Are you in the social media game or on the sidelines

January 31, 2011
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Social media has changed the world.

Let me clarify that statement. Social media has changed YOUR world. Whatever you’re doing online — whether it’s tweeting, LinkedIn-ing, Facebook-ing, or YouTube-ing — social media has changed the way of communicating one-on-one, one-on-customer base and one-to-the-world.

Because of social media and the Internet, big companies no longer have a big advantage. Anyone can create a news blog that can immediately compete with The New York Times.

LinkedIn has created a new way to cold call and a much more sophisticated way for businesses to connect. You can go on LinkedIn and search by job title and find prospective customers at no cost.

NOTE: Job hunting and job placement are the second largest activity on LinkedIn. It’s the employment agency of the future.

Twitter allows you to gain a following of people interested in your thoughts, your information, or the information of others that they perceive as valuable.

And yet there are people who discount social media, avoid it and even bad mouth it. Those people are fools.

REALITY: Social media and business social media have created new sales, new marketing, new exposure, new branding, new communication, new networking and new business opportunities, the likes of which have never been seen or known before. And the revolution is just starting.

Most businesses, business people, business executives and salespeople are still social media inept.

NOTE WELL: There are very few things or actions and very few people or circumstances that can change the rules of the game. Social media has changed all four. People, circumstances, things and actions have all been changed forever as a result of posting, tweeting, linking and connecting. And the people who have taken advantage of this have changed their outreach in a way that has all their traditional competitors shaking in their boots.

Think about your social media place as you plan your marketing outreach for the next 10 years, and ask yourself these questions:

1. What’s my current position in my marketplace?

2. How do my customers perceive me?

3. Can my customers access my company to leave comments and tell stories 24/7?

4. Do I really know what my competition is thinking and saying?

5. How attractive am I to my customers?

6. What’s my value proposition that favors my customers, and how do I let them know it, day after day, without simply repeating it?

There is an unspoken strategy for businesses to employ, and that strategy focuses around the word “value.” The more you offer, the more attractive you will become. The less you offer, the more anonymous you will remain.

At this writing, Facebook is only the third largest country in the world. There is no doubt it will achieve No. 1 status in less than a decade. Think about that. Right now Facebook has a 16 percent market share — of the world population!

I have only been actively involved in social media for three years. This year I am going all out to attract, engage and connect. I have hired a consulting firm to help me. I have three people on staff posting events, monitoring my accounts and helping me.

AUTHENTICITY: I do my own tweets, either dictate or post my updates on Facebook, and I am active (accepting invitations and responding or corresponding) on LinkedIn. I believe that staying personally involved keeps my message true to my philosophy and helps me learn.

Nike said, “Just do it!” I’m saying, “Just do it, now!”

Jeffrey Gitomer can be reached at (704) 333-1112 or e-mail salesman@gitomer.com

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