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What’s the value of social media?

Everyone talks about social media, but few understand it.  In recent discussions with a good number of small business people in my local area, I am finding most have taken the step into the future and at least signed up for LinkedIn.  Many have also joined Facebook and Twitter.

In almost every case,  however, these folks are having lots of trouble seeing how social media can help them improve their bottom lines.   The value in developing a social media marketing strategy escapes them.

They express fears of spending exorbitant amounts of time to keep up the online chatter.  They are nervous they will do something wrong or someone will blast their company, products or services . . . for the world to see.   They don’t know where to begin and, therefore, do nothing to develop the tools necessary to take advantage of these media.

I tell my clients this latest technology is powerful, it’s only going to improve, and it can’t be ignored.   If you value your business and want to grow, social media should be added to your marketing arsenal to elevate your brand and improve your sales.  It’s efficient, inexpensive, highly targeted, and very personal.

Like most new things, social media takes a little time to get used to the processes.  Set aside an hour and thoroughly go through the social media accounts you open to see what options you can use to raise your visibility in cyberspace.  Completely fill out your profile information so search engines and prospective customers can more easily find you.

Use the social media site tools to build your connections and start developing relationships with your network by providing regular information that might be of interest to them.  Contact business associates, schoolmates, friends, family, anyone you encounter and let them know what you’re up to, start discussion groups, and provide information that demonstrates your expertise.

If you have a website or blog, link your social media accounts to them, so that when you add content to one platform, all of them are  updated at once, automatically.

There are many techniques and tricks to help you improve your visibility with social media; the most important of which is to just start.  The customers you attract through your consistent, relevant, social media communications will tend to be very loyal and they will tell their friends about you.  My advice?  Go forth and BE SOCIAL!!!!


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