Social Media scary for a lot of people. Are you one of them?
If you are, if it all seems intimidating, and too much, and the thought of posting all about your life, well you would rather pull your own teeth out, this post is for you.
Businesses can benefit the most from Social Media, more than any personal usage outside of self-promotion.
Why? Because there is a tonne of money to be made.
How? You can reach a larger audience, sell more stuff, which when it comes to basic economics, means more money.
There are a tonne of companies out there, which wouldn’t exist right now if there was no Social Media.
Independents based online are thriving because of the networking possibilities on this platform.
And can you think of how you would self promote a blog post before Social Media?
When it comes to business, social media for a lot of people is fear of the unknown.
Fear of lack of privacy. Fear of retribution and negative response.
But it doesn’t have to be like that! And here is why…
Fear of Lack of Privacy
Many people are afraid they will give away too much information.
But you know what – it’s completely up to you as to how you want to represent yourself online.
The other thing that really scares people, when it comes to networking sites, is the ghosts of your past rearing their heads.
Let’s be honest, a lot of people have skeletons in the closet that they just don’t want to let out.
Fear of Exposure and Understanding
Another thing people are worried about, is the sheer exposure you get. The media hasn’t helped, with stories of Facebook predators and so on.
People are concerned their families might be targeted.
But if that is you, you may as well never leave the house and never let your loved ones out and about as well.
Yes, LinkedIn can pull in everyone on your gmail account address book.
And that is scary.
But if you know exactly how to do it, and use it, to your advantage, your knowledge will grow and the fear will subside.
How do you think early man felt when he discovered fire? Ouch yes it was hot and could burn. But it was also pretty darn handy for cooking and keeping them warm!
Getting over these fears are tough. However, they are clearly worth the benefits.
If you can get over them, there is a whole world of potential out there on social media.
You can make literally thousands of connections on LinkedIn.
Facebook can lead to you connecting with people who you haven’t seen in years, who might be working for or running businesses that could benefit you and what you do.
Twitter can provide a constant stream of what’s going on in the world, an it’s all about subjects that are interesting.
Fear of Lack of Knowledge
With business use, whether you are self promoting or promoting your business, there are different fears.
But they are based on the same inherent base fears. Lack of knowledge, and general apathy and ignorance.
Many business owners say: “I know there’s value in Social Media, but I’m busy and don’t know where to start or what to do.”
Social media may appear as a daunting endeavor, so social media strategies should be approached one step at a time.
Examine your current customer bases, determine where your customers are spending time on Social Media, and focus efforts.
If they are mainly on FB, go there – this is where most B2C businesses get traction and there are a lot of benefits.
If you have a professional services firm, LinkedIn or Twitter might be a better channel.
Dedicate the appropriate amount of time and resources to one of two places.
Once the channel has been selected and a strategy has been developed to reach target audiences get going with it.
Fear of ROI
Many business owners are worried they won’t see a return on investment. Is Social Media worth the time and effort?
However, as this is effectively a whole form of public relations which millions of businesses ARE investing in, I would say yes.
As a business owner, or an individual, you need to ask if you have the time and resources to commit to networking.
If you don’t, then you need to get yourself out there on social to get more clients and customers.
And think about the higher numbers you can get exposure to!
Many business owners also ask, do your customers use it?
Well unless your clients are all 65 and above, the answer is yes. And even then, people in that demographic are using at least one Social Media platform.
Businesses hire Social Media experts to guide them onto the internet, hone their media content, and promote their service and/or product.
And if you have a lot of customers who are deeply rooted in social networks.
Fear of Negative Feedback
A lot of companies are terrified of negative feedback.
What if your customer gives you a negative review and it is there for all the world to see? What if the CEO goes on Twitter on a crazy rant?
But doesn’t that mean, if there is the fear, there is a problem to fix? And it should be.
Social media shows you are honest and you offer clarity for customers and consumers. If you have something to hide and
Yes, with technology, an individual’s bad experience with a company can spread rapidly.
But customers will use social media to spread their frustration—whether or not a company uses those channels or not.
Wouldn’t you rather be there to fight the fire?
And a Harris study demonstrated when companies responded to customers who had posted negative remarks on Social Media, 18 percent ended up being loyal customers, with 33 percent subsequently posting a positive comment, and 34 percent removing the negative comment.
So there you go! By engaging with frustrated customers online, you can turn the negative into a positive!
Fear of Losing Business and Employees
Some business owners say: “If I use social media, people will try to poach my clients or my employees.”
This is actually not true, as Social Media can actually strengthen customer relations as it is a touch point.
It encourages loyalty, and provides opportunities to upsell. A strong customer relationship nearly always outweighs a call from a competitor.
It also helps to retain employees and attract talent.
Did you know companies using Social Media get better employee engagement and financial performance, according to an Altimeter Group study.
LinkedIn can be used to identify and connect with talent.
Facebook is a great way to communicate company culture, and Twitter can promote expertise.
Social Media also helps attract talent- a Cisco study reported 56 percent of young professionals ages 18-30 wouldn’t accept a job offer from a company banning social media.