Friday, 10 January 2014

It’s 2014: Is Your Business Social Yet?

If you haven’t yet begun to implement social networking as a means of brand awareness and connecting with clients and prospects, it’s gotta’ be because:  a) you’ve been doing a stint in prison; or b) you’re afraid / resistant and you still don’t get how & why social media can be your business’ greatest asset.  Well, WAKE UP!! It’s 2014, and if you haven’t implemented a solid social media strategy for your business, you pretty much don’t exist!

There are all kinds out there now: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr (and all the wonderful blogging sites), Google+, Pinterest, Instagram and, well, I could go on for a while. So, for the purpose of brevity, I’ll just give you a quick rundown on why and how Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and blogging, if nothing else, are essential to the well-being of your business.

Let’s start with the basics about social media as a whole.  What do social media do for you? They keep your name in front of clients and prospects – on a regular basis. They're second to nothing else in terms of community building. They provide you with platforms through which you can easily and quickly maintain regular contact with your business connections. They allow you to effortlessly share and disseminate crucial information, via both text and images (not to mention video).  And last but not least, they promote brand awareness – in real time. 

Here, briefly, are some ways that social media can work for your business:

1.  Facebook – Facebook is the perfect place for you to connect with clients & prospects on a human level – a personal level. The first rule of using Facebook for business? Don’t try to blatantly advertise or sell your business on Facebook. That’s not what it’s about. You want to make lasting connections. You want to let people know what’s in it for them. Facebook allots you a forum within which you can mix the business and the personal. Let’s, for argument’s sake, say you’re in the real estate business. What can you post on Facebook? Photos and details of your listings, changes to mortgage lending rules, home improvement & décor ideas, links to informative industry related articles and videos, helpful hints & tips (for example, on how to ease the pain of moving), getting your home holiday ready, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. Facebook also allows you to do really cool things, like form Groups (a home decorating group?) and create Pages (how about a Page for your listings?) that will take your business to the next level. Try to post on a regular basis – once twice a day – or at least several times a week. Keep your posts informative, engaging and entertaining to garner tons of “Friends” and “Likes” and “Shares”. And, most importantly – have fun on Facebook. It can be a great way to engage people and communicate!

2. Twitter – Twitter functions as an effective broadcast medium – you can think of it as a ‘micro-blog’. Twitter allots your customers/ clients a forum within which quick and easy access to your business is possible.  In business, communication with your clients is key – not only do you want to reach out to them, but they want take comfort in knowing that you are accessible to them NOW. And that’s what Twitter can do. Tweet about relevant industry news and information. Tweet links to important articles and news items that you know will be of benefit to your clients. Ask for feedback about new products and services via Twitter. It’s fast, it’s easy, it’s completely interactive and it’s always there – in real time.

3. LinkedIn – LinkedIn is the business connection place within the realm of social media. A LinkedIn profile not only lends credibility to you and your business, but much like Facebook, it becomes an integral means of communication and connecting with people – with business-minded professionals. It provides a platform within which you can promote your services as well as the services of others. And others, in turn, can promote you and your business. Use LinkedIn connections to find jobs, people and business opportunities. Use it to find quality employees for your expanding business. Follow other companies within your industry on LinkedIn to keep up to date on news, important information and available offers. Research companies and people with whom you are interested in doing business and ensure that your profile is complete so that others can research you. Take advantage of features like LinkedIn Answers, LinkedIn Groups and LinkedIn Direct Ads to position your brand in the forefront of people’s minds.

4. Blogging – Blogging is an innovative and creative way of giving people a glimpse into the confines of your business. Your blog is the voice of your brand.  What to blog about? That’s easy! You don’t have to be Ernest Hemingway or Mordecai Richler. As a professional with years of expertise and knowledge, you may not be aware of the depth of information that you have to offer your clients. What’s common knowledge and taken for granted by you is not necessarily available information to the average person. The blog is a place that is easily accessible to your clients, where you can disseminate this information. So go for it – showcase your knowledge – be a smartypants – and an industry leader through your blog!                                                                                   

There’s just SO much information I could share with you on how you can effectively use social networking to your business’ advantage. I could actually teach a whole day’s course on the subject. Hey, wait, I do teach a full day course on the subject. If you want to join, we’d love to see you. Here’s our link:

1 comment:

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