So, have you jumped into social media yet? As a business owner or manager, have you started promoting your business with Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter? Or are you still intimidated by these sites, not sure what they’re all about, how to use them, doubtful about their effectiveness, or too busy with other things to make time for them?
I think most of us can agree that with the growth of social networking websites over the past few years, it appears as though this isn’t just a fad, and therefore can no longer be ignored.I speak to business owners every day who are intimidated by sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn, don’t know much about them, or feel they are too busy to get involved.Take the plunge! Try it out, what’s the worst that’ll happen?
I would urge anyone to dedicate just a few minutes a day, two to three days a week, to social media. If you can’t, then have someone else in your organization do it, or hire a reputable consultant or firm to do it for you.
Keep in mind that social networking is very similar to personal networking, and you should have similar expectations from both. Just as you wouldn’t expect to go to one Chamber meeting and get business right away, don’t expect to get quick sales from sites such as Facebook or LinkedIn.
Farming or Hunting?
An analogy I often use is that this is like farming vs. hunting. If sales calls, cold calls, direct mail, and doing trade-shows are all ways of “hunting” for sales, then personal networking, and likewise social networking, are “farming,” i.e. planting seeds for the future. You’re making connections, having conversations, getting to know people, so that when the need arises for your service or product, they will think of you. It’s all about staying in front of people so you stay on their mind.
Pick one site to start – I’d recommend Facebook for its ease of use and inherent sociability – and spend just a few minutes a few times a week on it. Fill out your profile, interact with friends and business associates, click around, have fun, and you’ll be a social networking pro in no time!
Things I don’t like about Twitter:
1. An overwhelming majority of my connections are people I don’t know.
2. It seems like everyone on Twitter is a guru of some sort; there are SEO, Social Media, Business Coaches and Consultant galore. This is like attending a networking event and finding that everyone there does the same thing. (and maybe even the same thing as you do!) Continue reading
After creating my Twitter account about a year ago, I gave up rather quickly, feeling frustrated that I couldn’t get lots of followers quickly and that I needed to be on it for hours a day in order for it to work. I now know that I was wrong, and have recently started really getting back into Twitter. Now I think I get it much better than previously, and have vowed to give it another shot.
I have noticed a few things, though – there is a lot of clutter on Twitter. It seems like everyone there is a social media or SEO expert, giving advice on how to succeed on Twitter. Those who aren’t are selling programs for getting tens of thousands of followers. I like to think that I’m smart enough not to fall for that. How can there be any quality from buying your way to followers? Continue reading
One of our clients recently started a jewelry business and created a fan page on Facebook, so to support him, I became a fan. Within minutes, I received the first status update: “I’m excited to announce my new jewelry business! We offer a wide variety of gold necklaces, rings, and bracelets for any occasion.” An hour later, I received another update which was very similar. A few hours later: “Hi everyone! One of our items would make a perfect gift for your loved one’s birthday!” And so on for a few days, with much of the same on Twitter and LinkedIn. Continue reading
“I need to get on those social networking websites…I need to quickly start generating business from them.” Working with websites and Search Engine Optimization, I hear this very often. Many business owners feel that they are missing out by not joining sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. These sites are somewhat of a mystery to many who have heard them mentioned so much in the media lately but really don’t know anything about them. This leads to an unrealistic expectation of what these sites can do for them. Continue reading
Traditional thinking is that LinkedIn and other similar networking sites are the best if you’re looking to do some good business networking, compared to more informal social sites like Facebook. But I’m not so sure. Some of the purest networking happens at gatherings where you least expect it: kids’ birthday parties, church or temple, kids’ soccer games, etc. And on sites like LinkedIn, where they’re all serious about getting business done, it can sometimes make it tougher to get some genuine leads. Continue reading
One of the newer phenomena in “Web 2.0,” (the next generation of the internet) is the emergence of social media sites. These are sites where people connect virtually with one another, and the idea is that you are exposed to the networks of all the people you’re connected to – basically the “Six Degrees of Separation” brought to life.
For the purposes of this article, I’ll mention the 3 most popular social media sites, and some of the basic differences between them. Continue reading