social media and small business 

Why Social Media for professionals is no longer an add on

I was recently asked to give a talk to a professional group about social media. They were undecided about whether to incorporate social media into their marketing mix and if it was a good use of their time and resources. While all had LinkedIn accounts most did not know how make the most of it and other social media tools such as Facebook and Twitter. Well, it’s no longer a question of whether it’s worth it, but what is it worth not to have a social media presence for your company.
Consider this:

Millions of consumers & professionals regularly frequent social media sites to make buying decisions.
People are buying products and services, investigating companies, retaining vendor partners or hiring new employees.
The sheer volume of eyeballs with commercial intent cannot be ignored.
Social media networks offer an entirely new way to reach and influence buyers. And is simply no longer an add on.

Further more buyers have gone from being passive.e.g. receiving email and direct mail to becoming informed participants in the selection process. This means traditional marketing efforts alone will no longer work even in the professional services area.Buyers are doing on line research to see what others think of your services and company. Social media also enables your prospects to quickly and independently conduct due diligence on your company and validate that your company is a good fit .  While Social media is another layer of the communications and influencer process, it does not replace your marketing efforts.

 Here are a few simple rules

1. You have to be in it to win it.
2. Research and understand your audience’s behavior.
3. Get a feel for your competitive landscape.
4. Listen before you speak.

5. Engage people with what they’re interested in
  —It’s not about you; it’s about them (and they know it)
6. Don’t be fake.
7. Have fun!