Social Media: Effective or Major Distraction?

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Social Media has hit the scene like nothing else before it.  Everybody with any kind of business is trying to use it but is it effective or just a major distraction?

For starters, let’s define what social media is.

It’s a way to get your message out.  However, advertising will do that for you.  Social media is the tool used to begin and keep running conversations going.  With an online business, that means conversations with others in your niche, your prospects, customer, and clients.

Why conversation?

It’s just not a one-way street any more.  It’s all about the two-way, baby!

The days of putting your message out there and “hoping”  for feedback are gone.  With social media, the feedback is instant.  Good or bad.  Right now.  In the moment.

It’s good and bad.

Take those infamous Super Bowl ads.  In years gone by, they’ve always been effective and have produced more than their fair share of water cooler conversations the Monday after.

Add social media to the mix and it’s a whole different landscape.  The conversations were amplified.  They were happening on Twitter and Facebook during airtime.  Forget the fact that you may never be in the market for those products.  The Tweeting and Facebooking of those brand names was powerful.

Brand awareness was instant.

OK, and that means what for the small biz owner, people like you and me?

It simply means, if you pay attention, and follow some of their lead, you can do it too!

The playing field has leveled.  Sorta.

You probably still can’t afford to have your ad play during the Super Bowl.  But, you DO have the means to engage with people on the social media sites.  You do have the opportunity to go for it!

Start small.

Build your network.  Be sure you are engaging with the people who already know, like, and trust you.  Expand on that.  Continue to grow your network and get the ones who already love you to tell others.  In social media, that means getting people to use the re-tweet on Twitter, the share button on Facebook, the share button on LinkedIn, etc.

Get the picture?

It’s nothing more than getting the word out.  Asking your satisfied customers and core networkers to spread the love.  Make sense now?

You may not be the topic of conversation the Monday after Super Bowl, but you could be the hot topic of conversation in your niche as you continue to spread your online visibility through the social  networks!

Don’t underestimate.

Social media is here to stay.  You can either embrace it (while it’s still free) and push yourself to engage and connect with others and build your online presence or you can pretend it doesn’t matter and watch your biz stay stagnant.

It’s up to you!

Peace,

-Martha

p.s.  Be sure we’re connected:  Martha’s social network.

 Social Media:  Effective or Major Distraction?

Martha Giffen

Martha Giffen is a Small Business and Social Media Consultant, Coach, Trainer, and Speaker. The author of 3 best-selling books, including "Be Social Be Rich," she is an Online Marketing authority and teaches Small Biz Owners how to achieve massive profitable success. And, -she dishes it all out with a warm southern flare!

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Suerae Stein February 8, 2012 at 12:35 pm

Well said, Martha! I just heard a statistic today that many people are so addicted to social media that they are having a harder time quitting than people have quitting smoking. Scary, but true. Your advice is direct and to the point, and so true! Thank you! ~ Suerae

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Martha February 8, 2012 at 2:22 pm

I think I read that article too. In fact, I think Facebook put it out about THEIR site! LOL Yes, it’s scary. Are we all going to become a population that communicates with our heads down over our computers instead of face-to-face eye contact? Time will tell! Appreciate your comments Suerae :)
Martha recently posted..Powerful Ways To Promote Your Business For Free

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Lisa Kanarek February 8, 2012 at 9:06 am

The bottom line is people (clients) want to know how you can help them and what’s in it for them. It’s simply a matter of asking them. But it’s easier to broadcast a message and make sure our selling points get out there. I’ve made a conscious effort to engage others and make social media conversations two-way. Good article!
Lisa Kanarek recently posted..5 Ways to Show Your Clients You Care

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Martha February 8, 2012 at 2:20 pm

Thanks Lisa! Yes, the quickest way isn’t always the best way, is it?
Martha recently posted..Killer LinkedIn Marketing Tips

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Kristen February 7, 2012 at 10:22 pm

Social media seem to be both effective and distracting. It is kind of interesting that way. I don’t watch the superbowl but I found myself following twitter during the halftime show, which was a lot of fun. I guess social media have established roots in my life!
Kristen recently posted..Sleepless in New Delhi: The Stress of Jet Lag

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Martha February 8, 2012 at 2:20 pm

Sounds like it’s taken roots! LOL While I use it mostly for biz, it IS fun to “play” every now and then!
Martha recently posted..2012 In One Word: What’s Yours?

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Sam February 6, 2012 at 9:05 pm

I love social media, but as with any marketing you need to have a clear plan and a goal in place before you start posting randomly. It would be like dropping a handful of flyers from an plane and hoping they hit the right houses.

Great post – thanks for sharing!
Sam recently posted..Death to collecting

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Martha February 7, 2012 at 10:19 am

LOL I never thought about it that way! Can I use that illustration? It’s wonderful!
Martha recently posted..Are You Ready To Up Your Game?

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Martha February 6, 2012 at 5:38 pm

Time limits are crucial. Also, measuring results. If you aren’t getting a single person coming to your site from, say Twitter, then you need to change your Twitter strategy. Each site has it’s own flavor and you’re right. They each have a learning curve. Appreciate your input Elise!
Martha recently posted..Do Blogs Really Matter? These Do!

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Elise February 6, 2012 at 5:23 pm

Once you get over the learning curve for each site AND set time limits on yourself for the computer it can be very effective. Otherwise, it can easily become a blackhole.
Elise recently posted..Good Morning Sunshine

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Mallie Dein February 6, 2012 at 5:14 pm

Great post.

Of course I lean toward the “effective” camp. As long as people know two things, I think social media can be a vital tool.

(1) Social media, used effectively, is a marathon, not a sprint.

(2) Social media is one tool in your entire marketing toolbox. It has to work with all the other tools. You can’t build a house with just a hammer. And you can’t build a brand identity with just Facebook.

Happy Monday!
Mallie Dein recently posted..RUSH Requires RESPONSE

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Martha February 6, 2012 at 5:36 pm

Oh my, how I LOVE your thinking! Social media is the means by which we get to the end result. So many don’t “get” that. And, it’s not a quick fix, no matter what people say. But, it IS an incredible way to build a network and has been my bread and butter for a long while now :)
Martha recently posted..Why People Love Twitter

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