"I don't want more friends and I don't see what the benefit will be to my business of having a social media presence."
We can very easily make the case for why one's business should have a presence in social media through success stories and the tremendous amount of data available, but for small businesses, I think there is one key to gaining buy-in.
Small Business Professionals Must Personally Use Social Media To "Get It"
In my opinion it's far more important for small business owners and employees to witness first hand, ALL of the benefits that social media can bring to their lives before getting involved from a business standpoint.
Without the full understanding of why someone uses the various social media outlets for personal gain, a small business marketer will have an uphill battle ahead of them in making social media work for their business.
By establishing the personal understanding of facebook for instance, you can clearly see what will be of value to your target audience on the business side. You will also better understand the etiquette of communicating on facebook. The same applies to all of the social media sites and services.
The "Ah-Ha!" Moment
Thankfully, we have witnessed the "Ah-Ha!" moment many times with clients and prospective clients. After getting engaged on a personal level, they were able to think of exponential uses for these channels with their business. It also becomes clear to the small business owner that as an actual person in social media, they can start to build rapport like they would in a face to face situation.
Start With 1 Social Media Site
If you'd like to quickly frustrate yourself and get annoyed with social media, sign up for all of them at once! If you'd like to truly "get it" and start benefiting from each social media site, pick one. Then, after a few weeks, when you are comfortable with the first one, pick another.
Please, please, please don't abandon the first one when you do! The idea is to stay involved in all of them. That can be a 10 minute session each day in reality. You don't have to commit huge amounts of time to it. Whatever you do, don't stop engaging with friends, colleagues, and relatives. Soon enough you will be able to share the same experiences with leads and customers.
Getting Started? Here's My Suggested List In Order
- Foursquare (especially if you are B2C)
- Linked In
I'd love to hear your thoughts and welcome your comments below!