I just finished talking to a new client of mine that was interested in advertising their online business through social media and social networking. He was very excited about the whole idea, but was really hesitant to get started.
I see this as a common occurrence with the new clients I have been working with lately. They’ve heard a ton about social media marketing, but are not quite sure how to get started. Or, even why they should get started. Let me expand on that last remark.
Why Social Media Marketing?
The obvious answer is to strengthen your brand, build your network, and drive traffic to your website. That is the real reason that people are spending so much time developing their social media strategies, hiring experts, and hanging out at Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and any of the other thousands of social websites. But, is that the reason why you should think of social media marketing?
I do believe that these are all important parts of developing your brand and elevating it to the place where it is readily recognizable. But, is that the real power of social media marketing?
I am going to try and use my son as an example of what I am going to say. My son is a very energetic 11 year old. He is homeschooled and picks up things very, very quickly. For instance, he should be in 5th grade, but we are doing 7th and 8th grade work this year. He began reading at about 3 years old and by the time he was five he could read the same kind of books that I read. I am not saying this to brag. I am using this as an example of what I think social media marketing is all about.
I see, and work, with a lot of people on the Internet. And I love to see what is going in their business, their relationships… in every area of their lives. They are developing. They are becoming much better through the process of social media marketing. They are developing… growing.
I see them developing on many levels. Much like my son is. One of the things that I have been teaching my son, and my other two daughters, is really two things. First, to think in a constructive, critical, and transcending level. I have been using our curriculum to develop not only their math, reading, science, writing, and other subject skills, but to also think in a way that they can get past any difficulties. For instance, my son is currently doing Pre-Algebra for math this year. He is starting to see some things that he hasn’t seen before. Instead of standing over him and teaching the lesson. I give him time to look over the examples, look over the instructions, and try to figure it out. Sometimes he does, other times he doesn’t. But, with each different problem, he is developing.
Social Media Prepares People And Develops Them
The most important part of social media marketing is not the way you can build your business. It is in the very fact that you develop through this medium. I have found that people develop in many different ways, but there are three that are the most prominent.
Communication Skills Are Highly Elevated. I still think that email marketing is a pretty powerful way to get a message out there. However, real time communication like with Facebook, Twitter, and even Google Buzz require different types of communication skills. By immersing themselves in social media and networking, I have seen a huge growth in they way many people communicate today.
People Are Seeing Answers Before They Have Questions. One of the things that my son, and especially my eldest daughter, is seeing now in their studies is that they have already answered any questions they may have about a particular subject. As a matter of fact, a lot of the times they will stop in the middle of their question and give me a big smile while saying, “I just answered my own question, didn’t I?”
What I am seeing today in my interactions, and just watching people as they interact, or I am working with them, is that they are now seeing answers to problems before they even form the question. When it comes to the point where they begin to ask… they already know it. I see a lot of the questions I use to receive are no longer there. They are figuring out these things now for themselves. They are developing.
There Is A Much Larger Acceptance Of Risk. This is something that has always been present online, but I see it taking a much larger presence in people’s lives and businesses. What use to cause a little bit of hesitancy will not be done without much thought. Partnerships, new business focus, providing a service, learning something new; all things that require risk. People have developed now, through the use of social networking and marketing, where they accept a certain amount of risk without hesitation. You can aslo buy socila media accounts like facebok accounts and twitter accounts for social networking.
Social Media Marketing As A Developer Instead Of Builder
Social media marketing is a very powerful way to build a business. However, should it just be looked at as a business builder? Should that be the main focus? I think a paradigm shift of sorts is called for here. I think that before we begin talking about how powerful social media is, we should talk about it as a developer of people.
Instead of teaching people to build their business, teach them how to develop their skills.
What do you think?