Thinking Differently About the Relationship Between Your Business and Social Media

 

Listened to a thought-provoking webinar today sponsored by Citrix. The session focused on being a social business, not being a business that uses social media. This may sound like semantics but the speaker, Amber Haslund of SideraWorks, provided some thoughts that business owners need to reflect on.

The talk challenged us to think differently about the relationship between social media and business. Three comments she made really stuck with me

  • Stop selling ships, sell destinations – We need to be not just focus on the tools or the number of times we use the tools. Instead we need to focus on telling the business story and building what our business can do for the customer.
  • Speak the language of business , not social media. Probably nothing more needs to be said but when trying to bring social media into the business, talk about the use and the returns in business lingo. Don’t use social media talk.
  • The goal is insight, not just activity. You want to prove progress. That progress may not be measured in terms of clicks or hits or likes. Instead the important step is analyzing the results and determining how you have engaged and better understood the intended audience.

Thought these highlights provided a nice way to finish up our month looking at social media and businesses.

Hope you enjoyed. Next month our Wednesday blogs will look at the “tricky” issue of pricing.

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Social Media – Where are you?

As a business owner when you hear the words “social media,” how do you respond?

  • That train has already left and I missed it
  • I don’t want to be the first kid on the block (or in my community) to try it
  • I don’t know anything about it
  • There are so many choices I don’t know which one to pick
  • There isn’t enough time in the day. I hear it takes ________________ (fill in the blank) per ______________________(fill in the blank).

As you scan the list, I hope you begin to see there is nothing here you can’t overcome. Yes some companies have been doing it a long time but many more are still waiting and more are ignoring it hoping it will go away – Sorry, it is here to stay.

And in terms of not knowing enough, none of us ever feel we do.  I am always telling some NE colleagues that they have been dragging me along, kicking and screaming, into this new age. The reality is I am glad they did. Yes they know more than me but they share that knowledge. And I can turn around and share what I know with others. That is the power of networking. So find a mentor and be a mentor.

Regarding which social media platform to use, you can get ideas on what certain groups of people use but the best way is ask your customers. I would take the most common answer and start there (Just a note – your web presence is central to your online efforts so start there first). Also follow others.

Finally, the time it takes is up to you. Some days you have a little, other days you have more. You already know that owning a business is not 8-5. Balance your marketing needs with your time. Consider how to best spend your resources. Start small. Remember though that you need to be consistent in whatever you decide to do.

Social Media Today offers a good example of a to-do list (http://bit.ly/XMVm3Y). You don’t need to cover them all (you do need to cover items 1,2 and 3).

The take-away – I hope just a little encouragement. Depending on where you are at, give it a try or take the next step.

M-Commerce

As an entrepreneur, how can you make it easier for customers to pay? Below is a photo of me, making a mobile payment at a local Starbucks. M-commerce will continue to emerge in 2013 in various forms:

* mobile e-commerce, transacting with an e-commerce site via a mobile device (PayPal)
* mobile payments, using a smartphone as the conduit (Google Wallet, Apple Passbook)
* in-store mobile commerce, purchase of physical goods in the store via an App that interacts with the store’s point-of-sale system, bypassing the checkout process
(Caron, 2012).

Keep tabs on mobile commerce with www.mobilecommercedaily.com

Paying @ Starbucks

Social Media Trends and Tools

Social media is becoming a habit for more than 50 millions consumers.  Wonder what they are doing, when and on what devices?  Find out more by checking out some of the latest reports and predictions:

1 – The 9 Consumer Social Media Trends That Could Impact Marketers

http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/9-consumer-social-media-trends-that-could-impact-marketers/#more-32919Social media

2 – Social Media Trends for 2013: 7 Tips on How to Maximize ROI

http://www.searchenginejournal.com/social-media-trends-for-2013-7-tips-on-how-to-maximize-roi/57617

3 – News Consumption: Digital, Mobile, and Social Media Trends

http://www.marketingprofs.com/charts/2013/9986/news-consumption-digital-mobile-and-social-media-trends

4 – Global Social Media Trends in 2013

http://socialmediatoday.com/christian-arno/1194396/global-social-media-trends-2013

5 – 5 Surprising Marketing Trends for 2013

So … what can you do?

* Share your thoughts – What do you think are the top social media trends and tools for 2013?

* Learn more by participating in the eXtension webinar of Feb 14th at 2:00 p.m. (ET); 1:00 p.m. (CT); 12:00 p.m. (MT); 11:00 am (PT). Connect to webinar – https://connect.extension.iastate.edu/etc-cop

* Share examples of food and farm businesses using social and mobile media marketing by contacting me, Julie Fox, fox.264@osu.eduhttp://directmarketing.osu.edu