FAQ’s from Old School Business Folk about Social Media

Posted by admin on October 5th, 2009

Old School Business Folk Social Media Questions

Image by The Library of Congress

It is understandable that some senior business owners would be leery of the black magic that is social media. Print ads and face-to-face networking have worked for them for years. Why change things up?

“What is the ROI?”

This is one of the first questions we hear when introducing social media marketing (SMM). SMM is not measured the same way your typical marketing plan is. The value in social media can be based on the direct communication you have with your customers through social media. If it is your company reputation, consumer relationships or conversations that you would like to monitor, you will need to take a qualitative approach. Be sure to measure the positive feedback you receive. To measure your pagerank, sales or traffic you will need to use a quantitative approach with tools like Google Analytics or Wordtracker API.

“I’m already using email, now I have to learn to use Twitter?!”

Implementing a new marketing tool doesn’t sound so appealing when you have been using the same strategy for 25 years. However, it does not take too much brain power, time or money to use social media. If you can sign up for an email, then you can do the same for social networks. Once involved you will be able to hear what people have to say about everything from your investment in general to your product in particular. You can use this information to improve your company and even do a little damage control if there is negative information about your company floating around. If someone is bad mouthing your company, wouldn’t you like the chance to defend yourself? Social media offers this opportunity.

“Do I risk being overexposed?”

Well, that depends. If you are posting PDFs of your companies expenses from last year, then maybe. However, a company that reveals more about the personality behind the company will generate more interest in what they do. You need to show just the right amount of skin, so to speak. Companies spend most of their time being faceless and impersonal, but if we see pictures of the hard working people behind the logo we get that warm fuzzy feeling. So to answer your question, if you are not smart about what you put on your profile, yes, you in-particular risk over-exposure. Otherwise, your should be safe from any negative repercussions.

“I like to shake hands when I start a partnership with another business. You just can’t do that on the computer.”

This is true. So far, technology has not found a way to let us physically shake hands online. However, unless you have a ton of frequent flyer miles or a private jet ready to go, you can’t create partnerships in that way all across the country or world. The beauty of social media sites like LinkedIN and Facebook is that you are able to connect with other businesses easily and build strong relationships without having to court them on the golf course. If you are conscious about how you spend your time, building business partners and alliances on the Internet will surely fit your schedule. Maybe eventually you can make it out to see that guy in Hawaii to shake his hand, but in the meantime, a warm, friendly email will do.

So as you can see, there is no real reason to keep away from social media. It is inexpensive and takes up just a small amount of time each week.

This post was submitted by Rachel Helm, who is an Internet Marketing Specialist and Copywriter at the full service web management company, RocketFuel, LLC. in Memphis, TN.

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