i have 2 for this week on the subject of social media and how to integrate it into your business. it seems that all the business organizations i belong to are having some sort of seminar on how to best use facebook, linkedin, twitter, etc., to their advantage. i’ve sat in on a few of these [mostly for the networking, as you can see in my blogroll, i’m already using online social networks regularly] and i’m seeing very similar reactions in every community. many small business owners are skeptical about conversion and the true value of investing time in these outlets, while others are mistakenly thinking the online communities are promising to do more for them than any really can. here are some good articles about how to use these sites and what you can expect from them.
Social Media: Strategy and Protecting Brand Identity by Michelle Bomberger
this article is a better introduction than many of the seminars i’ve attended, where they present the sites first, rather than introduce you to how you’ll be using them. when presented with technology first, many people put up a block and start to ask “why is this important to me,” when i think bomberger puts it best in saying “[online networking] relates to building relationships, just as one would in face-to-face networking scenarios.” that’s the key right there, it’s just an extension of the networking and promotion you’re already doing in person–you’re just catching different people in their preferred forum, with a consistent message across all platforms. enjoy!
It’s Not the Technology – It’s YOU, WITH the Technology by Christopher Burbridge
as a follow up, i think this article takes the emphasis off the technology and puts it back on you. with the flurry of these new networks coming on the scene, everyone is talking about them, and their importance in the grand scheme of a marketing plan is a bit conflated [which is okay for now, their current use is probably higher than it will level out to be]. while a strong presence online will certainly support your efforts, it is not the effort in itself. make sure all your marketing communications flow directly from you, the visionary, outward to all the channels that work best for you & your business.