Have you heard yourself saying or thinking any of these statements?
1. Social media costs a lot of money. Let’s get this out of the way right now. It doesn’t cost any money to establish a presence and a marketable following on the social networks. There’s an investment of time, for sure. But as far as your marketing budget is concerned, there doesn’t have to be any impact.
2. Social media marketing doesn’t apply to my business. To understand the opportunities that exist with social media, you have to know that social media doesn’t mean just hanging out on Facebook. While Facebook may be the leader of the pack and most popular social network, there are other platforms and strategies to consider depending on your business, market, and goals. Let’s put it this way, if your company has a web site, there’s social network marketing to do.
3. Social networking is a fad, so I’m not going to invest the time. Denial about how social networking is effecting the Internet, and therefore effecting business, is not going to serve you well in the long term. The population of Facebook users makes it the 3rd-largest nation on the planet, and its reach is very quickly becoming integrated into all other social networks and Internet marketing applications. If you’re not represented in this nation, you can kiss your business growth goodbye. This is not a drill, social networking is here to stay.
4. My assistant/brother-in-law/teenager can do it for me; they’re always posting and tweeting. Herein lies the biggest mistakes companies make when they decide to set up shop on the social networks. The activities of playing on the social networks as an individual or consumer are not the activities necessary to incorporate social media into your company marketing plans. Think of your most-travelled highway as a sea of your target market (social network users), and your business’s social media efforts as the billboard you put up to capture the attention of the traffic. Does it make sense to ask one of the drivers on that highway to create your billboard for you? Does driving a car on the highway daily make him qualified to create and design an effective marketing message?
This age of social media is an amazing era for entrepreneurs and business owners. The advent of social networks has leveled the marketing playing field for you and handed your company the opportunity to compete locally, nationally, even internationally. I am VERY passionate about transforming local business owners from social media doubters to enthusiastic opportunists. Do you need a transformation? Talk to me about private coaching for you or on-site training for your team. Take a look and see if this is for you. You are always free to email me if you have any questions: email@example.com
LinkedIn has been around a long time, in social media years, but has only recently come in on most business’s radar as a tool for networking. Even so, I too often hear “yeah, I’m on LinkedIn, but no one contacts me. It’s just sitting there.” This is music to my ears, of course (ka-ching!), but I would be remiss if I didn’t share how easy it is to leverage the tools presented to you each time you log in. Here are five steps to developing business using my favorite feature, LinkedIn Groups.
Step 1: Find Groups. There are literally thousands of groups to choose from on LinkedIn. Be they industry based, comprised of your target market, or related to your favorite pastime, enter your keywords in the search box using the Groups filter and start investigating.
Step 2: Join Groups. Well, yes, it’s just the click of a button (and with some groups a waiting period for approval), but be sure to join groups that have a lot of members, think 1,000 or more. Also look at recent discussions to determine whether the group is active.
Step 3: Listen. Keep your group notifications settings at weekly or more frequently if you can handle it. When new discussions are posted, you’ll be notified by email. See what people are talking about and how they’re talking. Who’s talking? Are they people you’d like to reach out to?
Step 4: Engage. Find opportunities to add your two cents to group discussions. This is an opportunity to show off your expertise (humbly, of course), and it gets your name out there. Each time you comment, a link to your profile is available for others to click, so be sure to have that completed to 100%.
Step 5: Connect. Once you have a group in common with a potential connection, the connection process is much smoother. First, because LinkedIn gives you a check-off box for groups you have in common when you fill out the connections request form, and, second, because it gives you a starting point for conversation. Note: Always make your message to the potential connection personal and phrase your request in the form of a question.
Feel free to contact me for assistance or with further questions. My door is always open!