Participating in social media can be a time consuming race down a rabbit hole. One tweet leads to an interesting website, which leads to another and so on. Before you know it you’ve lost an hour! Is social media really necessary for my business today?
Many of my clients have been asking this question the last few months (years!) so I’ve spent time recently really diving into a study of social media and the analytic software (Google Analytics, Klout, PeerIndex) which mines the data. I’ve tested all my channels of social networking and tried to understand which approach benefits my “scores”, brought in more followers and generated comments and retweets. I haven’t finished my testing; Klout adjusted their algorithm in the middle of my investigation so I’m still figuring out the best practices for me. Meanwhile I have some thoughts on why I’ve spent time in it and why social media is valuable to my business.
When I started my business I needed to find networking opportunities. In 1992, the newspaper supplied advertisements and announcements of groups and their meetings. I remember having the ad for WBOC (Womens Business Owners Connection) on my desk for months before I was brave enough to go. The only information I had was the time and the meeting place.
When I moved to Tennessee, I had already explored MeetUp Groups before I arrived. It allowed me to see the group information, a bio of each person in the group and dates and times. It paved the way to my first client in less than two months of relocating.
I was able to use LinkedIn to connect with these people and find other groups and information which made my business move easier. Through groups on this platform I’ve made connections with people in my field which have allowed me to find vendors and local educational opportunities. I’ve been given some great recommendations that allow potential clients to hear from others what it’s like to do business with me.
This WordPress blog has become an online portfolio for me and will soon be part of my new website. It is a great way to allow potential clients to see my work and to “hear” my voice.
In 2009 I joined Twitter, it was a slow start – but today it is one of my favorite means of communication and information. I can quickly search for answers using #hashtags and find quality answers, real time news and experts on every subject imaginable.
This past year I have added a Facebook business page to my personal account. It has been a great opportunity to build my brand and explain what I do to another network of people. I also enjoy following other brands and find Facebook to be another valuable educational tool.
So is Social Media WORTH THE TIME? Absolutely.
I am slowly narrowing my subject funnel – Social media and social media networking is about the “customer first.” So my focus is on producing content that is helpful to my clients based on my expertise, giving them knowledge on design, printing, social media and technology. I really found reading through Heidi Cohen’s blog post of 30 Social Media Definitions interesting, as each one was a little different – one particular stood out:
Social media is today’s most transparent, engaging and interactive form of public relations. It combines the true grit of real time content with the beauty of authentic peer-to-peer communication. Lisa Buyer – The Buyer Group
If you want to build your business community, brand awareness and increase your revenue – it’s worth the time.