Social media is all the rage these days, yet many business owners struggle to understand why they should bother to jump on the bandwagon. They are mystified about how to monetize their social media efforts.
Here are 3 reasons you can’t afford to miss this online ‘boat’ plus 3 simple things you can do to capitalize on this ‘Brave New World’.
1. Print media is dying and with it, print ads.
Even when it worked, advertising was primarily useful only for building brand awareness. Unless someone sees your ad at the moment they’re thinking of buying something or you have a killer sale going on, it’s likely that it won’t generate a sale for you.
2. Email marketing is dying – fast!
People are inundated with email these days. Many people receive over 100 per day, so the chances that yours will get read are really slim. If you don’t know the right techniques, your messages may never be seen.
3. Networking only works if you follow up quickly and most people don’t.
Actual face time is critical for building relationships and credibility. Unfortunately, most people don’t know how to do that properly. So they smile, chit chat, shake a lot of hands, exchange a bunch of cards and that’s where the story ends.
So what’s a business owner to do?
1. Shift your print advertising budget to online media.
Facebook ads are effective, inexpensive and highly targetable toward your ideal prospect profile.
2. Connect online where your ‘peeps’ are hanging out. Add value, build relationships. Share enough about yourself that people can get to know (and like) you. Make sure you have an account and profile on LinkeIn, Facebook and Twitter. Start a blog and make short, relevant comments on it regularly.
3. Attend networking events with a plan for the kind of people (industries, professions, etc.) that you want to meet. Ask other attendees if they will introduce you to them. Make a commitment to follow up with a few key people you meet at networking events, not to sell them right away, but to get to know them better to see if there really is a match for what you each do.
It’s simple to get started in social media. Make sure you have a strategy of who you’re trying to connect with and how you want to be known in those communities. You’re building a new reputation in a new world. Do it thoughtfully. Once you’re ‘in’, continually refine your efforts. Draw people into your lair by giving then once trust is built, make them offers they can’t refuse.