Without а doubt, social media hаѕ transformed the way we do business.
From the conversations we have to the way we connect with consumers, social media has inspired a new generation of marketers.
It’s a generation that’s resilient, agile and committed to offering superior customer service through active listening.
It’s an exciting era and one that brings many exceptional opportunities.
But with those opportunities come unique challenges.
As businesses jockey to best position their brand and manage their online reputation, it’s critical to stay ahead of the curve.
However, online growth must be fueled by a system and strategy in order to create sustainability.
It’s with those thoughts in mind that I joined Sabrina Gibson, Founder of Social Networking Abundance to talk about the exciting times we find ourselves in and the steps businesses, entrepreneurs and brands can take to ensure social media success.
You’ll find an excerpt from the interview, along with actionable tips and how-to’s below.
Ready to dive in?
Social Media and Beyond: Accelerated Results
Q: How did you earn the right to call yourself an expert within your area of expertise?
I’m not so sure I’d call myself an expert as much as I would an enthusiastic connoisseur of all things social media.
I’ve been an entrepreneur as long as I can remember and in the marketing industry for close to 20 years.
I am deeply passionate about taking all of the delicious goodness that lies within a business, brand or entrepreneur, and helping them shine a spotlight on that for the entire world to see.
Q: What are the top 3 problems you solve for your clients?
How to market, sell and brand a business online.
Businesses are struggling to find a voice in today’s online world.
I give them the tools and skills necessary to not just survive, but thrive and truly embrace the power of social media.
TIP: How to Identify the Top 3 Problems You Solve
Create your buyer or audience persona – know their exact demographics, needs, wants and desires.
Answer the questions below –
- What is your skill set, area of expertise or specialized experience?
- What can you teach or train others to do?
- What resources, tools or information can you share that will
- improve the lives of your audience?
- Does your product, service, tool or system fill a void within your industry?
Q: What is the number one way you solve that problem?
Knowledge, because knowledge is power and it quickly eradicates fear.
The biggest hurdle in most business professional and entrepreneur’s minds is the fear of the unknown.
What will happen if I take my business online, what are people saying about me and how will I manage that conversation?
Offering people deep insight into the how, what, why and when of social media is like giving them the keys to the kingdom. All of a sudden anything and everything is possible!
TIP: How to Create Differentiation in Your Business
Let your social media fans and followers not only get to know you, but fall in love with your business.
Take a true interest in their needs. Ask questions to gain their insight or use crowdsourcing to solve a problem.
For example: I’m a Mac user who loves Google Chrome, but after upgrading to Mountain Lion OS, it consistently crashed on me. I used the power of social media to pose this question to my friends and followers.
24 hours the problem was solved! Get creative in how you serve your clients through social media.
Q: How can businesses accelerate results through social media?
Get clear on your purpose, goals and limitations. What are you looking to gain, how will you get there and what are you willing to share?
Know what you’re comfortable talking about online and what platforms you’ll be able to commit to on a daily basis.
Creating an online presence isn’t about being everything to everybody. It’s about being all that you can to the one person that truly matters to you and your business.
Know the answer to that and then put a strategy in place to support your daily interactions.
TIP: Instantly Improve Your Social Media Strategy
- Give your audience the content they crave
- Give away valuable information
- Optimize all of your social media profiles
- Leverage the power of Google+
- Incorporate eye-catching images and video
- Improve engagement by asking thought-provoking questions
- Create an integrated social media campaign
- Build out a social media calendar so your efforts are consistent
Q: How do you define social media?
The word social, at its core, is about creating conversations. It’s engaging, interacting, and generating meaningful discussion.
Media on the other hand is simply content. It’s the content shared across social media on a daily basis.
Whether it’s your latest blog post or video, the content you share creates connections and allows for the conversation to take place.
It’s the foundation to your online presence, giving people a glimpse into who you are, what you do and how you can help.
Q: How are you using social media in your business?
I see social media as a digital gateway. What do I mean by that? Social media offers businesses access into sectors previously untapped or unreachable by traditional marketing methods.
Envision a virtual bridge connecting consumers to nearly any product or service they seek.
Now picture a tool in which businesses, brands and entrepreneurs can fulfill those wants, needs and desires in real time.
That is social media and the incredible power behind it.
Q: How do you come up with the content you share across social media?
There are many different ways to find content. The mix of content I share is about thirty-three percent created and sixty-six percent curated.
You’ll want to find your own mix and then simple ways to stay on top of the conversations going on around your industry or niche.
Three tips to find shareable social media content
- I use Feedly to manage RSS feeds to my favorite blogs. This is content that I find interesting and believe is relevant for my community.
- I also pay attention to “What’s Hot” on Google+ or what’s being shared in groups on LinkedIn or Facebook.
- Scoop.it is an easy way to collect and share content you find across the web. Likewise, you can follow others sharing similar content and quickly share it with your community.
Spend time where your potential clients are hanging out and ask questions about the type of content they’re looking for.
Q: What are your final thoughts on getting started with social media?
Just do it. Stop waiting until tomorrow to get online or tackle social media.
The truth of the matter is this…
Your potential clients are online looking for what you have to offer. If you’re not leveraging the tools available to you, you can bet that your competition is.
Every day you wait is another day they zoom ahead.
Q: How do you put the WOW in your business? In other words, what differentiates you from your competition?
Differentiation for me is about being a student of what I’m teaching daily. It’s walking my own talk.
It’s constantly testing within my own business what is working and what’s not and translating that knowledge into my clients business.
People are looking for proven results. They also want to work with someone that can say, “Hey, I’ve been there and done that.”
I’ve seen too many people coming into social media, whether it’s from a management or a consultative point of view, without that background and skills, training or social proof.
I bring all of that together. It doesn’t hurt either that I have an insatiable desire to learn and a deep love affair with everything social!