Embrace Social Media Now
For many of us, social media sites like MySpace and Facebook have seemed little more than time-wasters or social hangouts for Millennials. But the truth is that social media efforts not only brand your business, but can also drive sales and even open the doors for opportunities with other businesses and business leaders.
Why should business leaders be involved with social media - and how can they get started?
Social Media Isn't Some "Nerd Niche" - It Is Now Mainstream
A few years ago, Facebook was mostly a site for college students, while Twitter was a haven for young people, online marketers, and well connected geeks.
Fast forward to 2013 and you'll see that at least half of the U.S. is using Facebook, and over a third is using Twitter. But less than 10% of Fortune 500 CEOs use Facebook, and an underwhelming 4% use Twitter.
Don't have time to hang out and post pithy comments online? That's understandable. But if you don't set aside at least a little time each week to create some online presence, you're putting yourself and your company behind the times. You're also missing out on a chance to raise brand awareness and control your brand image.
Social Media Activity Gets Positive Attention for Your Brand
You don't have to spend much time on social media in order to make a positive impact. Giants like Bill Gates and Rupert Murdoch don't post often, but when they do, each has millions of followers that take note.
You don't have to be as well-known as Murdoch or Gates in order to take advantage of social media. In fact, more and more analytics are saying that a lack of social media presence may be hurting your business and its shareholders.
You don't have to comment on every little aspect of life to keep you and your brand relevant in the 21st century. Instead, all you need to do is realize the massive opportunities that social media puts in to your hands.
How You Can Handle Your Social Media Presence
Many CEOs and other business leaders, having never used social media before, may wonder at this point just how to get into the game. Fortunately, it's easier than they may think.
Your first option is to do it yourself. You don't have to spend a lot of time doing it. In fact, if you have children over the age of 13 or so, you can even turn it into a bonding experience that makes them feel good while also teaching them about business - just ask them how to set up your profile on Facebook.
Once you've set up your account, it's perfectly acceptable to outsource the rest of your presence. You don't have to hire a web designer in order to do so (although it's true that many providers who started off in web design careers now offer social media services as well). A good online marketing professional will build your online presence (i.e., collect and engage online "friends" and "followers") while posting messages on your behalf.
Make sure you hire someone who understands marketing, understands your business, and listens to your needs and expectations. Smart social media is all about being a good listener, and you want to make sure your provider listens not only to your market, but to you as well. Otherwise, you risk losing control of your company's brand, as well as your own personal reputation.
Social media gives you the chance to interact in a positive way with your market, as well as with other leaders in your market. You'd be surprised at the kinds of opportunities it will open up. Artisan has many well qualified social media professionals on staff who can help. Contact us today to learn more.
Brad C is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.