What businesses need to know about social media

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Not having enough time to manage all the profiles, pages, groups, reviews and ongoing conversations you have online is one of the biggest complaints about social media.  The key to success is in how you think about what you’re doing online. Social media is not a marketing or advertising “task.”  You are NOT there to market and advertise.  You are there to talk to people and be “social.”

Spending time in Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook or any of the other online places should not be thrown into the “If I have time” category.  They are EVENTS.  If you want them to work for you, you have to see your online activity the same as you would a Chamber event, a BNI meeting, an Accelerent breakfast, or any of the other big things you attend that you deem “important” on your calendar.

Social networking IS an event.  You are engaging in the same behaviors as you would at a live event, you are just doing it online instead.  Talking to people, introducing people, sharing business stories, ….this is what you do at events and it’s the same thing you do online – if you’re doing it right.

Too many people look at online activities as marketing and advertising and fail to see the human networking side of it.  Why are you scheduled to go to that next Chamber event?  To talk to people, right?  HELLO!  What do you think you can do online?  If you block out two hours a week to go to your online “event” and talk to people, it’s the same thing as attending a live event that lasts two hours. And it’s impossible to get in front of all the people that will be at the live event.  When you post in a group, you have the opportunity to get in front of thousands of people every single week.  Plus, networking online can make your live events more productive because more people will know who you are.

Think about how many business cards you are handing out at live events.  Why can’t those be introductions to your sell sheets (profiles) online? What do people do with your business card anyway?  They go ONLINE and send you the canned email the next day that says, “Hey great meeting you last night. Want to get together for coffee so I can learn more about your business?”  They take it ONLINE anyway!

You will help yourself most if you stop thinking of online activities as marketing and advertising and schedule it on your calendar as if it were a two-hour weekly networking event.  Set the timer so you don’t get sucked in…just as you check your watch to get out of the live event on time!  Change how you see social networking online and you will experience less stress and more success.  It really does open big doors.