Written by: Brandon Lewin
Oh the weather outside is frightful,
But the fire is so delightful,
And since we’ve no place to go,
Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!
One of the top five biggest blizzards is upon us and we were all rushing home. The snow was and still is flying. It has been a white out for the past 14 hours. Only the brave are driving. In some parts of the city and the surrounding areas it looks like a ghost town. The shelves in the supermarkets are empty. People are tucked away in their homes nice and cozy. The Chicago Public Schools are closed for the first time in 12 years. No one is coming or going at least through the air. O’Hare and Midway have canceled all flights until Thursday afternoon. It is official, the day is marked up to a Snow Day, at least for most. For entrepreneurs and small business owners, we know better than to let a day go by without producing some type of profitable activity. With that said, we need to officially substitute the word “Snow” for “Social Media” and call this a Social Media Day.
Days like this is why having “Social Networking” makes our current society that more productive. Some people see the Social Media world as the human race distancing ourselves even further from reality. In some circumstances, I would agree with that statement. However if you use Social Media in the proper way, it will bring you even closer to society than you could ever imagine. If we went back 20 years or even 44 years to be exact, when the ’67 Blizzard hit Chicago and the Midwest, business owners and entrepreneurs would not have had the luxuries of still being able to produce a profit for their business. We are lucky. The biggest concerns with Social Media Marketing are three main issues:
Those issues are the common topic of conversation for myself and our company. I visit with people day in and day out. On the phone, via email, over Skype, face to face, and sometimes face to face to a crowd of hundred’s. The normal topic is Social Media Marketing. The typical questions are, “How can Social Media Marketing create direct leads for my business?” “What are the best ways to use Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn?” “Is Twitter and Facebook good for my business?” The other common question is, “How many hours do we need to spend on the Social Media sites?” The answer alone will create more unwanted grey hairs than an adolescent teen will. What we tell most people is, “if you want to create worthy relationships that will create clients eventually, you must spend an average of 2 hours a day….per site.” Yes, you read it correctly. You need to spend 2 hours per day on each site. That means if you are utilizing the three major hitters, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn for relationship building and/or lead generation you must invest 6 hours a day. I know what you are thinking…”6 hours a day? When can I run my business?” That is a great question. Now you see why companies who can afford paying an employee a salary, benefits, and pay the payroll taxes are doing so for a Social Media Marketing manager and sometimes a team of people. Don’t worry; you can still be successful with utilizing Social Media for your marketing purposes without hiring an employee or four.
The secret to success on Social Media is 5 things:
- Quality Relationships
When you live by those 5 characteristics in your Social Media Marketing efforts you will be very successful. Not everyone can and will hire employees to maintain their Social Networking Accounts for their business. The best way is to do it yourself, if you can. Most entrepreneurs, small business owners, even medium-sized companies cannot afford to have the senior level executives manage their LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter accounts 6 hours per day. Really, the best situation, that is the least time-consuming and inexpensive way is to hire a credible outsourcing firm. You noticed I included the word “credible” into that statement. That is because there are regular Joe’s out there who think because they know how to create a Facebook Fan page and capture followers they are an “expert”. The word “expert” is thrown around way too loosely. People, please do your research. Ask for resources, even if the investment price is unbelievably inexpensive. The sayings go, “You get what you pay for” and “If it sounds too good to be true, than it is”. Do not be that person. Do not toss around a couple of hundred dollars just to get burned. You are better off to invest some time to do your research and invest a little extra Dough to get the results you deserve. The whole concept of Social Media Marketing is foreign to many of us. The best advice I can give anyone is, do your homework and just give it a try.
Today is a day that will be spent inside, but it does not have to be spent doing nothing. While you are indoors, heat some hot chocolate or coffee, fire up the laptop and login into your choice of Social Media Sites. You have the time now to explore the Wild Wild Web. All you have to do is give it a try. Once you feel comfortable, call an outsourcing firm to start the hiring process. Enjoy your Social Media Day!