This article was selected as 1 of 1 million WordPress posts to be on Freshly Pressed where it created a momentary sensation and 15 minutes of social media fame for me. It’s two years old now, and clients are still making excuses so I am running it first to remind you all that it’s about time started on this Facebook thing.
1. You’re too busy.
I don’t think social media is optional anymore. A professional presence in social media is now a marketing necessity, like a business card or a website. You can’t afford not to have a social media presence. You’ll look like a Luddite, like you’re out of step, like you’re stuck in the Eighties — when people actually got their news from a newspaper, bought things from ads, looke for businesses in the Yellow pages, and were influenced by television.
For most businesses and professions, social media is important. Make an investment in social media, plan your strategy first, do it right, and you’ll be paid back ten-fold.
Updating your profile and sending out Twitter updates can become part of your regular routine — like brushing your teeth, answering email and checking your voice mail.
Using free tools, you can interlink all of your social profiles — so that your Twitter automatically updates Facebook, your blog and LinkedIn. You can update everything simultaneously from your mobile phone in a few minutes a day.
2. You don’t “get” this social media thing.
When you tell stories in public, not only do they have to be true (fact checked, verified, libel-free and legal), accurate, spell-checked and well written, but your story needs to be interesting, engaging and continually evolving. If you’re not naturally good at that, or you don’t have time, you’ll want to hire professional help.
Ultimately, you’ll need to be engaged on a daily basis. Celebrities, consultants, musicians, workshop leaders, public speakers and CEOs who “get” social media make it a priority and are personally involved. You can also outsource social updating to a pro. But make sure they take time to truly know and understands your business, know how to tell an engaging story, have a “voice” and “get” the culture, ethics and rules of the community you’re trying to reach.
3. You can’t afford it.
Everything you need is free. If you hire a consultant, you can get a lot of value from a few hours of his/her time setting your site up and coaching you on the unwritten secrets, tips and tricks of really using Social Media brilliantly.
4. You don’t need it.
Just like you “didn’t need” a website back in 2000. Everyone else jumped on the bandwagon, killed brick and mortar businesses, got all the cool urls and are now worth millions. Are you going to miss out on this land grab too?
500 million people worldwide are utilizing Facebook to create their personal brand. Many events are solely promoted on Facebook. You are really late to the program and totally out of the loop and out of touch if you have a stagnant, unupdated profile or none at all. These days a lot of people think you don’t exist anymore if you’re not in the social sphere because they aren’t even using email anymore and use Facebook or LinkedIn as their main way of communicating with colleagues, or Twitter as their main way to announce breaking news.
5. You’re doing fine with Google adwords.
Oh yeah? Why are you buying search results that will disappear as soon as you stop paying — when you could be using social sites and a blog to build a search ranking that will last forever. Also, you’re totally missing out on a highly targeted market if you’re not also advertising on Facebook.
6. You already hired an SEO guy.
In my opinion, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is dead in 2010. It was important in the age of static HTML websites in the 90s.
Why? Because search engines can only search text! The most important thing you can do is generate tons of text and mentions of your URL that will drive people back to your website. More about this later.
7. It’s not necessary.
If you are not on social media, your business reputation is at risk! Ignore social media at your peril–because people are probably talking about you, your competitors and your brand. They’re building relationships without you. They’re inviting people to cool events that you’re not learning about. If you’re not on social media by now, it’s as if you don’t exist.
Bad PR used to be quickly forgotten when the newspaper was tossed in the trash. Now it lasts forever in Cyberspace. Bad customer reviews can quickly destroy a new product launch, a new event or a beta program. Bad word of mouth on social networks will severely damage your personal reputation.
Negative reviews on Yelp can kill a restaurant in a few days. Don’t worry, you can now pay Yelp a monthly fee (aka bribe) to remove bad reviews. Better off to not get them in the first place.
You need to be prepared to brand yourself and position yourself wisely. And you need to pay attention to what your peers, competitors and partners are saying in the social realm.
If your business is large, you’ll also need to track the coverage and monitor feedback so you can respond to customers immediately. It’s all quickly becoming as complex as a traditional, mainstream media PR program.
Whatever you call it — Social Media, Emerging Media, New Media — it’s all just a conversation.
But it’s a conversation you can’t avoid anymore. Ignore it at your peril or it will happen without you. It’s time to lead the conversation.
- Richard Branson’s 7 Secrets To Social Media (ceo.com)
- Social media is on your resume whether you want it to be or not (techi.com)
- CEOs Avoiding Social Media Are Missing Out | Domo | Blog (domo.com)
- It’s Not Brain Surgery: 4 Tips Businesses Can Learn from Hospitals’ Use of Social Media (forbes.com)