The following article is a guest post I completed for the Utah Chapter of National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO)
I remember 10 years ago when I told my employer that blogs and social media were going to be the way people conduct and research business in the very near future. He chuckled, and then sidestepped the information I had given him.
Here we are, in the mecca of social media, and how do we do business? Through social media and online research. If I want to print a brochure, obtain referrals, or before I return a solicitation telephone message, I research online. I am guessing that the majority of us do the same thing. So, as business professionals, we sign up for the plethora of social media sites in hopes of attracting new clients and obtaining referrals. Where many individuals go wrong is once we sign up for these many accounts, we do very little with them.
The number of times I ask someone if they have a LinkedIn account and get the reply, “I have one, but I don’t really do anything with it,” are so numerous that I stop and wonder if it is because they do not see the value, have tried to use it and it has not netted results, or simply don’t know how to use it correctly. Almost 100% of the time the answer is that they do not know how to use the site to its full potential.
I meet with individuals one-on-one and we spice up their profile with keywords, add slideshows, and write a summary that fully embodies what they do and who they are. I then walk them through how to connect to people, how to maximize their connections, and how to blend social media with traditional media.
The results are amazing. I now hear comments about how they’ve closed big cases, received a huge increase in referrals, and have been noticed on a national level.
Social media is not the “Be-all, End-all” of marketing; however, it is a gateway that can get you where you want to be in business. Do not look at social media as a requirement, but look at social media as another touching point to get in front of your target market. Do not allow social media to be a “time waster”, but maximize your time by knowing how to use it correctly and schedule your time accordingly.