Today was like most other days… A little bit of networking, and a lot of work. Work that was born out of networking and presentations. A friend of mine said that I should call them lunchworking, or brunch working because I take a lot of pictures of food when I network… but that's what people comment on! Especially #Bacon!
#Bacon is on purpose. Search #Bacon in Twitter and you will find thousands of posts. I joined Pintrest and looked up Bacon and there were thousands more! This just proves that people are more interested in Bacon than seeing a picture of me presenting about Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter : )
This was a panel discussion with Jean Maday from the Chicago office of the National Association or Realtors. Jean is very experienced with Social Media and a big fan of Twitter. We talked with people who belong to the Northern Illinois Commercial Association of Realtors (NICAR) about using Social Media and Social Networking to grow their businesses in these tough economic times.
The focus was on how do they leverage Social Media to grow business. Since LinkedIn is primarily Business-2-Business (B2b), it was a huge topic of discussion. Also how Twitter could help them (but there was only a few on Twitter – and less who really understood it's use and power). You get the questions of “How” and Why” and “Who” but no question is as poignant and eye opening as this…
[box type=”note” size=”large” style=”rounded”]”I Dont Have Time… I can barely answer my phone calls and email and now you want me to log into Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to create more information overload in my business? I don't have the time and you need to convince me why it's important?”[/box]
The answer always comes out like the first Gulf War… SHOCK AND AWE! The answer they want to hear is “Well then it's not for you and it does not matter!”. The Answer they want is “I can just ignore this and do business the old way!”. But the REAL ANSWER is “If you don't want to jump on the trolly then you can bet you are waving to your competition as they move on to a new way of doing business!”.
The Answer is simple… but the execution is hard, time consuming, and a complete paradigm shift in doing business. The OLD way was people chose you because you were the best, the most experienced, and the one that everyone knew! The NEW is because, you are available, accessible, and someone that everyone recommends because they KNOW, LIKE, AND TRUST YOU!
The Answer today was…
[box type=”tick” size=”large” style=”rounded”]Customers will Call, EMail, Text, Facebook Instant Message, Twitter Direct Message, and LinkedIn In-Mail YOU… They WANT you to be where THEY are comfortable communicating with YOU… NOT where YOU feel comfortable… in order to build and grow relationships!”.[/box]
If you don't like the answer… your competition will appreciate that… and will be happy to be available for those potential customers!
So What's With This Social Media Thingy Stuff?
I am not going to tell you that Social Media is the Panacea of Marketing… or the Holy Grail of the New Economy… but what I will tell you is “You Snooze, You Lose!”. Here are some thoughts that I think will better help you get the Point, Purpose and understand the Peeked Interest Social Media For Business…
- Face To Face Networking is King… Getting to sit down with people is the best way to get them to Know, Like, and Trust YOU! What makes you different than anyone else who does what you do? No web entity can create personality, experience, and answers to personal questions!
- Social Networking is an Extension of Face to Face Networking – Not a Replacement for It… When you get the chance to connect with someone, use Social Media to continue the conversation. Just telling someone (who you have not met) how wonderful you are is just another ADVERTISEMENT!
- Be Where Your Customers (or Potential Customers) Want You to Be… I have clients that will text me one day, then Facebook message me the next, then eMail me the next, and call me the next. Why would you not want to be where people WANT to find you? If you say “I don't do Facebook because I don't want my personal life on display!”… Then there is definitely someone else who will be excited to answer that question or solve that problem! IT'S NOT ABOUT YOU!
Believe me when I say that it's a challenge and not easy… but in this new way of doing business… others are figuring out ways to be where your customers are, and what they need to do to fulfill their needs!
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