How to Use Social Media As a Marketing Tool
The other day I came across brilliantly clear explanation about Social Media and how to use it to grow your business. Twitter, (in case you lead a sheltered life) is the latest social media application to grab headlines and attention.
A lot of businesses are exploring this area and trying to work out how to make money from using it. Some have jumped onto the bandwagon because they feel they should, others are just stumbling in the dark and a select few really understand its power and potential.
This explanation teachings you to think about the business opportunities in the following way:
1. Social Networking sites are about going to lots of parties.
You go to parties to have fun and to meet people. The more parties you go to the more people you are likely to meet. And as with most parties some people will like you and others may find you a boring …
But like all party conversations, at some stage you'll be asked, "What do you do?". This is your opportunity to link you social side with your business side and to tell everyone.
So, the message is simple. Just get out there, join lots of networks and make as many 'friends' as possible. Twitter, MySpace, FaceBook, LinkedIn etc are all free networking sites worth exploring.
2. Your Blog is your 'home'.
It's where your friends come to relax and have fun with you. As it's your 'home' it reflects your personality – the things you like and do not like. If you came to my house it would be clear that I like contemporary art and animals. Yours will be unique to you.
The important point to understand is that those who visit your blog (home) get your sense of who you are, what your beliefs and interests are. And like any conversation with friends it will be a mixture of work (business) and play (interests).
So when you set up your blog, think of it as somewhere where your social networking friends are going to come because they find you interesting and want to learn more.
3. How Social Networks and Blogs generate income
It's done in exactly the same way as face to face networking. For example, you meet someone at a party (Facebook or Twitter) who learns that you are a recruitment consultant.
They in turn meet someone at a different party (LinkedIn) who is looking for a new job. They remember you, mention your name and where they met you (Facebook, Twitter etc). Because they went to your home (Your Blog), they're able to tell others where to go to find out more about you.
That person then checks you out and, with luck, contacts you.
Remember: Social Networking and Blogs are an on-going process.
The value with these things is in the long-term. Do not have an expectation that just because you do 'Social Media', you'll suddenly have a lot of new business contacts. They will be generated over a period of months, maybe years – the more you party and blog.
All of this requires time and commitment. Make a decision whether or not to use this type of media as a marketing tool and then get exceptional at using it.