We had a great meeting last night at The Business Club in North London. There had been a mix up with the speaker so Kesh Mojaria and myself did an impromptu talk about utilising social media for business and importantly HOW to automate your twitter account to gain followers and add tweets. In fact, in my next bloggs I will take you step by step on exactly HOW to do just that.
So firstly - why is social media so important to business? I realised only last week, that there are many people out there who 'just don't get it' and by that I don't just mean social media....I mean networking full stop. Social media is just another step further on that enhances the whole process. let me give you an example :
last week a teacher friend of mine said "I noticed you advertised one of your networking events on facebook, is that ethical?" (In fact it had automatically been placed on there from another social media account but we'll come to that in later bloggs!) What struck me was his total misunderstanding of what social media has evolved to be. As a teacher he is fairly isolated from what is going on in the world of business perhaps and what I deduced was that his experience of facebook and other types of social media was influenced by those he came into contact with on a daily basis, i.e. school children and other teachers. Of course, kids talk about facebook and put up pictures of themselves partying etc and originally that is exactly what facebook was used for but what he had failed to realise was it's importance in building relationships. Building relationships is a key element to building a network of any sort whether social OR business and of course a natural development for social media was as an application for providing a 'route to market' to cement, build and develop business relationships.
BNI talks about Visibility, Credibility and Profitability in that order and social media is linked to all three. Visibility in that by using applications such as Twitter, Facebook and many others, the larger your network grows, the better your branding and the more you will be noticed. Credibility in that as you begin to be talked about, if you deliver and testimonials follow, your reputation becomes enhanced and it becomes more likely that people will want to do business with you....there of course is your 'Profitability'.
This is the basic principle of networking : getting others to talk about YOUR business to THEIR contacts and utilising social media will and is becoming increasingly important to enhance your face to face offline activities.
Time is money and of course if there are ways to grow your network automatically without being glued to your PC or mobile phone then business people will want to know about it. There IS and it can be done at NO COST. In my next series of bloggs I will explain exactly how I have learnt to do this ... watch this space :-)