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: firstname.lastname@example.org
For weeks now, Billy Joel’s, “Don’t Go Changin,” has been playing in my head. It sure is irksome, but it’s a constant reminder of the theme of change that has come up repeatedly in my day-to-day meetups.
It is a romantic notion, as Billy meant it to be, but when it applies to business, we better think twice about not changing to please the object of our affection: the customer.
Many businesses still don’t grasp the concept of change, sticking with the “if-it-ain’t-broke-don’t-fix-it” philosophy. I’ve met with several prospects who thrive on the printed word, an isolated web page, or door-to-door sales, and cannot see why they need to get in on the social media conversation. Without thinking forward to their future customers, who are doing most of their decision making on line within social platforms, they are destined for extinction.
The concept of change has come up with friends and associates as well. Some have become agents of change to seek new career opportunities, build a client base, or even to improve their social life. How? By embracing the social networks that have been introduced to us and harnessing all that they have to offer.
Yes, many fear the unknown: The very public status update. The transparency of our “behind the scenes.” The new culture of telling it (and hearing it) like it is. But changing your mindset means appreciating rather than fearing the new normal–and being liberated by it. It means that your local business is playing on the same field as a national chain. That your customers are bonding with your brand because they like engaging with the new open you. And that, if you’re really good at it, your brand personality is contagious and you go viral.
Your core business doesn’t have to change, nor your guiding principles. Just be open to the new ways business is getting done and how your customers are choosing which brands to be loyal to. You’ve heard it before, but it doesn’t get old, so I’ll close out with it—The company that doesn’t change, dies.