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!