Friday, March 23, 2012 at 3:48PM
What is social media and why you should care?
According to Wikipedia social media includes web-based and mobile technologies used to turn communication into interactive dialogue.
• Raise your right hand if you have a Facebook profile
• Raise your left hand if you have a Linkedin profile
• Stand up if you have a Twitter profile
If you have created profiles in these social media platforms and interact over them, you’re a step ahead of the game!
Social media is about connecting with people.
These connections can be personal and/or business. Connections can start in person or digitally. You can use social media for private connections or invite the public to participate. Ultimately it is about branding yourself and/or your business as experienced, knowledgeable, and invite others to make a commitment to you or your business with referrals and/or purchases.
Who do you represent…(business, product, personal connection)
People want to know who you are as a person, a company, and details about your product or service before they purchase. Buyers are coming to the Internet first before they pick up the phone or come to your store front as hand held digital devices and Internet connections become more common place. Even employers want to know the kind of person they are hiring and go to social media to find out.
Integrate multiple social media platforms to tell your story in one cohesive website.
In fact all your marketing materials from your logo, brochure, business card, print ads, etc. should be pointing the public to interact with you and/or your business. If you can use Microsoft Office or use email, you can at minimum create a Google place for customers to find your business. If you know someone job hunting, I highly recommend they consider a comprehensive online presence for themselves personally as in a Linkedin profile.
The current top three social media platforms, in no particular order are:
Questions to ask to help determine which social media platform(s) would be best.
There are hundreds of social media platforms and some may be more suited to your business, skill level, publicity exposure, product, service or address industry regulations better than another. Here are some questions to ask to help determine what type of profile(s) work best:
• How integrated do you want your connections to be?
• What is the best way to educate and interact with potential clients or those that might refer your business?
• Is your business a service or a product?
• What is the best way to underscore your experience or business…words, pictures, video, audio or would a combination be better?
Ultimately, the whole function of social media is to brand you as the "go to" person in the market place for whatever you're known for doing or providing.
Myths about social media
• There's a "wrong" social media platform to use.
• Once your profile is set up in a platform, hours of work a week of interaction are required.
• Social media is just a waste of time.
These three statements are WRONG. All social media is worth the effort, especially if you can include your website link. Just a post or two a day would benefit you/your business, but don’t become a “bully pulpit” actually interact. Social media will help build your reputation online, which may bring your next job, a new customer, or help spread the word about your product or service.