In this day and age, social media isn’t just a game — a place people go to in order to connect with long lost friends. It’s a world-wide, online forum where most of the consumer world goes to find out about what people are saying about you, your business and your services. The same hold true when you’re looking to sell yourself and your services as a social media “expert”.
Last month, I finished two contracts and began to look for more to fill the void. The first thing I did was update my LinkedIn profile, along with my Facebook Page, Twitter profile and Instagram feed. As someone who works in social media, making sure that each and every only profile is up to date is critical, especially when looking for work. Before even attempting to contact you about your businesses will turn to social media to see who you are. Ensuring your LinkedIn profile is up to date, your Facebook Business Page is clear and inviting, your Twitter profile announces how well you engage with others and so on. In today’s social world, we are the sum of our social media profiles. Our calling card to those who ask what can you do for my company.
It made me think that since so many businesses, employers, consumers and clients turn to social media for information, how can small businesses still say that they have no need for social media or question how it will improve their business. It’s pretty clear that the online forum is likely the first place that we go to to find out about who we are hiring, what services people offer and how they are doing in terms of customer service and product reliability. By not having a social media presence, you are basically disappearing into the void of anonymity – a place you do not want to be when trying to create a Brand or increase your business visibility.
Using social media to engage with your customers can be one of the most personal and immediate way of connecting, if done properly. It’s not worth it to just throw up a business page and hope people like you. Blogging, letting your audience know who you are and what you stand for, can create a sense of kinship and camaraderie that is the cornerstone of business relationships. A Twitter can help provide a sense of legitimacy and communication with a worldwide audience but it can also be used to let your local audience know what’s happening on a day to day level. A Facebook is a way to really understand and listen to what you customers want and how they feel about your businesses and services. A Instagram profile with huge followers will make you literally the authority of that niche – depends on what you promote.
So when a business owner says to you “what can social media do to enhance my business,” please let them know that in this digital age, social media is your calling card. It allows the world to see who you are and what you do in a way that open and engaging. The same goes for you as an individual. It’s important to put yourself out there for the world to see you as a transparent, professional and reliable.