy, it got it’s brand tied-in as a top trend in twitter, in a positive way, without planning to at all and at no cost.

I realize that it might seem just about impossible that your small business could get such attention overnight, but then again, I’m sure so did Alex, mush less, that he would be on national TV. I’m not saying it’s easy for this to happen, and I believe his fame will pass quickly, but as many small businesses don’t pay attention to their social media potential, I want to point 3 social media lessons for small businesses to be learned from this.

• Don’t ignore social media. There is a party going on and you are in it, like it or not. The fact that you might be ignoring it doesn’t mean they are not talking about you. So you might as well be part of the conversation in real time and give your business a voice.

• You have no control of who posts what about you or your business, so you’d better be paying attention to what’s being said, especially while in your business. Keep in mind it might not be a cool meme but a negative review left by an unhappy customer, for the whole world to see, and you need to jump in and make things right.

• Make sure you account for mobile in your marketing. Take advantage of the fact that people keep their phones at arm’s length these days and will snap a quick photo of their experience with your business as a spur of then moment thing, so reward them for posting a positive comment before leaving your store.

If you don’t have a grasp on social media as part of your marketing we can help. We can set you up and train your staff, or do it for you, so get started now.