I often get asked what all the fuss surrounding social media is all about. The most common question is something like this: “Why in the world should I worry about social media for my business?”
So, I thought I’d write a post that offers some basic answers to the ‘Why’ question. I’m only going to talk about Facebook in this post because it’s a simple tool and offers a terrific example of how powerful social media can be for your business.
- Even if social media is not on your radar, it is for many of your prospects, clients and customers.
- Social media offers you a unique opportunity, without face-to-face contact, to reach out to those folks in engaging and meaningful ways.
- You can leverage your professional expertise or promote your products by sharing what you know in small bits and pieces.
- You can build website traffic – and ultimately build your business.
- As you continue to provide engaging, interesting content, you strengthen your relationships with the people in your network.
Think of social media as a target. You and your business are the center of the target.You’re the first circle.
The second circle includes the people who already know you. These are the people you have probably done business with, or you know through professional circles. They like you; they trust you. They appreciate and enjoy hearing from you not only by phone and email, but would likely enjoy engaging with you via social media.
The third circle includes the colleagues, friends, and family of the people in the second circle. It’s unlikely you will know them. But many of them could easily become a warm prospect, or a client, or a customer – because the people in ‘your’ circle … simply by ‘sharing’ your content … are providing a very strong, yet subtle, referral.
The people in the fourth circle … well, you get the gist of this.
Social media is all about reinforcing relationships with the people who already know you, like you, and trust you. And it’s about cultivating relationships with people who – by referral – would like to get to know you, like you, and trust you.
How do you do that? It’s actually quite easy. And brilliant. As an example, here’s a recent Facebook post on my Writeology Facebook page. All I’ve done is create a link to a particular page on my website that offers information that I think my clients will find useful. If this were real, the reader could simply click on the hyperlink with the article title, and they’d go directly to that page on my website.
Remember the target? My Facebook post is the center. My network is the second circle. Let’s say I have 100 people in that circle. If those 100 people find my Facebook post useful and interesting, they will likely SHARE my original post with the people in their circle. Let’s say that each of the people in their circle also has 100 people in their Facebook network. The math is pretty easy. With one simple post I have the opportunity to reach a very large, whole new group of prospects.
As basic as this explanation is – and regardless of whether you offer a professional service or sell widgets - there are hundreds of ways to use social media to reach out to a potentially large and lucrative audience.
Here’s the bottom line. Whether you use social media in your personal life (and it’s absolutely fine if you don’t), these days it’s a proven, solid, smart marketing strategy. It works. It solidifies relationships. It generates referrals. It builds business.