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12 April  2009 ~

social-media-marketing.jpg This week, the Masters are taking place and you would need to live in a cave not to hear about it or Tiger Woods …and that got me thinking.  Anyone can play golf, albeit at different levels, but ANY one can play.  It’s the same thing with Social Media, anyone can do it but not everyone can perform at the same level or achieve the same results.  Having spoken to many CEO’s over the last few months, it is very clear that a lot of confusion exists in the business world, regarding what Social Media can achieve and WHO can actually achieve those results. “Awareness of social media” (i.e. we’ve heard the names of the sites or we may tentatively use a particular site) is not the same thing as “a business understanding of social media”. Think of it this way, Social Media metaphorically is like golf, anyone can do it, but if you are teeing off on the 72nd hole of the Masters, do you want your cousin’s college age kid or Tiger Woods playing this most important hole for you?

A concept like this can fill a book.  For this post, let’s keep the discussion high level and focus on 3 key points.

  1. Social Media is a marketing tool – Social Media is about communication and that can mean different things to different people, from re-connecting to old classmates or finding a new boyfriend or girlfriend, etc.  However if you are reading this, you are most likely a leading manager or executive within a business. As such, you need to have the mindset that the most effective way in which social media applies to you is as corporate strategy, and most likely as a Marketing Tool. 
  2. Social Media takes time to develop – When embracing Social Media, understand that you will be responsible for 3 things – a) creating your social media strategy, b) the initial set up of your company up on Social Media and c) sustaining the social media activities in line with the strategy you are pursuing.
    We hear the following phrase all the time, “…we do have a presence on this site or that one” – that’s great but how are you maintaining it?  We are usually told the maintenance is sporadic.  Unfortunately, sporadic maintenance equals sporadic results at best.  Think of this as a conversation.  If you start a conversation with someone (i.e. set up your presence), the expectation is for them is to respond, which they will. However, if you stop conversing (i.e. not maintaining your presence), how do you expect the other party to react when the conversation stops?  It’s simple, they will move on.  No one likes the silent treatment, right?  So why offer that to your customers or the audience you are trying to engage?
  3. It’s not the ROI but the IOR that matters – Basically every single time we meet with prospects, we hear – “well if I invest $xyz, how much money will I make back”?  Our reply is “this is relationship building”.  “Do you put an ROI on every business lunch or every networking event or every cup of coffee you meet someone over”?  
    ROI (Return on Investment) is not the best measurement for Social Media nor does it provide any meaningful guidance that can be measured.  IOR (Impact on Relationships) however, is much more effective. 
    You are building relationships with Social Media and as such, you are interested in generating awareness, credibility, followers & activity with your audience.  These activities will lead to future revenue generation.  It is much more important to understand & manage the growth of these elements than use a silly notion like this one we’ve heard – “I’ll only use LinkedIn if it will absolutely generate me a $100,000 deal”.

Conclusion
We can go on and on, talking about the most common mistakes to avoid, focusing on which tools are more effective for different business verticals, getting into the nuances of each tool, etc.  Here’s a nuance for you…  do you realize there are 30+ elements to address on your LinkedIn Profile to make it as effective as possible?  If you are interested, we offer a free eCourse on LinkedIn that provides guidance to some of these. Feel free to check it out at www.42for24.com

The bottom line – Social Media has tremendous applications for business, but it requires proper business knowledge, social media acumen and committed actions to generate the high impact results that every business is looking for.

About the CFO Strategist
Chris is very proud to add Best Selling author to his resume.  The book he co-authored, 42 Rules for 24 Hour Success on LinkedIn reached best seller status on Amazon, hitting a high of #68 across all of Amazon!  To purchase the book, please go to www.LinkToProsper.com or to Amazon.

His company, Link To Prosper, looks at Social Media as a Corporate Investment. The premise is to combine education and marketing which result in driving new and additional revenue streams. They currently provide a highly comprehensive, low cost, turnkey Social Media Marketing service that takes the complexity out of a Social Media operational strategy yet leaves their clients with a simple, yet sustainable maintenance plan, yielding exponential results.  For more info, please contact info@LinkToProsper.com.

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2 Comments »

  1. Nice writing. You are on my RSS reader now so I can read more from you down the road.

    Allen Taylor

    Comment by Allen Taylor April 12, 2009 @ 6:45 pm
  2. Hi,
    Its really nice write up.
    So many small business owners don’t know how to
    maximize their profits through social media.

    I hope this article enlightens every business owners.

    Thanks

    Comment by Shruti October 19, 2011 @ 5:35 am

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