Things are different today. Aren’t they? The economy is not expansive – it is restrictive. And in this type of economy, people are risk-averse. They have been conditioned to be careful. This means they will trust slowly. And that is why we will remember this as the relationship economy. It’s the beginning of a new era in which business is not about companies or brands – but about people. This is the relationship economy. And when I say “relationship economy,” I’m not talking about eHarmony or Match.com. I’m talking about people doing business with people. In a relationship economy, people do business with the people they know, and like, and trust. That should be the focus of your marketing. And that is tough to do with a postcard or an ad in the yellow pages. But it is his is one thing that social media does very well. And it is why every Fortune 500 corporation now has a presence on social media. They know that the game is changing. They know business is no longer about brands, but people. The focus is now people doing business with people. Television and other mass marketing did one thing well – it reached a lot of people quickly. Social media can also reach many people – but that is not what it is all about. Social media is not about more – but better. It’s about quality. And your primary reason for using social media is to quality relationships.
We’re going to look at three major trends that that will become more prevalent as this year unfolds. These trends are indicative of subtle changes in business practices that you need to be aware of, regardless of whether you use social media marketing. However, if you understand these trends, you will also understand why this is the perfect time to add social media marketing as a component in your marketing mix.You have these trends on your handout. !.Business is going to become more human-centric, meaning it will be more about people than companies or brands. And as human entrepreneurs, you are ideally suited to capitalize on this.By the way, if we were really using the social media way would be in the form of a blog or a Tweet. But since we’re not all there yet, I’ve elected to use this other form of communication known as the copier. 2. Markets, and therefore marketing, will become more interactive. Do you agree with this statement? See, this is working already! People will expect to be involved in the solving their own problems. You will have to engage them to sell to them. You will have to engage them into a collaborative process. 3. Communities will become more sustainable, more self-reliant. This will occur because they will get more help from their own – the local businesses like yours they know and trust. Even though the economy is global, we all live right here - in a local communities. And I’m going to show you how you can augment your business model to take full advantage of that.
When I gave this presentation a year ago, there were 150 million users on Facebook. Now there are over 400 million users. And the majority of these users are over the age of 35. These are your friends, your customers, and your future customers. As small business owners, you have undoubtedly built your brand through word of mouth referrals. You may not remember how it all started, but I’m sure a significant component was very simple – listening to your customers. Here’s what you do. Use social media to monitor your brand. You can easily accomplish this by setting up Google Alerts for you company brand, and for your personal brand, which is your name. You may be surprised at what you discover. My brand – Jeff Korhan, it is both my business and personal brand. Of course, the Korhan brand is also shared by my family too. You can learn a great deal from monitoring your brand, which includes what people are saying about your brand, and maybe even more importantly, how the social media networks function. You will begin to understand why I sometimes refer to brand monitoring on the social media networks as …..“socially acceptable stalking. Recently I discovered an email string on Facebook that was indexed by Google. It came to my inbox thanks to Google Alerts. So I checked it out. First, that the information was created over two years ago, but only recently indexed by Google. This is important. Only in the last few months has Google been able to index this personal information on the social networks – the information that friends share with friends. It turns out my daughter was not“in” this conversation. She was just mentioned by her former boyfriend But here is the message. My daughter wasn’t on Facebook, she was just mentioned. So, you may not think you are on social media. But if you have friends, you are on social media.
You and I have to get comfortable with the fact that our society is evolving into an open book. And there is at least one championship golfer who is very. My belief is the best strategy is to go straight to that inevitable destination that seems to arrive more quickly, and with greater regularity than ever – authenticity. You may not be a celebrity, but you are a human being. And the increasingly humanized Web is eavesdropping on your conversations more than you know. This is a trend that is sure to gain momentum as the social media networks do what they do best. Some people fear this, but fear never results in anything positive. So, you have to get comfortable with this. You have to embrace it. You have to be authentic to make social media work. And the only way to do that is to pull back the curtain and show them who you really are. Let your hair down. Help people get to know you. Nobody wants to do business with someone who is all business. They want to do business with someone who is friendly and engaging. So, what you need to do is really get involved with Facebook so that you can create a presence that speaks for your brand – this is your authenticity. There are already fragments of your reputation on the Web. It’s best for you to get out there and monitoring that commentary, and if necessary, set the record straight. To do this successfully online, you will need to learn the language of the web.
You may be wondering about what sort of information your clients wish to know. Google will give you this information. You may be wondering about what sort of information your clients wish to know. Google will give you this information. Here’s a trick: Type in a search term, such as tents, and Google will give you’re a ranked list of the associated phrases people are searching for. In almost every case, the answer is tips, and advice that prospects want first. Now for some reason, in the tent rental business they are looking for pricing. Why? Pricing carries more weight than any other factor. Is there a way to change that? If there isn’t, then we all ought to just run out of here now. Educate your customers. Engage them in ways where they can learn there is more than price – a lot more. Help them understand the risks, both monetarily, safety, and of course the fact that the experience can never be repeated. This doesn’t take a big investment. It just takes a commitment to getting it done. It takes work.
Google is telling us that the most recent information is the most relevant. That’s news. This means when you have good news to share, you need to get it on the Web. What do you have to share?Google is telling us that the most recent information is the most relevant. That’s news. This means when you have good news to share, you need to get it on the Web. What do you have to share? Projects you’ve completed. Are you afraid of revealing your client list? We all are. But you have a double-edged sword. Those clients names attached to those recent projects give you credibility and authority. Plus, your client loves the free publicity too. Isn’t there a story surrounding every project? And isn’t there drama about how it was going to be completed on time? Were there variables such as weather involved? That’s the story. Our society, and the business world is changing so rapidly, that very little surprises us. We know some companies will go out of business, many of them larger corporations. This could mean more competition for you as new businesses are started. Do you want a tent rental company who has been in business a year? Then you have to tell your story.
Blogging is the most powerful marketing tool available to any business marketer today - without exception. It is the great equalizer. Whatever you do well, it amplifies it. And unlike your other social media networks, you own the content you create. That is why it is also your legacy. Remember that website. You still need it. It tells your market what you do. But your blogs tells your market how you do it. The website is the business. The blog is the person or persons or personality behind the business. You many have 100,000 followers on Twitter, or a Facebook Fan Page that is electrified with endless conversations. But that is all transient. The time comes when your prospects want to know the substance that makes your business worthy of their investment. Your blog is that proof.When I am out speaking to entrepreneurs, I find many of them are operating very successful businesses. They are the real deal. Though many have yet to build an online legacy that illuminates their truth. Business is no longer about companies. It is about people. We are living in a world where superior quality and value are expected. The differentiating factor is the opportunity to work with someone we can trust. HOW you convey your message is even more important than the message itself. Make an emotional
Let’s see, I’ve asked you to get comfortable with telling your life story to complete strangers. I’ve suggested you may have to share proprietary information with your competitors. And I’ve asked you to write personal stories and post them on the web, even though nobody is interested in reading them! Yes, this social media marketing can get a bit weird. So, let me just ask you a question. You are here because you want to grow your business, or at least to operate it more profitably. OK, that’s what I thought.I just wanted to get that straight. The point is it’s time to start thinking differently if you expect to get different results. It’s o.k. to be a little bit weird. In fact, it may be the best thing you can do for your business. Social media helps all of us to do what we do best – to be the company that we are supposed to be, one that reflects our qualities and characteristics, our employees, and the customers in the communities that we live and work in. In other words, it amplifies all of your qualities – both the good ones and the bad. The communities are already out there. We don’t have to invent anything. We just have to help them with the skills we’ve developed over the years. This is how you need to be thinking. How can you take what you do professional and blend it into a community to add some value. This is what the big boys, the national corporations are doing. And we know this is your time, so its up to you to develop methods that will work for you. If you are a local company that is helping a community in an area that is aligned with your business mission, it reinforces everything you have been trying to say through social media and in everything else you do.
The most common question I get about blogging is this: What should I blog about? New bloggers are like kids in the candy store with too much cash in their pockets. They have no restraints, and this presents more choices than most of us are prepared to deal withWhat if you didn't have this voice that blogging gives you? What then would you be dying to share with your community of friends or customers? What is your most precious and valuable message? That's what you should be blogging about.This is what makes your blog so powerful. It is where you tell these stories that make your business come alive. It shows HOW you get things done that separate you from your competition. Everyone is building tents, but how are you doing it that makes your company the better choice? Here’s my simple formula for blogging – what I call “Story Telling with a Purpose.” I developed this formula after taking a screenwriting class. What I learned was nearly every successful film follows this formula. Here it is: Somebody – Does Something – And it Works Out. That’s it!
There are a lot of people that don’t understand social media.And I will go so far as to say those who consider themselves experts don’t really understand it either. They may understand the tools but they aren’t sure what to do with them. It’s up to you and me to apply our business experience to using these tools to achieve practical results. And that application is going to differ for all of us.What I am trying to say is there is no one right way to do this. So when someone tells you yougotta get a Facebook Page, or you gotta get on Twitter, run in the opposite direction.You don’t have to use any of this, but I will suggest that if you at least understand how it is influencing business in a huge way, you will be better off. They when you are ready you can start getting comfortable with applying it to your business.
Social Media Hubs for Sustainable Marketing Success