Does Social Media have a place in the business world?
There was a lot of hype lately about social media with heightened expectations and stories of great success. Naturally, it attracted attention of many small business owners who were quick to jump the bandwagon. However, many of them are feeling disappointed with the results. Is this because social media is just a waste of time or because they misjudged its meaning and potential?
The power of Social Media.
It’s truly impressive. It might have even greater influence than most people realize.
Consider these facts:
- Social Media is the #1 activity on the Web.
- Facebook added 100 million users in less than 9 months…iPhone applications hit 1 billion in 9 months.
- If Facebook were a country it would be the world’s 4th largest between the United States and Indonesia.
- The #2 largest search engine in the world is YouTube.
- More than 1.5 million pieces of content (web links, news stories, blog posts, notes, photos, etc.) are shared on Facebook…daily.
The fact is social media is here to stay. Ignoring is just a pointless exercise in futility.
So what can you do to get the most out of it?
- Adjust your expectations.
You’ve just uploaded your video on YouTube. Great! Now you’re feeling ready to step into the light of fame… Guess what? It will not happen – so don’t feel cheated and betrayed if your masterpiece doesn’t attract millions of viewers. Maybe it’s because there are millions of other aspiring directors online. Or, maybe it’s just not good enough… Similarly, don’t expect that your Twitter or Facebeook account will become an Internet sensation overnight (unless, of course, you’re already a celebrity).
- Set your goals. Be reasonable and realistic.
Your social media campaign should not be about realizing your dreams about stardom and becoming an instant millionaire. It’s all about connecting with other people. Ask yourself who is the person who can help your business grow. Is it a potential client, or a partner, or somebody who can simply spread the word around? See how you can approach them and make them interested in what you have to offer.
- Treat it as a project and be consistent.
It’s not a hobby or some kind of past time activity…. If you start your social media campaign consider it a serious project. You have to plan ahead and devote some time and hard work to it. The biggest mistake you can make is to start it and abandon if you don’t see immediate results.
- And finally… Listen first. Sell later.
Social media is not about (at least not JUST about) direct sales. That’s the biggest misconception of all. Starting conversations with your sales pitch would be the most effective way to turn people away. Social media is about connecting to other people, finding out what matters to them most and engaging them. Selling is a byproduct of this process. People might not buy directly from you, but if you prove yourself as a trusted and knowledgeable professional they will bring you more business by recommending you to others.