See, I still get asked that kind of question pretty much every day. “You know, that social media stuff is important, just no one in my industry is using it.”
I stopped being geeked up about social media some years ago, but that’s because about then I realized social media had firmly become a behavior instead of a tool or a tactic.
It’s no longer what you do, it’s part of how you do everything.
I for one don’t think you have to concede that social media is hip and important and all that, but you can’t really build a business today without employing it.
Let me restate that not for emphasis, but for clarity.
A great deal of what goes on in social media is silly, pointless and wasteful and yet you can’t survive without it. Oh I guess you can survive, but is that really the point?
Your customers need you to use social media to serve them, figure out how to deliver what they need and communicate in real time.
Your employees need you to use social media to connect them, keep them informed and allow them to participate in building the brand.
Search engines need you to use social media to demonstrate authority, network, share and attract links so they can figure out where and how to index your content.
This week I visited with Jeff Korhan, author of Built In Social about how social media use has evolved to the point where it’s not something you consider as part of your marketing or business plan it’s something that just is – it’s like the oil in the engine – you must add it in, the only consideration is the weight and the maker.
When you look at social media as a tool to do what you’re already doing, better, faster and in a way that benefits the customer, I think it’s pretty clear how important it is in the process of building a business.
Once you can move past the hype, move past the resistance and move past the tool of the week thinking, you can begin to bake social media behavior into your marketing and business building in ways that simply serve the customer. Do that and you’ll come to realize you cannot live without social.