This is the first in the series of “Practical Social Media“; over the coming weeks I will be looking in depth at how to set-up and run Social Media as part of your overall business strategy. If you have any areas you would like me to cover please let me know via the comments section below.
It’s all the rage, as with web sites in the late 90’s, all your competitors are doing it so you think you should be too. Social Media is a phenomenon that has caught on as much with consumers as it has with business. Unlike web sites where it was largely about the “business” Social Media is all about the “consumer”.
So as a business where do you start?
Although there is much temptation to start creating Twitter accounts and Facebook pages, please resist. It’s not too late to join the party, there’s no rush and there’s plenty of experience to draw from.
Social Media should be like any new venture within your business, it needs a strategy, it needs a plan.
An important point to remember is that these strategies and plans need to align with your overall business strategy. It needs to integrate with your current activity. This is quite key to the success of Social Media within your business. If you treat it like an add-on, an outsource job, or some standalone venture it will fail; integration into the heart of your overall business is what you should be aiming for.
Feel the passion
You take part in Social Media as an expression of your passion for your business not just to increase sales. The sales increase is a by-product of passionate Social Media execution. In his book Crush It, Gary Vaynerchuk states “Skills are cheap, passion is priceless”; we can all learn how to paint, but few of us can express ourselves in our art as well as Vincent van Gogh.
I will labour on this point for a bit as it is important to understand that the money making comes last. It’s counterintuitive to why you think you run a business.
Have a think about why you originally started your business or entered your particular career path. Was it just to make money? Maybe because you had a particular skill? Or was it because enjoyed doing what you do?
In truth it will be a combination of the above; the thought process would have gone along the lines of:
“I’m pretty good at this, wish I could do it for a living, I might even make some money.” And if your even partially successful, the reason will be because you hold a passion for what you do.
Your real reason for being in business
When you enter into Social Media it is that originating thought process you need to take with you. “I am telling these people about what we do because I enjoy talking about it. I am helping them get what they want because it makes me feel good to share my experiences and knowledge.”
In businesses big and small there are likely to be employees at all levels who hold this passion and belief. If you are a larger business you may find Social Media stars at all levels.
We’ll revisit this in future posts, but for now have a think about this; how much passion do you have for what you do? It’s this passion that will drive you through the barriers and brick walls that hold many back from success in Social Media.