Let’s face it folks, social media is here to stay. You can either hide under a rock or embrace it. If you chose to hide from the power of social media, you have to confront the reason why you decide to shelter yourself. Are you afraid of the big, bad internet? Are you pressed for time? Do you think it’s stupid?

No matter what your feelings are, you better get with it before your competition does.

Think of social media as a direct line to your customers. It’s a way to humanize your company, and to keep your customers happy and coming back. It’s a way to connect your customers and create a community — there’s nothing like having a loyal community at your back.

You don’t have to drop everything you're doing and focus on tweeting or posting Facebook updates all day. All you need is some careful planning and some strategic employment to make this FREE tool a successful marketing campaign.

Start Small

It can be overwhelming when you think of all the social networks out there, but I recommend you focus on just one: Facebook.

A lot of your customers are on Facebook and they have questions and desires. By starting a Facebook business account and getting your customers to LIKE you, you can start answering those questions and feed their desires.

I wrote an entire post about how to start a Facebook account for your pool business and I even talk about how to use it, when to post, and what to post.

Start an account, create a profile picture, and upload a cover photo. I suggest using a human face as your profile pic, but you can certainly use your company logo. For the cover photo, take a picture of your store, or better yet, a group photo of everyone in your company. Let visitors know they you are a family of experts ready to help.

When posting updates, don’t post about products you sell or sales you're having all the time. Your customers don’t want to subscribe to a daily circular. They want to be entertained. They want to be helped.

Here are some ideas for your first few posts:

•Post photos of your stores or employees or customers (with permission)

•Post helpful pool care tips (you can find lots of resources on my website: SwimUniversity.com to share)

•Post funny pool-related images that you find around the web.

•Post behind-the-scenes photos and videos of your company

•Post a weekly quote, photo, or video for your customers to comment on.

“This seems trivial, how does this help me make money?”

I knew you were going to ask that! Social media is a long-term marketing strategy. It helps you to build a community of loyal customers that will continue to shop with you because you’ll be on their mind, as long as you post interesting content every day.

It’s like calling each of your customers everyday with a funny joke. They laugh, you laugh, they shop, you make money, everyone wins.

Get Started

It’s so easy to get started that you’d be a fool not to. If you want proof of this marketing strategy, feel free to contact me and I’ll provide you case study after case study businesses who’ve found success using this [again] FREE tool. If you have any questions about how you and your team can craft the perfect campaign that will bring you steady business throughout the year, feel free to email me at matt@swimuniversity.com.

Happy Swimming!

Matt Giovanisci is the creator of Swim University, an online guide to pool and spa care, and has over 15 years of experience in the industry. He is also an award winning web designer and has been featured on Martha Stewart Radio as a pool & spa expert. You can follow him on Facebook and Twitter.