Social media is not for everybody.

Who needs social media anyway?

The other day I ran into an man in Peet’s cafe. He introduced himself as a seasoned marketing professional.  I told him I was too — but that I specialize in social media.

He spat out vehemently:  “Most of social media is pure bullsh*t for my clients.”

Maybe he’s right…for his clients it might be a waste of time. (Maybe his clients are all computer illiterate, over 60, still use a landline or are Luddites who don’t trust ATM machines yet either.)

For a few, select businesses, like lawyers, (unless they deal with high profile cases), or people with government or corporate jobs (unless they are company spokespersons), or arms dealers, or private detectives, or anyone with a security clearance, it’s probably better to keep a very low or non-existent social media profile.

But if you’re a business that would be listed in the Yellow Pages, if you’re a business that would have  a business card, if you’re a business that would get written up in the newspaper, if you do your business online and especially if you’re a current or aspiring public figure — Social Media is  your new calling card.

Social media, like PR, is not for everyone.

Not everyone wants to be famous, and not every business needs a public profile. Some businesses are better off quietly working their sales team, Rolodex and one-on-one relationships. For example, if your customers don’t use the Internet, then you won’t find them here either.

But if you run any business with an online presence, and if you want visibility,  then social media is for you.

Social media campaigns are also critically important for most small town “Mom and Pop” businesses like restaurants, bed and breakfast inns, hair salons, moving companies and the like — because getting listed in Yelp! and showing up on the Yahoo or Google Map is now more important than a Yellow Pages listing. (Yellow what? Who, under the age of 65, uses the phone book anymore?)

And for that reason, social media is quickly becoming a tool in the marketing/PR professional’s arsenal — to complement speaking engagements, press tours, article placement, trade shows and the like.

I’ve been doing traditional print and broadcast PR for more than 20 years. But social media is by far, the easiest, cheapest, fastest, most effective promotional tool I’ve ever used.

Better than email. Better than newspaper ads. Better than brochures and postcards. Much better than a website that nobody ever finds or reads. Faster and thus sometimes even more effective than traditional news media press relations.

For some businesses, like doctors, dentists, real estate agents, authors, consultants and especially small businesses and sole proprietors, it can bring you a whole new level of visibility.

And for others, like artists, musicians, performers, workshop leaders or anyone who throws events, it’s downright essential.

But if you’re still reading a newspaper, listening to the radio and using  a landline, maybe Social Media is not for you.

Published by Gisélle Bisson

I am a storyteller. I am a bridge between the worlds of high tech and high touch. The main communities I build are between thought leaders in Technology, Entertainment and Sustainability. (Kind of like a TED conference.) These are the early adopters, risk takers and super connected connecters who can set your ideas on fire! As a veteran Silicon Valley tech PR executive and product launch visibility expert, I have launched more than 30 paradigm-shifting products and consumer technology companies in my career -- products that changed your life and are used by tens of millions of consumers. I was on the teams that introduced major innovations we now take for granted -- like email, video editing, ink jet printers and mobile devices. I've promoted products that reached 5 million to 40 million customers -- paying customers, not eyeballs. We did this almost 100% with free PR and social media -- not paid advertising. Increasingly all business must be social, sustainable, sharable and conscious. And I believe social media is the catalyst of this conscious convergence and shift. I've learned that it's not just about "content" or "engagement" -- it's about creating authentic communities around an event that share your news and spread the word for you. I combine social media with press relations, speaking engagements, events, social ads, email lists and street teams to generate waves of awareness that catapult your launch and sustain it. Move forward, into the future. I can help you make a Visibility Shift.

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