Want your business to be more successful in 2013? One way to make this happen is to tap into social media and leverage social media’s relationship building advantages.
There are plenty of resources online that can help you learn more about social media – Social Media Examiner offers insights and practical how-to’s, a number of local and national firms offer online training in nearly all aspects of social media (just Google these), bloggers write or chat with a stranger strategically about social media, and both virtual and inperson conferences abound. For those who prefer the benefits of personalized, customized social media assistance, there are a number of good social media consultants (mini plug for those looking for help in the Charlotte, NC area).
If you’re already involved with social media for your business, now that 2013 and thoughts of the New Year are upon us, it seems to be a good time to reflect on what might be ahead for social media, digital communications, and social marketing as it relates to small business.
Just as the Jetson’s cartoon of the 1960′s had imaginings of tools of the future, so today do we look to what we know and add what we can imagine to it. Will we be right? No! Or at least not totally.
While we’re still dealing with potholes and traffic issues, not buzzing around in space a la Jetsons, we dohave robots, microwave ovens and frozen dinners that were showcased 50 years ago in a cartoon which projected how the future could be. In other words, we can have a clue.
So as I look ahead for small businesses, I see that 2013 will continue to be all about building relationships and having your product or service visible to the people who want and need what you are selling.
The trends support this: rapid changes in technology – with mobile, continued growth of the Internet, the cloud – and the continued personal pressures of 24/7 living and multi-tasking. One way to adapt to the evolution in technology and to leverage personal time constraints is through efficient and effective engagement with social media.
So what specifically can you do this next year to improve your social media and digital communication business benefits? Here are a few ideas:
Focus on building relationships
Use Twitter strategically by reaching out and having conversations with people you don’t easily have access to – search by either conversation (keywords help here) or by person (prospects, thought leaders, customers, anyone who can benefit from your product or service). You can do this on other social media platforms as well.
Participate in LinkedIn Groups – showcase your knowledge and provide help (non-salesy) to people by answering questions and contributing to discussions.
Use LinkedIn for research – before meetings or networking events to gain knowledge about who you’re talking to and who they may know that you would like to know.
Select the few appropriate social media platforms to be involved with (every business is different – some will best build communities on Facebook, others on Google+, Pinterest, etc.) and engage regularly.
Social media continues to evolve and be relevant as a tool to help you manage and craft your future. Done well, with strategic intent and focus on your audience(s) and business goals, social media can expand your reach, do some of the heavy lifting in nurturing relationships, and position you and your business to be able to find leads and convert them to customers.
Social Media Trends 2013 – How You Can Adapt the Best to Improve Your Business
Brave New Marketing World
The Easy Way to Learn about Social Media – Shortcuts and Current Resources
Your Social Media Personal Trainer – Learn Social Media in One on One, Hands-on Sessions in Charlotte
Your Local Market – What you can do to Stand Out in the Crowd with Social Media