With the catchphrase of Social Media circulating wildly about, I find definitions vary all over the map. Rather than tie anything down or take anyone on about the best definition, I like to think of Social Media as simply communication. Communication with friends, prospects, customers, clients, vendors, suppliers and family. Social Media has been around for thousands of years, just under a few different names. Sitting around the campfire, people would tell stories about what was important to them. Whether it was their family, the local hunting grounds, their history, the weather or the encounters of the day it was Social and it was Communication.
Moving forward in time travelers were a source of stories and communications from far away places that most would never visit. Social Media in a later era is the newspapers that were inhaled from front to back to see what else might be happening in the town and other far away places. Move to another era and the radio was a key source of the communications about happenings and prospects for the future. Magazines, newspapers, television, satellite, and internet now bombard many with so much communications that people are completely overwhelmed and often freaked out by the volume and the constant pinging. So what is one to do?
Work on the basics first. As simple as that statement sounds over and over again I encounter people ignoring the basics.
Announce your intentions. Tell everyone you know, encounter, run into, or do business with of your intentions. For the small business this is so critical, especially since your customers may be only in your town, or neighborhood, depending upon your business.
Simple Encounter One:
I tell the story of one fellow who upon simply telling his Facebook friends a tiny bit (a single posting) about his business to be sure they all knew. Well his business had been a bit slow, and then . . . a small flood of requests for work poured in. He got several comments – ‘I did not know you did that’ – concerning his service. Note this was an auto detailer. Since that initial single posting, He has had a nice increase in business. Oh was that simple and easy. Looking for a piece of instant upgrade and no cost. That one is hard to beat.
Simple Encounter Two:
While I was working with an insurance salesman who was desiring more business and he knew he needed this ‘Social Media’ thing and he wanted work done upon his Facebook and twitter accounts. He had set up accounts over a year before, and they have only languished. I had encountered him before and asked if he had my card. He said yes and started looking through a giant piles of business cards. Are those leads I asked? Yes they are he replied. I said call them all first and add them to you address book properly grouped and get back to me if you still need help.
An old Russian proverb is:
If you want a clean world, clean your own doorstep.
To translate this into social media lingo, clean up your connections, tell people you are in business and follow up with all your current leads first, meanwhile lets start to build your digital footprint. Lets install your Social Media Foundations! See you in my next posting on Starting Your Social Media Profile.
As Always, Charley Carlin
About the Author: As a Social Media Guide empowering others on the Internet is a passion. Charley lives in beautiful San Luis Obispo County on the central coast of California. Charley is regularly seen every December in a full red suit and hat. Clear Thought, Clear Vision, and Consistent Action are his mantra. He and his wife, Anet, travel the southwest extensively.