- Social media is a new but permanent part of the business landscape. People and companies are engaging in an enormous real-time conversation. Now. It will change a lot, it’s evolving, but it’s not going to go away. Think of it like the telephone, the automobile, personal computers, cellphones, and the Internet in general. Technology doesn’t go backward. It changes the way people do business.
- Generate traffic, leads, mentions, brand awareness, customers, and sales. Consider it something like amplified word of mouth. It’s definitely a new channel for reaching and listening to customers, and for publishing, content curation, and relationships with media and opinion leaders. And it’s also a channel for listening to customers. It’s not just engagement and participating in a larger online discussion; it’s about improving your business. And also, on the longer term, you should establish your business persona as a credible member of the community, a contributor, a source of good information, a persona to trust. If you build that, then, later, they will come.
- Ignoring it is risky. You risk being left out. You stand on the sidelines while others, including your competitors, gain traction. You risk losing long-term position in an increasingly important online community.
- Knowing what to do is relatively easy; doing it, day after day, is way harder. Social media experts are everywhere. Recommendations and advice are everywhere. Doing it, however, takes thought, time and effort.
Have Presence is about doing the work, not telling you what to do.
Social media done right is an excellent way to reach more people more easily. Think of it as word of mouth on steroids. A positive presence on the key social media sites means reach and engagement, a window to the world, and long-term branding. For example, here are some of the things some small businesses are doing with social media:
- Share your business personality. Participate in online discussion as a business that cares and comments.
- Offer information useful to your customers and potential customers. You might offer links to useful blog posts and articles, for example. Publicize local events. Call out non-profit causes. And, if you have a good stream of information established, you can also offer information about your business, like daily specials or special events and promotions.
- Catch problems early. Respond to complaints.
- Over the long term, engage your customers and potential customers.
It’s relatively economical. All of the main social media accounts — Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and Pinterest — are free.
Economical, but not free. It takes time and effort. Which is where we come in.