We are reading about it everywhere
Everyone is talking about it
Buzz words abound… connecting, engaging, interacting, Like, Fan, comment, Sharing, Posting, Viral …
This is new vocabulary to the local business person.
The world is changing and Yikes, how do we keep up?!
Stop, take a breath, “smell the roses” and let’s put this into perspective…
At the end of the day, business is about people and networking with people is what helps you personally and in business. In the words of Rebecca Morris from Paradigm Shift “Character trumps Credentials every time… making it imperative to have the balance right in the online world”
So, yes we all know we have to get online with our business, but we can’t just do this and then sit back and hide behind our computer screens. We also can’t just stay-still in this ever-changing world.
We have all heard the benefits of online social marketing…
- Grow your brand awareness
- Connect with your customers
- Expand your networks
- Increase your search engine rankings
- Sell more,
There are many, many tools with which to do this.
Ultimately, this is what you need – here are the 7 key steps:
- Have an online presence that YOU OWN, ie. your own website or blog or both
- Have a presence across Social Media Channels that suit YOUR MARKET eg. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube (to name the main ones) Do not stop here (don’t worry you’re not alone, many companies do, but here’s your chance to stand out)…
- Integrate the above with your marketing and business strategy
- “Connect” by Posting often – write articles, express your view, share some knowledge
- Bring your offline network into your online network – build your audience
- Participate and Reciprocate, as if you were in conversation or networking in “real-life”. Give and you will receive.
- Comment online. Personalise your discussions – be yourself. Take the time to learn the techniques to organically grow your audience
and Don’t Stop!
There are some technical how-to’s and tools (and of course time) that you need to achieve the above (don’t be afraid to seek advice) but once you know how, it will start to become second-nature.
Before you know it, you are networking online, treating it as you would any other marketing activity and achieving all those benefits mentioned above.
(as published in the The Buzz July 2011)