What if using social media made you more successful? What if it meant more people knew about you and you could stay in contact with your customers more easily? How about if it grew your reputation and influence? I bet that would get you excited about what’s possible.
Guess what? That is exactly what most people get out of being active in their preferred social network. From school kids to retired silver surfers and everyone else in between, the simple power gained from using social media is the ability to know more people and speak to them more easily.
Preconceptions Stop Social Media Success
People’s preconceptions and even misconceptions about social media is what stops many people from using it. When I go into an organisation and deliver a strategy to their team, it is rarely met with much enthusiasm. Right at the start I look to deal with these barriers.
- Takes too much time
- What if people complain
- I’m just not good at this sort of thing
- It’s not relevant to my job
- My clients don’t use it
I can’t deny the validity of some of these are factors but most of the time the person has never even read a blog let alone written one or tweeted about one. Like most preconceptions in our lives, they are influenced by the media and people around us. To address the problem, all we need to do is provide a more balanced understanding of what social media has to offer. When the rich benefits of social media are correctly presented, the reasons not to get involved in it fade away.
Look at these figures from the 2012 Social Media Marketing Industry Report
Social media will make your job enjoyable
Most people have a wealth of knowledge and experience. Stuck behind a desk each day, they don’t get much chance of using it outside of existing clients and ongoing projects. That doesn’t mean it is not valuable though. Sharing it and engaging with more people who want it creates a tremendous boost to many people’s confidence. People who feel valued and appreciated are more productive in their work and healthier – stress causes illness. As you build your network and online influence, more people will know you. As your reputation grows you will find yourself being recognised at events and even being asked to be the speaker. Whilst this might not be everyone’s idea of fun, it certainly feels good to be acknowledged.
Social media makes you more successful
Everybody needs to be a salesman. For some this is a horrid thought but in today’s economy and because of the way the world works, we all need to be able to sell ourselves and the value of what we do. No-one is going to give you a job for life so recognize that there is a value to being well known and well respected for what you do. That is simply selling yourself. But it gets better. People don’t like being sold to. It’s boring and arrogant. People like to learn or be told things that will help them in the job or life. Be clear about what value you add to others and share it freely.
Social media solves problems
We have goals and objectives in our work. We need to hit targets and meet deadlines. Problem is that work is not always that simple. Things happen; we can’t find this or we need a solution to that. Social media is a real time search engine and a real time response engine. If there is something you need and you are connected to a relevant community then you can simply turn to them and ask them. Whether it is recruiting someone or finding out about a product you haven’t tried – in fact anything you need to know, you can search or ask.
Social media is fun
It’s not often we get to say work is fun. One of the biggest reasons this is the case is that there is not enough variety. Maintaining an active presence online might be challenging at first, especially as you build up your network and reputation. After time though, the opportunity and dialogue you can strike up will not only help you be more connected and help you achieve your business goals but also quite likely be enjoyable. Share about your hobbies and personal life (after all, they help define you) and you will indeed have some fun.
There are plenty more good reasons why social media will benefit your business. If you have some more reasons, please share them here.