Social Media. Do you need it?
Ever open up one of those Share buttons on a webpage and see 100+ little icons and say to yourself WTH…? Did you think it was going to stop at Facebook and Twitter? Nope! But what are all those icons? How does anyone have time for this? Who will stay and who will go?
All excellent questions, and – no – you don’t have time for this. At least not all of it. Many of those buttons will go as the field gets thinned and many of them are only relevant to certain countries. But you should make some time for social media. At least enough time to know what it is and how it’s impacting business and the world as we know it.
For some businesses social media can be a gold mine and not to be missed. For others, not quite as important but still something you mustn’t neglect. A word for the wise; enter into the social media world now – even if it’s just a little – regardless of what you do or what you sell. It’s not too soon. Do not wait to “see what’s going to happen”, because the social media world is here and is here to stay.
Social media will continue to become a major avenue for how we do business.
Some social media players will be saying their goodbyes while others will explode into the market place. While Facebook is enjoying worldwide continued growth, it has started to decline in the US. Meanwhile Google Plus was launched on June 27th, 2011 and already boasts 20 million users at the time of this writing. Twitter and YouTube are growing exponentially and you can bet that Amazon and Apple will be buying up and producing major social media products as fast as they can.
Getting nervous about it all and don’t know where to turn?
Everyone is in the same boat so no worries – here’s some easy tips to get started. There’s lot’s of resources to help you navigate before you spend big bucks trying to figure out what you need or a good service provider to help you build up your social media presence.
Here’s a step-by-step to get you started:
- If you don’t have Linked In account yet, set one up. This would be your business networking media account. It’s where you put your resume and link to fellow business associates. You can hunt for job opportunities and you can get introduced through your business links to people they may know in markets or companies you want to explore. But, MORE IMPORTANTLY, join groups. All the groups that are relevant to your pursuits and interests. Search their previous comment threads for information or start a new one. Perfect example: there’s several social media groups. Conversations about these very questions we are exploring now. People that have had good experiences, people who have had bad. Invaluable conversations that help get you on the right track. LinkedIn is also a great resource for finding reputable service providers for any field when you are ready. If you own your own company or sole proprietorship, set up a company page on LinkedIn as well.
- If you aren’t on Facebook yet, do it today. Set up a personal page and get all your friends on board. Then set up a business page. Doesn’t take long – Facebook makes sure the network is working to alert anyone who graduated from any school the same time you were there and any company you worked at. You’ll be finding more people you haven’t been in touch with faster than you know it. You also don’t have to be active on your account. You can just collect those friends. Then on your business page, post news or new products and share them to your friends. You’d be surprised how many will support you. Your message then goes out to their friends, etc, etc. Don’t make the mistake of thinking this is silly. The under 40 market is using Facebook for job searches, service providers, and now shopping. We are just beginning to see how all-encompassing the Facebook market will be. Start your business presence on Facebook today.
- Last but not least, set up a Twitter account. Twitter is an extremely powerful resource for reaching massive amounts of potential clients/consumers. The misconception I hear most frequently is people think it’s just about hearing what someone ate while dining out or what Charlie Sheen has to say about WINNING. But it is far more than that. It’s a conversation. A worldwide conversation from the mundane to the sales spam to the revolutions in the middle east. Any and every topic you can think of is being discussed and shared with people from all corners of the globe in real-time. It is the single most important platform where you can reach millions of people. Start an account for you and/or your business and begin to build up followers, try a few tweets, search the conversations and study the various ways people are using twitter. Twitter provides an avenue to find out opinions and trends faster than we ever have before. That translates into future markets, products and services for the savvy business person.