MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Plaxo etc, etc…..
Once the exclusive haven for friends and family, social media (Social Media 2.0) is now growing as a marketing platform for businesses. You can follow, update and tweet (i.e. microblog) your status as often are as little as you choose. The idea is to build your tribe – a natural community of followers who are drawn to your message, service or product. As you communicate items of interests, your tribe passes that information on to their circle of influence and some of those folks may also choose to become a part of your community.
Sounds cool, right?
After all, you post a few things a day to your social media sites and customers just show up!
I know I'm treading out on the skinny branches here, but don't get me wrong. What I love about social media is that I get invited into others lives in a more personal way. I get the privilege of getting good information but I also find out who has kids, or who is into sports or other tidbits that allow me to see glimpses of the "person" and not just their work.
The trap is that the allure of the tribal customer community can also defocus entrepreneurs from actually running their business. I see businesses tweeting twenty, thirty, forty times per day just to "be seen" by their community. If you're "business" is social media, that may work well. If not, not so much.
What happens is that in an effort to be "seen", businesses sacrifice genuine and authentic information for quantity and ultimately the valued information they once provided becomes watered down and invaluable to the members. Business owners also become so focused on growing the tribe that they forget to be human first. Ultimately - the tribe is lost or credibility is lost. As folks figure out more and more ways to monetize social media outlets, this phenomenon will only get worse.
If you aren't in the social media business but you are spending 2 hours or more per day posting and following, then you've most likely taken your eye off of the real ball. Don't forget that social media is just one prong of a marketing strategy and cannot grow a young or start-up business as effectively as you can when you get out from behind the keyboard.
By the way, if you haven't jumped in the social media pool at all, I do invite you to come on in. The water is fine – just don't visit the deep end before you're ready!
If you're active in social media, do you find yourself getting distracted? Is it helping to grow your business?
You were born to be great.
YES, you can!