This post was inspired by @BenefitsMyke
Social media has changed the way we do business. It has expanded the local entrepreneurial reach and is the cause for many successes in business. According to LinkedIn recent study, 9 in 10 small businesses say they are currently using or plan to use social media to expand their business.
Most people, after meeting you and/or learning the name of your company, within seconds hop on Google to see what appears. What do they see about your personal brand or business? More importantly, what do you want them to see?
According to the Social Media Examiner’s 2013 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, the top two benefits of social media marketing are increasing exposure and increasing traffic.
86% of marketers say that social media is important for their business.
89% of marketers say that increased exposure was the number one benefit of social media marketing.
A recent LinkedIn study showed that 94% of small businesses using social media use it for marketing and 3 in 5 says social media helps to attract new customers.
With social media, you can brand your business on a wider scale, thereby connecting with consumers whom already use social media platforms personally and professionally. If they like what they see, they will connect with you and from there you can develop a stronger connection and business relationship. Here are some ways social media can help grow your business.
1. Exposure. Your reach is significantly further with social media. Social media is a global platform that allows you to connect with people all across the world. Hashtag’s are big in social media platforms such as Twitter and Google+. Create your own hashtag to put a stamp on your brand. Most companies use a hashtag vs. a slogan because it quickly identifies the company and it is easier to remember.
2. Developing Relationships. Connecting with people is essential in gaining new business. Utilizing social media will allow you to relate to your current customers and form new customer relationships. Release content that is relevant, funny, informative or controversial to start up conversation. Interact with your customer base by responding to comments and insight. Many company’s hire a social media person or team to keep the conversation going and remain engaged with their audience.
3. Access to Networks. Through social media, you and your company can develop connections with other networks and organizations. Building relationships on a higher scale by affiliating with well-known experts in your industry is a plus. More often a simple follow from a well known and recognized individual or organization can drive attention to your business and brand.
4. Remaining Relevant and Current. We know that most people check a company’s online presence before doing business with them. Not having current and relevant content and news on social media pages will create a wedge and disconnect between the company and its customers. People want to know what is currently happening and what is to come. Often they look to companies they trust and do business with to deliver this information.
5. Knowing Thy Competition! If you want to remain competitive, you have to be willing to step inside the sand box to find out what’s going on in your industry. How can you compete without knowing what you are up against? Many businesses use social media as a platform to announce new products and services, even before they publish such information with a newspaper or television network. Want to grow? Stay in the know!
To remain successful, it is important to recognize and adjust to industry changes and standards. Growing requires change and change is a necessary element of sustainability. So get out there and tweet, google, facebook and link up on LinkedIn! See you soon!
Mary V. Davids is the Founder and Managing Member of D&M Consulting Services, LLC. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management. Mary has over a decade of experience in cultivating employee engagement, enhancing employee motivation and workplace performance, leadership coaching and training & development. She also serves as Secretary on the Board of Directors for the South Florida Chapter of the National Association of African American’s in Human Resources. Book Mary to speak at your next event or hire Mary for leadership & professional development consultation today. Follow Mary on twitter@MVDavids.
Developing trust is a crucial element to maintaining employee loyalty. What your staff does outside working hours is none of your business. Yes, that’s right; NONE of your business. Let’s say you have accepted a friend request or followed an employee on one of these social sites and you find that they were out all night partying and you have an important meeting the next day. Now you walk into work with some preconceived notion that they will either call in late or come to work and not be able to fulfill their responsibility. Having such a negative assumption already lays the foundation for a bad experience at work. Now you have to think, is that more of an issue with the employee or the boss?
As a boss, you must always work under the assumption that people will do what they are paid to do. Let them prove you wrong. Until then, it is your job to have the expectation that they will perform as required. When you are aware of what they do outside of work, it is only human nature that you begin to associate that with what they do during working hours. It’s not your job to be mommy or daddy. It is your job to be the boss. You can’t be a boss and a babysitter (although sometimes it feels like we manage children).
Being a good boss requires you to approach every situation with a positive outcome in mind. Your judgment cannot become clouded by that half-naked picture of an employee you saw online minutes before your most important meeting. You must maintain control and focus of your work and not allow your connection with employees on social media to cause you to make bad judgment decisions.
Sure there are rules and policies forbidding employees from doing certain things while on social media and those are rules that should be adhered to; however it is not the responsibility of the boss to follow employees on social media to make sure they are following those rules. The expectation is that they will comply and that expectancy should remain consistent unless or until they prove you wrong. You will save yourself from a world of unnecessary stress and confusion if you leave work at work and home life at home.
Just think, if an employee is found to be “misbehaving” on social media and it turns out to become bad press for the company and you are associated with that employee (i.e. on their friends list, or following them) the finger-pointing goes in your direction too. You’ll find yourself being asked questions like: “Why didn’t you bring this to our attention sooner?”; “How long have you known about this?”; “Shouldn’t you have seen this coming?” Then you sit back and think….when did I become responsible for his/her behavior? The answer: when you began connecting with them on social media. My dear friend; the assumption is that you are still responsible for your staff once you put yourself in a situation that will make you aware of their outside activities. Do you want to be in that situation? I’d guess the answer is no.
This is water by the way! :-) >>
All the best,
Mary V. Davids
Mary V. Davids is the Founder and Managing Member of D&M Consulting Services, LLC. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management. Mary has over a decade of experience in cultivating employee engagement, enhancing employee motivation and workplace performance, leadership coaching and training & development. She also serves as Secretary on the Board of Directors for the South Florida Chapter of the National Association of African American’s in Human Resources. Book Mary to speak at your next event or hire Mary for leadership & professional development consultation today. Follow Mary on twitter @MVDavids.