As a person who loves and enjoys social media for it’s innate ability to connect us to people and events, which we could never have done so even just a few years ago, I wanted today to talk to you about a topic dear to my heart. It’s a strange but very real phenomenon that has occurred within the past few years with the rise of Smartphones being tied to our hips and wrists and almost everything we do. When our phones bing with texts and we answer it the second it happens, or we check out tweet or Facebook timelines every 10 minutes, this begs the question. With all of technologies advances in the past few years, does technology bring us closer to each other or further apart?
My answer to that is that both are correct. We live in a world where the gift of “social media” is that we can discuss, rate, help, contemplate, learn and talk in mere seconds/minutes/hours on new things happening throughout the world. However, we also live in a world where living in the “present” is being “assisted” by technology.
There is concept that is called Fear of Missing Out, or FOMO for short. This is the idea that most of us using our smartphones and technology are glued to what others are saying on the social media platforms, and have this need to check in as often as humanly possible, just in case we miss something good. As humans, and curious people, we hate to think we missed something good. Naturally, we do this as a way to feel connected to our “friends” online that we follow and Like, and Pin. It makes us feel good. Some people have mentioned that they see their real friends more often online via Facebook, Twitter, etc than they do in just getting together in person.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I am part of this group and have willingly jumped in, as have you, to be part of my own experiences online as well as finding out about my connections, brands I follow and friends and their latest exploits detailed online. However, I do believe you need a BALANCE in life and go and meet, in my case, business leads and contacts you meet online. I use social media to start the process, and finish in person.
What I wanted to share in this post, from a Social Media insider, is that sometimes, we just need 2 things in our lives to achieve a good balance online:
1. UNPLUG and be ok with it. Don’t be afraid of missing out on something you missed online. Like a detox in real life, I have Unplugged myself when I find I need to re-charge my “batteries”. No cellphone, no social media, no texts sometimes for 1 day or longer just so I can be present with my family and my life.
2. Take the conversation OFFLINE and TALK to that person via the phone or in person. It’s amazing the amount of friendships and connections I have built up over the years with this tip.
Don’t buy into FOMO. Buy into real connections and being present.
My 2 cents…
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Social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn have taken over the world by storm, connecting people in ways that no one ever thought possible. There are many different types of people that use LinkedIn and access its benefits in the best ways possible, and this has quickly become a great tool for those seeking to expand their personal professional networks to others who they may only know from afar.
What is great about the success of these social media outlets, is that anyone can sign up for a profile and start meeting people, even companies. With the new LinkedIn Company Pages, companies now have the ability to make connections to others via the social network that wasn’t available a while back.
Getting a company page is akin to making a page on Facebook; both are meant to outsource a person, brand, or products availability in a way that is convenient and conducive to finding out more information. LinkedIn has created a way to share a company’s information on its site, versus the personal profile layout of the majority of its visitors.
The LinkedIn Company Pages allow companies to express their brand through pictures that they might not have the ability to share otherwise. This is invaluable since the internet is really about instant gratification and pictures can many times speak for themselves (I am looking at you Pinterest!). It also allows companies to showcase what they have to offer, such as being able to quickly give a customer the ability to scan what it is that you offer in a hands-off, non-intrusive way. This quickly builds a customer rapport on a level that regular advertising does not. These pages allow a company to highlight what’s important and keeps their followers up to date.This allows for a connection to the individual in a way that companies in the past could never even dream of!
People all over the world connect to each other every day through social media. Now, with the revised LinkedIn Company Pages, even companies can connect to their customers at the base level like never before through status updates, pictures, highlights, and comments. Companies are now able to interact directly with the people who are buying their product, supporting their brand, and who have questions. Although similar only in idea as a Facebook company page, companies can now interact so closely with their consumers like they can through LinkedIn Company Pages as LinkedIn is more about doing business and connecting, whereas Facebook is about sharing information.
LinkedIn is a professional networking service that allows people to create professional contacts. Currently, LinkedIn has more than 120 million members and allows people and businesses to exchange ideas, contacts, and more to help grow their businesses. LinkedIn is a tool that needs to be utilized by business owners. This is a free social media service that can be used by anyone.
The first reason business owners need to utilize LinkedIn is that there are a multitude of small business owners and entrepreneurs searching LinkedIn for connections with others. These businesses owners are actively seeking to network with others who are in small business. These connections can allow business owners and entrepreneurs to meet others who can provide ideas and feedback on creating a better business.
A second reason for joining LinkedIn is that customers are already on LinkedIn. With a business looking to sell a product or service, the more visibility to customers provides more sales. Customers are leaning on social media more than ever before and being visible on LinkedIn allows customers to come to you rather than you seeking out customers. There are many customers out there that you may never reach without utilizing social media.
Third, you are able to control the voice of your business. It allows people to find your business on Google searches and other social media searches, but it allows you to control what is said about your business. You are able to promote your business the way you want to and not have all opinion based on reviews of others.
A fourth reason is that you will be able to say that you are an expert in a certain area. By networking with other people, you are going to learn more about your business and in the end, be able to say that you or your business provides expert service.
The fifth reason to get LinkedIn profile is that it is the future of business. Social media connects entrepreneurs with each other and with customers. It is the new way of doing business and by not moving into the technological future, companies get left behind and stagnate. To keep current, it is important to join LinkedIn.
There are many reasons to join LinkedIn, but there benefits are endless for promoting a company and finding customers. Business success depends on social media and it is the new norm.
Almost every business has realized the potential of social media. If not, now is certainly the time to get on board.
However, social media is almost always used just as a marketing tool by itself. There are marketing benefits of using social media which I am fan, trainer and user of, however creating a social business can do a lot more and reap huge benefits in the long run.
Social business is a fairly new term on and not many entrepreneurs would know what it actually means. It definitely does not imply a business using social media for marketing purposes. It has far more utilities and benefits lined up for any business.
A social business is typically a business that uses social media in all facets of the company’s modus operandi. It is being widely believed, and rightly so, that social media is all set to become a focal point for any business. Right now, social media is just at the peripherals of any business whereby some marketing efforts yield fruit while others are simply futile attempts at conducting promotions and special sales.
Here are some of the benefits of doing social business.
A social business puts much more focus on the value that social media can offer a business rather than only the marketing rewards.
Social business calls for an inclusive involvement of social media and internet users which offer a wider platform to share and discuss almost anything about a business. Right there, a business gets to build a foundation for employees to interact with online citizens and gauge popular opinion. The opinion, feedback or thoughts can then be taken back to the boardroom for illustrations and a business can take appropriate steps to enhance a positive feedback or to curtail some criticisms.
Several major corporations in the world are mulling over an idea to get the consumers involved in the creative process of product development or in the conception of an idea and developing it as per popular sentiments. In fact some companies have already started this process with various degrees of success, such as Nike.What this does is, it offers any business the leverage to do prelaunch market research and also gain specific product feedback even before something has been created or developed.
Being a social business can have far reaching effects in terms of brand value. With social media gaining more acceptance as a common mode of communication and interaction, customers are more likely to interact with individuals and trust them rather than a brand. With people getting more exposure to social media from businesses and brands they like, it is upon the shoulders of the the entrepreneurs and executives to drive their brand value using their own reputation and skills.
I started out in Social Media by joining LinkedIn. LinkedIn made sense at the time when I joined as it was a smart way to promote yourself to prospective business people and of course, meet up with your co-workers. It was not the powerhouse it is today but it was very smart idea at the time.
I have to say when I joined Twitter a few years later (because EVERYONE I knew told me to join…. and I caved), I was not impressed. Within about 3 days of being on there, all I saw were posts about going to lunch, what a great jog or run they had in the morning, and other daily items. I remember clearly thinking to myself, “What am I doing here?”.. I am here to tell you it can be much more that That… but more on that in a bit…
The same initial reaction happened with Facebook. All the people I knew were playing games on Facebook, buying virtual gifts, nudging me to respond and posting comments about their daily lives. It felt like I got dropped into a party and was the odd-man out.
Then I got to thinking…. There has to be more to this than just daily life activity postings?There must be a practical use for Social Media in Business. Being a web designer and programmer, with some successful online products at the time, I realized that if I could use Social Media in a business sense, then it would be a great tool to reach a lot of people all at once and leverage other people’s connections to increase my Business profits.
Well it worked, and I started to see results for myself, and more importantly, for my clients (I was their Social Media Manager – although that wasn’t a real job title at that time ;).)
Well, fast forward to September 2011 and Social Media is the Buzz word of the last two years or so. Almost every Entrepreneur and Business owner I meet are talking about Social media and wanting to apply it in their business. This makes really me happy to see.
A good percentage of them either 1. Know that they need to use Social Media now in their business but don’t know where to begin or what to do OR 2. They are using it in their businesses however aren’t seeing any results from it, which my Business helps them out with if needed.
As one business owner to another business owner, I wanted to share with you 5 reasons that Social Media is ideal for your Business, products and Services.. and yes, you need to get started now, if you have not already begun.
Also, it is definitely not too late to be profitable using Social Media.
Here are my 5 reasons:
Leverage your Social Reach and Impact: By using Social Media, it allows you to attract and target potential customers that may never have known you and your Business existed, for a fraction of the price you can pay with costly and less-and-less effective traditional advertising. It also allows you to connect with your existing customers in a fun yet professional fashion with rewards, promo codes and timely information.
Develop and Build your Social Proof: Using social media for your Business allows your Customers/Followers/Friends/Connections/(insert the social media platform of choice) in Social Media to build your business up with comments, tweets, recommendations, links to your website that other people will see, which build credibility for what you are offering. People are using Social media now to get reviews on products. We tend to buy and use a product or service much quicker with a referral or word of mouth, because of the Social proof of others talking about it. I know that I buy a lot that way and I would suspect you would to..
Every Possible Demographics for your Business is in here: There are over 750 Million users on Facebook (33% of that number is women in the age group of 35-65!), over 12 Million Small Business owners on LinkedIn, Google+ grew to 25 million users in just 1 month time and Twitter continues to grow. What is powerful about these stats is that I am sure there are portions of each major social media engine’s demographic that is your ideal client. So why not figure out which ones to “target”, attract and engage them while at the same time, leading them to becoming a customer.
You control the message: With Social Media, you can control the message. If something goes wrong, you can fix it pretty fast with Social media (United Airlines didn’t get this right until a musician and 1 Million Views on Youtube did it for them) . This also allows you to create messages that you can write and post everyday if you wish. You are not stuck with an 1 year paid ad in the Yellow pages, or a large Billboard that costs money to re-do. Social media is meant to be flexible. If you want to throw out a special offer to your lists or mention a new service, you can do it for low to no-cost to you.
Build Loyal Communities: Social Media truly builds a community of people that have similar likes and interests. You can find people who love to Scuba dive or people who like knitting. Being part of these groups by leveraging your Social Media brand, you can become part of their conversations and be a solution to their needs. People follow or connect with their interests and if that interest happens to be your ideal client, you should be there to help them along to make a decision.
To end off, in Social Media, you do not “hard sell” anything. What I am referring to is helping people make an informed decision by seeing that you are the best choice for your Service or Product, complimented by your social media strategies, that just so happen to move them in that direction…..