I’m constantly surprised at the number of small, minority, women and veteran business owners who are not using social media to extend their brand and market their business. When I ask them why it appears many of the business owners don’t understand the value of using social media as part of their marketing and business relationship development strategy.
It’s important to stay current with your prospects; many of them are on social media posting blogs, articles, events, pictures, videos, advertisements and even checking on businesses they meet at networking events, conferences, etc. Some of business owners targeting government, public and corporate contracts may think social media is not relevant to their business model. I’ve worked with them as well as many construction firms whose owners do not think social media is relevant.
Remember, federal government is online and using social media and they have been for some time. While state government is still catching up, the employees may be on social media and are looking for you online. Corporations use social media as a way to market, survey, sell to and study their customers purchasing habits. The days of looking up businesses in the phone book are long gone. There are many online directories; however, they don’t provide the content that decision makers seek. First stop may be your website and if decision makers or those involved in the procurement process want to know more about you and your firm, further investigation will lead to your social media profiles. In fact, they may just Google you to see what pops up.
If you are not on top of your brand and how it is portrayed, someone else may be giving you poor reviews, or using your information that shows up in the directories to link back to their website. By the way, when was the last time you Googled yourself or your business? I’ve done it with clients and there have been some unpleasant surprises.
Just as you are in control of your business operations; one must control their online content. Get a leg up by determining which social media site is best for your firm. For some businesses Linkedin is the place to be while others may find a larger audience on Facebook or Twitter, etc. Lack of knowledge is no excuse since there are a myriad of FREE classes, workshops and webinars taking place – Google it to find those nearest you.
That old thinking that you have to tell everything about yourself and your personal life is NOT TRUE! You control the content you release. Like all other aspects of your business, social media and social networking require planning and execution. If you choose to hire someone else to manage it for you – stay on top of what they are posting. Provide your own content, or tell them the topics you want covered; review the posts and give your input before they go out. If you are handling your social media yourself, plan your time and what you will do. There is always time if you’ve planned in advance. Believe me we all waste time and we can use those small blocks of non-productive time to work on an aspect of your social media plan. To learn more and get simple techniques on how to stay current with your social media and networking process, schedule a Connection Meeting with me at: www.meetme.so/ConnectionMeeting.
Click here for a great article on reasons why small businesses should use social media.