Social Media – Why Bother?

Last year I listened to a young social media Specialist talk at a business event about Twitter.

During the evening, he listened to comments I’ve heard many, many times from both businessmen and women such as:

“I don’t understand it”

“It’s rubbish and has no relevance to my business”

What was amazing about this young man was his answer to every person who made such a remark. He said: “I don’t care.”

Qualifying that seemingly rather rude response, he later went on to say:

“I don’t care if you don’t get it, you don’t want it, you can’t be bothered – your future customers, people like me and younger, do get it and they will expect you to be engaged. If you are not, they will simply connect with another person offering your service or selling your product.”

You may think this is an aggressive position to take but I think it applies to all social media. I firmly believe it doesn’t matter whether or not you like social media – if you want your business to thrive beyond the next couple of years you have to take it seriously.

However, if you are going to pack up and ship out of business – feel free to stop reading now.

When it comes to Twitter, I believe in its value for business because I’ve tested it myself. I went self-employed in 2009 but had started my Twitter account some time before. I started and left it, thought it was rather tedious, ridiculous and couldn’t be bothered. So it didn’t work – unsurprisingly.

However people starting talking about Twitter (now the talk is more often of Facebook and Pinterest) and I thought I ought to make more effort. So I set myself a challenge. I decided I would work on Twitter for a year to see what happened.

Putting it in basic terms I employed some basic techniques, I tweeted something every day, I shared something every day and I always thanked anyone who shared anything I tweeted.

I also looked at my audience and started to build my followers by following people of interest to me. Note that word – people – it’s not about brands, it’s about people and brands.

Then one day I answered a single tweet with a short tweet which earned me £3,000. This tweet took a couple of seconds and within the hour it led to an email, to a telephone conversation, to a booking, to another booking to another booking. All from a single solitary tweet. I was sold on Twitter from that moment and I still am. I’m also sold in Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube & Pinterest.

Now I set you a challenge when it comes to social media. Ask yourself this question – do I want to be running a healthy business in five years’ time?

If the answer is no – go and make yourself a cuppa.

If the answer is yes – do try this completely unscientific but useful test.

Ask a teenager you know well to play a game. That game is ‘Imagine You Run My Business’ – ask them how they would find new customers and give them time to think about it. Then ask them to choose their top three tips with you.

I would be staggered if these words are not on somewhere on their lips:

Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn

To prove it, I asked my own teenage girls and here are their lists:

15-year-old: Twitter, LinkedIn , Facebook

Newspapers – write a good story.
Shop windows – advertising notice.
The internet – GoogleAds.

I’m sure from this little experiment you can see where our future customers will be interacting. Especially if you consider how we might have answered in our teenage years.

Top Tip – Look for a mix of the old and the new when considering your marketing and PR.

By Fiona Scott

Read more articles like this in Women’s Business News

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