Social Media – Old Tools in New Packaging
I’ve been talking about the transformative changes taking place in the workplace today, and social media appears at first glance to be a whole new ballgame. True, many of the rules have changed. True, the packaging has changed. True, there has been a transformation. But just as you experienced a change when you traded your vinyl records to shiny new compact discs and a transformation when you now carry all of your music library on your phone—you’re still listening to music. Despite the many changes and transformations that we’ve experienced—it’s still about business and it’s still about a couple rules that have not changed.
Two things that HAVE NOT changed!
1. People buy from people (or organizations) that they like.
2. Referrals are still the best way to grow your business.
Remember the great business parable “Who Moved My Cheese?” Our cheese has been moved and we need to go find the new cheese. We discussed some of the major factors that have caused our cheese to be moved and these have given us hints on where we can look for the new cheese.
Today, 91 percent of business-to-business (B2B) buyers are using social media tools to research and execute purchases. This factor is causing a change in how we go about marketing and how we go about selling. In this new world, your customers are now a part of your company. In our fast paced world, personal and business lives have merged and we are all meeting on in cyberspace.
This means that the rules of marketing are being reinvented. It means that we need to stop thinking in terms of campaigns and be thinking in terms of conversations. How are conversations initiated in the new digital age?
This is about turning strangers into friends. Turning friends into customers. Turning customers into evangelists. That is my definition of social media marketing.
What is social media? Social media is your stuff. All of your stuff. Your personal stuff. Your business stuff. Your serious stuff. Your funny stuff. Your relevant stuff. Your silly stuff. Your music. Your presentations. Your thinking. Your lack of thinking.
Social networks are where your STUFF lives. And it does live. And it never dies. What’s on the web, stays on the web! There are lots of places for it to live on the web. The more places your STUFF is at, the easier it is to find you. The easier it is to have a conversation with you. The easier it is for the search engines to think you’re important.
(In our next post, we’ll start talking about where your stuff should be living and how you can use social media to create conversations with your customers.)