Tag: twitter

Social Media: Love It or Leave It, It is here to stay

I recently posted about making investments in Social Media to grow your business. Frank McCabe is Vice President of Marketing & Communications at The Beacon Group – a Massachusetts-based construction, logistics and facility services firm

Facebook?  Twitter?  No thanks!

Admittedly that was my attitude about social media two years ago.  Despite the buzz and excitement surrounding these “new” means of communicating with friends, colleagues (and, frankly, anyone interested in you and your opinions)…I wanted no part of it.

Why would people want to post their daily happenings?

What would possess anyone to share their personal viewpoints for the world to see?

Who has the time to check in with another website during their day?

Everyone does!

Two years later, I have accounts with all of the mainstream social media outlets and, quite honestly, I am late to join the game.

As a marketer of both business-to-business and business-to-consumer products and services, I have finally come to the obvious conclusion that this form of communication is a necessary tool to succeed in reaching and educating our customers, employees and prospects.

A recent seminar presented by email marketing pioneer, Constant Contact, further revealed this fact.

81% of B-to-B sellers use Linked In

60% of B-to-B sellers use Facebook

Big business, small business, for profits, non-profits and every business between is leveraging social media to their advantage and more and more data continues to surface around their successful use of these portals.  The lesson is simple: if you are not using any social media for your business and communications, it’s time to get in the game.  If you have started to use these services, keep going!  The web is abundant with free information that will provide you with endless facts and case studies for why you need to make this part of your marketing efforts and how to go about doing social media the right way.

The good news is that this technology is not that difficult to grasp.  Social media sites are designed for everyone.  From the savvy techie-geek looking to add yet another cyber-tool that will allow him to avoid actual human contact down to the retired baby boomer looking to get quick updates and photos of the grandkids.  Social media has something for everyone and every business.

Now for the bad news.  Once you leap into the waters of social media, please understand what you open yourself up to.  When you post news on Facebook or “tweet” a message on Twitter, this information is, somewhat, wide open for the world to see.  A great rule of thumb is don’t post anything that you would not want your grandmother to read.” From a business standpoint, all information you post into the social media stream should be trustworthy, ethical and polite.

If you stick to those guidelines, you will soon find your readership will increase along with your brand recognition.

Do some research and find out what type of social media makes sense for you and your business.

Is Social Media a Smart Investment?

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A friend of mine is in the metals business. Over the last 20 years, his family business has done quite well primarily selling copper extracted from other scrap metals. Recently, he was telling me about a couple of significant investments they were making. One in enterprise software to better manage their business (in particular their inventory) and a new extraction machine that would expand their product offering and open new markets. Both appear to be great investments. My buddy is a smart, curious guy and is into technology (geek). He is without question, at a personal level, an early adopter: Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, iphone, ipad etc. But, I was actually surprised the other day when I got an invite from him to connect via LinkedIn. He had never talked about LinkedIn so I called him to ask what was up. He said an important prospect wanted to connect and he didn’t want to be embarrassed with only 3 connections. He was taking his first step into B2B social media. He was making another “investment” (while not nearly as significant as a new software system and extraction machine) to move his business forward.

Every day we are making investments in our businesses. For me, the most crucial investment decisions are time, money and people. How important are investments in social media? I read the articles that profess the benefits but I’m in trial mode. I sit here writing, tweeting, linking, commenting, and answering. Are you doing the same? Social Small Biz tweeted yesterday that in their latest survey they found 50% of B2B marketers don’t blog and 49% don’t use Twitter. My gut tells me that if you have identified the right audience these tools can be worthy of the investment and the folks surveyed are behind the curve. But, you have to be persistent, disciplined and analytical (so you can understand ROI). And, like any investment, you may not see an immediate return.

My buddy has 19 LinkedIn connections now. I have yet to hear if this “investment” made a positive impression on the prospect. They are likely to be more impressed with the new extraction machine.