If you haven’t been paying attention the last couple of years, you may not have recognized that businesses in every category are creating a presence in the social media world. Most look at this effort as a marketing tool. That is, “I’m going to us my Facebook business page to tell people about my business.” Or, “I’m going to create a lot of followers and Tweet promotional messages to them.”
While there is some validity to that thinking, today I’d like to suggest how your prospects and customers are REALLY using social media. They’re checking YOU out! That’s right. Before you even have the opportunity to meet in person, in many cases before you know about a prospect, that person is doing their due diligence on you and your company. How are they doing that?
- They’re going to Google you
- They’re searching on Facebook to see if you have a presence
- They’re going to Linked In and reviewing your business profile
- They’re checking to see if you use Twitter, and what you tweet
- They’re going to search for you and your company on YouTube
AND YOU CAN’T STOP THEM.
As recently as two years ago, this wouldn’t have happened; at least on the social media side. Maybe five years ago on Google. Today, all systems of marketing are preceded and even precluded by your online reputation. Before I ever call you, before we have the opportunity to meet, I already know just about everything I need to know about you. Or, I can look you up in ten seconds while you are on the phone.
If you have been thinking that the internet is about your company and not about you personally, you are already behind the curve. Here are the standards by which your prospects are evaluating you, giving you an appointment, measuring the value of you and your product, and talking about you:
Your YouTube channel
Your Google presence and page rank
Your blog (do you have one?)
Your business and personal presence on Facebook
Your Linked In connections and recommendations
Your Twitter followers
Your online reputation
I hope that you realize that an active presence in the social media world is a requirement for successful marketing, not an elective. In our next post I’ll suggest the bare minimum that you’ll want to include in your social media profile.