I’ve spent time with a number of you by now. I’ve had a great chance to learn a lot about my own business and how to grow, but I’ve hopefully learned a bit about how I might be able to help as well. One thing I’ve encountered more than anything else is insecurity. A lot of people out there feel social media marketing for their business is not something that’s going to work for them. Sure it works for Gary Vaynerchuk, and it works for Brian Clark, and it works for Michael Martine, and it works for thousands of other business owners, but it’s not going to work for YOU.
If this sounds like you…if you feel you may not have what it takes to be successful using social media to grow your business, I’d encourage you to look at the facts.
Social Media For Business: Fact #1
A lot of my clients shy away from social media for business marketing, because they fear an exorbitant time commitment, but this is a huge misconception. Yes, you can waste time with social media…you can waste time doing ANYTHING. Fear of wasting time is not a reason to avoid a valuable tactic for growing your business…it’s simply a reason to make sure you do it effectively. Does this makes sense?
Social Media For Business: Fact #2
Social media is a constant learning experience. That’s what this is…a constant learning experience. It’s true for you and me, and it’s true for everyone out there. There is no such thing as a “social media expert”, and if you come across someone claiming to be one, run in the other direction. Someone who actually knows everything there is to know about social media…are you kidding me? Twitter has only been around for a very short time…there not been enough time for anyone to become an actual expert. Find people who’ve had success, people you want to model. Learn from them and find your own path.
One thing I’ve seen holding people back is the idea that they want to get everything figured out, and then they’ll dive in. It’s unlikely that will happen, because the platforms and rules are always changing. The way to get results is to just get started.
Social Media For Business: Fact #3
Social media is a magic bullet. A really slow bullet…
- Can social media change your business inside out? Yes
- Can social media open up new revenue streams you never even thought of? Yes
- Can social media make you more effective, in less time than ever before? Yes
- Can you accomplish all this in a short amount of time by paying someone else to “take care of it”? Nope.
If there is one concept that many people need but don’t like, it’s accountability. The success of Chris Brogan’s Trust Agents is a perfect testament to this phenomenon. Fact is, building a social media network means building trust. And trust is a funny little bugger. It simply cannot be manufactured. Can’t be done. It has to be built. One tweet at a time. One post at a time. One comment at a time.
I get asked to “do social media” for clients somewhat regularly. Yes, some clerical tasks can be delegated, but social engagement cannot be diverted to someone else. You’re either accessible to your community or you’re not. If you’re not, you’re missing out on huge opportunities, and social media tools allow you to leverage your time considerably, so you CAN be helpful and accessible to your audience. It’s a win-win.
Social Media For Business: Fact #4
You have what it takes! Can you do it? The answer is “yes” 🙂
- It doesn’t require a high degree of techiness or nerdiness.
- It doesn’t require knowledge of html, or any of that web programming crap. They have tools now that take care of all that.
- It doesn’t require that you even know what Twitter is. Just a willingness to learn.
- It doesn’t require that you have any expensive equipment. If you’re reading this article (unless someone printed it out for you, lol), you already have what it takes to get started and go quite far.
And here’s a bit of what it WILL require:
- Paradigm shift, plus go ahead and put your seatbelt on, because you’ll have another total paradigm shift real soon. I experience one at least once a week.
- A realistic budget. I really struggled with putting this on the list. If I’m being honest with you though, approaching a totally new and very dynamic marketing strategy and expecting to do it for free (as many do for some odd reason…go ask your local newspaper for a free ad, and see how far that gets you) is not a strategy I advise. Many of these tools are free to acquire. Acquisition is one thing. Effective implementation over the long term is an entirely different thing. Social media highly effective? Yes. Free? Not usually, unless you’re a veteran and highly, highly competent. And even the vets in this industry get help and use premium tools daily.
- Time. Yes that’s right! Social media is not a space ad. You can’t slap something up and get results. It’s about networking, building relationships. Results will come, and they can blow your mind, but they will not come overnight.
- Willingness to learn new skills, consistently.
- Help. This relates to “realistic budget”, but not all help needs to come from an outside consultant. Much help can be obtained through free sources like online forums and reading other blogs. Looking to others for solutions…people outside your immediate organization, will need to become a regular event.
Can you afford to ignore the fact that almost all your customers are online looking for you already…talking about you? Stepping into the conversation is welcome and encouraged, and that’s all social media is in a nutshell. It’s just people talking.
Do you have what it takes? The answer lies in your social competency. Have you ever shook hands or had a nice conversation with someone? If the answer is “yes”, then yes…you too can be successful at social media marketing!
Does social media marketing scare you? Have you implemented it in your business yet? How is it working? Are you getting the results you want? Post questions or comments…in the comments! I’m happy to respond and will even cover questions in future posts if called for 😉