Still today, everywhere I turn I hear many business owners and executives debating whether or not they should jump into social media. In many cases, key decision makers fabricate a couple of excuses as to why it’s still not time yet and then move on to other matters. Ironically, by procrastinating they don’t even realize that they’re sacrificing taking their business to the next level in not just one, but several areas of their business.

Take a quick look online, I’m willing to bet that approximately half of your competitors have already started to leverage social media, and once they gain their momentum and have a solid understanding of how to use it, it’s going to be more challenging for you to continue to operate your business with the same profitable and competitive margins that you’ve enjoyed to date. The sacrifices are diverse and impact every area of their business. Social media reduces advertising costs, increases advertising effectiveness, dramatically improves customer service levels, increases executive awareness with respect to their products and services and how their customers interact with them… and there’s more!

What is social media?

It’s a coined terminology that encompasses leveraging social networking and socially-driven websites for the purpose of marketing.

How is social media different from traditional marketing?

It’s not simply marketing on social channels. Companies who enter this realm must dedicate one or many key staff members to socialize and market via these social channels. The best way to describe it is to compare it to traditional networking events – you don’t walk into a room and start handing out business cards, there’s an entire process to networking effectively; and the same goes for networking socially.

Why use social media?

It enables companies to connect better with their leads and clients Sell digital products . It enables individuals to follow (or befriend) a company so that they can keep up to date on their products and services. It builds relationships and loyalty, opportunities and awareness. Social media is the single largest transformation in the marketing industry in the last 100+ years! The benefits that companies have reaped from their exposure is just the tip of the iceberg! So… why? Because you’re leaving hundreds, or thousands of opportunities on the table for your competitors to grab. Because the relationships you can forge with both potential and existing customers socially creates powerful loyalty. Because, well in a few words, you’re in business to succeed.

But where do I start?

I’ve put together a brief meeting agenda that you can use to start planning how you will approach your own personalized social media plan. Try this out and see where it takes you, anything is better than procrastinating yet again, but if you need more help, seek out an expert and have them help you walk through these steps. Typically this process can be handled in a couple of 2-3 hour meetings and you’ll have a plan for your strategy with clearly identified goals and a solid understanding of what steps you need to take to fulfill them… before you know it you’ll be learning the tips and tricks that make a difference between “just another presence” and the single most valuable extension to your company’s marketing efforts that you’ve ever witnessed.

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