I often hear from my business-focused friends a question relating to social media:
Why should I care about social media if my business doesn't rely heavily on the web?
You and your business have a limited amount of time and money. Is social media the most effective way of using that time? The answer can be found in the need for traditional businesses to connect and understand their customers. Another question is "Do you fully understand WHY people buy your products and services?" Social media provides ways to have conversations with them about just that.
Social Media is about Connections and Communications
You may have heard of Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, but social media is far more. It is the world of web, mobile, and electronic tools that help people share and discuss information, as well as connect with others. Twitter falls under the category of micro-blogging -- like what you are seeing in this blog but Twitter uses very short phrases. Facebook is a social networking tool because it helps people stay connected by exchanging pictures, hobbies, and what's currently happening in their lives.
But LinkedIn, the business network, is also social media, and has been a tool of choice for millions of businesses and professionals when they want to stay in touch with a business contact, meet someone outside their network, or research potential employees. LinkedIn was the first social networking tool I got started with many years ago. It is part of a Success with CRM business strategy.
If you have a new product update to announce to a select group, setup your own customer group in LinkedIn and give them a pre-release special.
You can setup a discussion group of fellow LinkedIn users. I belong to several and obtain updates of what is happening either daily or weekly. More about LinkedIn uses for business in an upcoming post.
All of these tools help share information and connect people, and both activities are essential to a business. What business succeeds without knowing its customers? Besides, for a traditional business social media is a very economical choice compared to traditional advertising.
Please comment about what you are doing now or if you have questions. I'd appreciate hearing from you!
P.S. Click here for a quick video on "Social Media in Plain English" from YouTube.