If you told me a few years ago that I would be participating on Facebook and Twitter I would have laughed at you....yet these days Facebook is one of the first windows I open up on my laptop after checking the morning's headlines. Once I shunned Twitter, and now I can thank it for connecting me to editors, new business, Tin Shingle members and in many cases, breaking news before CNN gets to it. Once I was embarassed about telling friends I was a member of these sites, now I include my Twitter & Facebook addresses in my email signature (a MUST in my opinion if you use either of these networks).
The point is - social media is a must in my life, and not just personally....for me, and probably many small business owners, their social media accounts have become one of their most powerful - and affordable - marketing and PR tools. When people tell me that social media is just not part of their business strategy I honestly want to ask them, "is a cell phone?". Point being, you need to be where the customers eyes and ears are, and connect to them - go to the customer/client/media. These days in many cases that is Facebook and Twitter, who knows what it will be in five years, but you better bet any businesses I work with will be there finding how best we can reach and connect with our audience in whatever the new medium may be.
Today Forbes reported that reports show 54% of small and midsize businesses (SMB) use social media to promote their businesses which is DOUBLE what it was in December 2009. These businesses aren't only members of these social media communities, 35% are ACTIVE members (after all why buy a gym membership if you don't use it - muscles don't just grow themselves) that post daily.
I encourage you to read the article, and reflect on how you're using social media in your brand's outreach campaign. Ask youself if you're continuing to educate yourself about which social networking communities work for you, read great case studies to inspire you, and remember to start conversations with your followers, don't just talk at them!
If you haven't checked it out yet, you can read the Forbes piece HERE.
See you online!