Social media the new cold call; do you want to play

November 30, 2009
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People are pretty polarized about the social media craze. It’s an Internet tug-of-war between the believers and the non-believers. And one by one, the believers (the users) are dragging the non-believers (non-users) across the line.

Which one are you?

The big six — Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter, Ning and Flickr — pretty much dominate the market. If you’re going to play in the social media world, those five are the sandbox. Everyone else that’s not in the big six goes into their branding meetings wishing their name was LinkedIn.

Social media, or social networking, has taken the world by storm. Actually, by tsunami. It’s a tidal wave of people, photos, videos and tweets that equal massive connections.

Reality: Millions of businesses have social media logos on the front page of their Web sites. How many businesses have your logo up there, and who wants to connect to your people? Ouch!

There are major business implications and opportunities that are afforded through this new online phenomena. Here are 6.5 of them:

1. Facebook — You have found your old high school or college friends – or better, they have found you. That’s your “social” page. The business question is, “Do you have a fan page?” A fan page is the way to give value and attract new friends and customers.

Reality bytes: Facebook was just valued at $9.5 billion. A couple of 24-year-olds have changed the Internet forever in less than six years.

2. Twitter — Newest of the social media, it’s gibberish to some, money to others, and mystery to most. I tweet one value message every day. I tweet my own thoughts and words. And I recommend you do the same.

3. YouTube — If it’s a video world, why are you without your HD Flip? As you know from MTV, video killed the radio star. I have a dedicated YouTube channel where I post sales tips and random rants about attitude, trust, loyalty and other business value points.

How are you taking advantage of YouTube? Where are your customer video testimonials when you really need them?

4. LinkedIn — All business, all opportunity, all connections. But it’s a giant Leads Club until someone figures out what their value proposition is and how to deliver it.

The key right now is to build a base of connections and consistently deliver value messages to attract more.

5. Flickr — Photos to post and photos to find. In a 10-year space of time, one-hour photo shops have gone from boom to bust. Digital images and photo printers have killed the radio star.

Look at photos of others to learn about them, post pictures of family so they can learn about you. Attach them to e-mails. Use them in presentation slides. Post them on Facebook. It’s fun and a great way to build understanding and relationships

6. Ning — This is the internal social network that allows companies to communicate among each other about projects or business or both — a golden opportunity to produce more at optimum communication levels.

6.5 YOU — The largest element in social media or social networking is you: what you do, what you post, what you tweet, what you shoot, what you record, and the work (dedication) to make your personal message and your personal brand attractive.

There are key words to consider as you try to build your social media world: connections, attract, video, value, consistent, fan, relevance, write, allocate, monetize.

But there’s a secret. How you position and promote yourself in the NON-social media world is critical to your success in the social media world. Your writing, your Web site, your blog, your ezine, your personal brand in your marketplace, your perceived value in the marketplace and your reputation are elements of attraction that affect your social media status — and surely your success.

And then there are the charlatans and those trying to take unfair advantage of others. Like anything else in business there will always be a small percentage of idiots and zealots doing the wrong thing: Ignore them. Don’t let the actions of a few spoil your outlook to advance and grow.

There’s billions of dollars of new business being generating by social media. How much of it will you get?

Maybe you need to get a bit more serious about being a bit more social.

Free GitBit: Want one more social media mastery point? Go to www.gitomer.com and enter the word SOCIAL in the GitBit box. Jeffrey Gitomer can be reached at (704) 333-1112 or e-mail salesman@gitomer.com.

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