You would have to be living under a rock to not realize social media has become an effective tool for reaching the masses and growing a business. Social media presence enables businesses to build stronger brand images that go beyond a corporation’s website.
How does social media fit into your overall business plan and why is it important? Naomi Mandelstein, Vice President of Global Affairs for the Global Philanthropy Forum, shared five tips for corporate social media that applies to any business.
Engage – don't broadcast. One-way communication is not enough to build a business. This means sending a tweet or posting on your Facebook page or company website will not cut it. Build your image and credibility by joining discussions, answering questions, and probing further on comments. It is important to always engage your audience and build a strong online presence.
Ask the questions you want answered. Use social media to engage conversations and get feedback. Gain new ideas on specific topics; stay abreast on industries important to your business.
Listen. This may seem like a natural step, but it bears repeating. Actively listening to online conversations is imperative. You must listen to engage (see above). Monitor social media sites to understand what others – leaders in your industry and clients – have to say. Identify areas where you can have influence and be aware of what is important to your clients and prospective clients.
Respond. Don’t let questions and statements go unanswered; respond promptly. This includes requests to connect on LinkedIn, commenting on blogs, and responding to Twitter and Facebook messages.
Be authentic. In order for social media success, you must be genuine and honest. Your voice in social media should stay true to what your firm is all about. Treat your audience like real people; show your own personality. It doesn’t always have to be a “business” tone.
Social media can be a powerful marketing tool for any business. It is virtually free, but can reap significant rewards. Like footprints in the sand, social media will leave lasting footprints on the internet. Provide good content on your site and your connections will share it – at no cost to you. Harness the web to get your message out; being informative and creative and the doors will open to more business, as well as writing and speaking engagements. The potential for reaching an unlimited number of clients – from all over the globe – is unlimited. What more can you ask for virtually free?
If you aren’t using social media effectively, now is the time to seize the opportunity. Don’t use time as a hindrance; potential rewards far outweigh the time and effort. If you are, share your experiences by commenting. How is your business using social media? What is working? What is not?
Mark Bello has thirty-six years experience as a trial lawyer and fourteen years as an underwriter and situational analyst in the lawsuit funding industry. He is the owner and founder of Lawsuit Financial Corporations which helps provide cash flow solutions and consulting when necessities of life litigation funding is needed by a plaintiff involved in pending, personal injury, litigation. Bello is a Justice Pac member of the American Association for Justice, Sustaining and Justice Pac member of the Michigan Association for Justice, Member of Public Justice and Public Citizen, Business Associate of the Florida, Mississippi, Connecticut, Texas, and Tennessee Associations for Justice, and Consumers Attorneys of California, member of the American Bar Association, the State Bar of Michigan and the Injury Board.
Attorney, certified civil mediator, and award-winning author of the Zachary Blake Betrayal Series. Mark Bello is also a member of the State Bar of Michigan, a sustaining member of the Michigan Association for Justice, and a member of the American Association for Justice.