Social media allows us to connect & interact with others without having to schedule a meeting, exchange phone numbers, or accidentally bump into one another in public. It’s amazing to think about how many new connections & how many people you can meet while using the powers of social media.
When Facebook was first created, it was all about interacting with your college classmates. It quickly grew into individuals connecting with your colleagues, family, & long lost friends from around the world. Businesses soon started figuring out that this would be a great place for marketing and advertising. You have to fish where the fish are, and they’re definitely on social sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn & Google+.
In my opinion, the phrase “social media” really took off & became mainstream because of Facebook. There have been many “social media” platforms that came before and after Facebook, but I do feel Facebook has really made the most impact in coining the term “social media.”
Don’t Get It Twisted
There were a lot of businesses that set up their Facebook fan page or their Twitter account in the early days that were unsuccessful when it came to growing an active network & driving in new sales. Even though social media can be VERY effective, it’s not the Holy Grail of marketing.
You can’t just dive right in, start throwing your specials around and expect your audience to jump when you say jump. You have to nurture your audience, entertain them, & most importantly you have to gain their trust.
There are unwritten codes and ethics when it comes to managing your social media networks. You first have to provide your audience with value, and then.. and ONLY then.. do you have the right to ask for the sale. Get this backwards & you’ll soon find your audience will turn up their nose & tune you out.
Two main reasons why social media is so effective..
Social media allows a business to get in front of the right people at the right time. Social media is great for branding and building awareness of your company. Most importantly, it’s very affordable. Once you build your audience, you now have them at your fingertips and can reach them whenever you’d like. You no longer have to wait weeks, if not months on your radio or TV ad to be written, produced & ready to air. You often times spend thousands of dollars thought the year hoping & praying that it works. Now, with social media you craft a message that you’d like your audience to see on social media, press send. I’m not saying to abandon traditional media at all, but I am saying you need to focus more of your time, energy & resources on social media.
- Note- If you are only posting specials then people will be less likely to pay attention. This takes the “social” aspect out of social media and becomes more of cheap way for a business to advertise. Ask questions & try to get people involved. This will help you keep their attention, plus you will be able to learn more about your customers. This is covered more in the Marketing/Networking section.
- What to share- Share your expertise, thoughts, experiences, upcoming events, new products, and share your expert advice. The golden rule is to Educate, Entertain, and then & only then.. can you ask for the sale.
- Huge Networking Value- There are endless opportunities to connect w/ like-minded individuals on social media. In the old days, it was tough for the average person to have the ability to communicate with 10 or more people per day without holding some sort of seminar or conference. You’d likely have to beat up the phone and/or strap on your boots to beat the streets in order to communicate with a fair number of like-minded individuals or potential customers each day. With social media you can grow your networks to the point where you can communicate with hundreds, thousands, or in some cases millions of people at the push of a button. Very powerful.
- Be A Watchdog- There are ways to watch for people or businesses using certain keywords that pertain to your business. There are a few different social media profiles that I keep a close eye on for great content & new info about the internet marketing industry. Learn how to keep a close eye on your industry, your target market, and also your competitors to gain a competitive advantage.
- Find Decision Makers- You will find that most of the people behind business’s social media accounts actually work in the corporate office or in close contact with the potential decision maker. You may also use these tools to get your foot in the door and get noticed by a potential partner, client, or employer. No more calling on the phone and trying to fight your way through all the “gate keepers.” Make an impression on the social manager of the business you want to contact & they’ll sometimes even open the gate for you. Keep in mind you have to build your credibility & trust first.
Social Media is often times referred to as “word of mouth marketing on steroids.” There are millions of people and businesses browsing & posting on these social sites daily. Real time information is being spread as we speak. Get yours out there and get social!