Truth About Social Media

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Let’s separate fact from fictional hot air about social media. Is it worth the time you invest in it? I get at least 4 invitations daily to learn how so-called experts manipulate SM to gain business, but when pressed find out they don’t actually close sales as a result. So, let’s share some honest experiences to get closer to the truth. May this benefit all of us!Here’s a survey so we can share our experiences (click on comments to reply):
1. What direct benefit has social media (linked in, facebook, twitter, etc.) brought your business?2. Have you generated actual income from your activities?3. Have you made contact with people that have directly benefited your business? If so, how did you benefit?4. How much time do you spend weekly monitoring your social media accounts?

5. What other value does it bring you?

6. What tips have you to share to help others’ experiences?

Here are my personal experiences (to get you started on some answers):
1. direct benefit? have found colleagues from my previous career in film/tv whom I’d lost touch with. Also was referred to some vendors to help my clients.

2. income? not generated income from this. have other marketing/sales programs for that.

3. benefit connections? yes, made contact w/ some who referred vendors to me. didn’t actually hire those vendors, but it helped me indirectly find those I did hire.

4. time? spend less than 1/2 hr. a week on SM (which may account for my lack of direct benefit, personally).

5. none, really. I already have a huge outreach list of those I enjoy, trust, educate or am interested in, so mostly find SM a duplicate effort.

6. tips? I always forget to check my inbox for messages. So, my tip is to email people directly. But those more expert than I tell me 70% of emails through Linked In get responded to vs. a lesser percentage of directly sent emails. Hmmm? Do I believe this? Not sure.

WHAT DO YOU THINK? Let’s share our experiences because ignorance is a time suck and “Knowledge is Bliss”! Please be honest rather than pitching your vast SM knowledge and services.

Thanks in advance for your feedback! Allison Bliss

“To Live, Twitter Must Die” http://www.slate.com/id/2225283/pagenum/all/#p2


Comments

Truth About Social Media — 1 Comment

  1. previous comments, copied from my old blog:
    August 6, 2009 11:07 AM
    Doug Herring said…
    This summarizes my experience:

    1. None
    2. No
    3. No
    4. 10 minutes avg.
    5. none that I have observed
    6. don’t follow my example!

    August 6, 2009 11:48 AM
    Meredith said…
    Actually, in just a few months of being on Twitter, we’ve gotten several leads for new clients and have booked a few, too. We’re seeing tremendous benefit from Twitter, but very, very little from Facebook.

    The key is to manage how much of a time-suck you allow the Social Media to be. It’s got to have its rightful place in your overall Mission and marketing plan.

    August 6, 2009 1:09 PM
    Kathy said…
    This morning I heard this Business Forecaster that said that Facebook and Twitter has lost their “cool factor” for teens/young adults. That once their
    parents (in their 30’s) started invading these social networking sites that young people are leaving in droves. The current “in” network is a Blackberry
    Network that is private so nobody can even see you are on it without being invited in.

    This business consultant went on to say that he believes that Facebook and Twitter will see it’s demise in a year or have to reinvent itself to remain an effective social network.

    The two things I took away from listening to this Forecaster is we have to recognize that the profile of users has changed. This may be good for us and
    bad for my teenage Granddaughters. The second and most important point is that ALL businesses need to to evaluate how their “audience” or potential client base is forever changing and we all have to constantly reinvent ourselves or we all will see an early business demise!

    I think Social Networking sites can have value for business but you need to make sure that you truly know who you are reaching and what you want to convey to them in a way that will encourage them to check you out!

    August 6, 2009 3:51 PM
    James DeKoven said…
    Allison, thanks for starting this discussion – it’s a topic that’s been on my mind for a while now.

    First, I think even the term “social networking” is misleading. There’s nothing “social” about it, at least from a pure business perspective. Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, etc., are simply new ways to market your products/services. There’s no difference between sending an email marketing piece or writing a post on Facebook – it’s all marketing. Of course, one will be more overt than the other, but we’ve always had to adjust the tone of the message based on the vehicle.

    My point? I think that believing that social networking is different from “traditional marketing” is doing us a disservice. From what I can tell, if you do well with “social networking”, you’ve always been a good marketer, and vice versa.

    And to Kathy’s point, it still comes down to the fundamentals of marketing, which is understanding your audience, providing value and maintaining some level of consistent awareness. These are the ways to “generate actual income”, make contact with people that benefit the business, etc. Just my take.

    Thanks for listening,
    James

    August 7, 2009 10:41 AM
    allison bliss consulting said…
    Dean Holmes submits this comment via email.

    Keep in mind that I get paid to discuss these issues as a Consultant to many organizations, and often keynote as well as featured guest on Radio Shows.

    So, I wont give away all of my tips, maybe thats something you and I can work together on, as a partnership, with your clients (and a nice fee for you and service to your clients).

    1. What direct benefit has social media (linked in, facebook, twitter, etc.) brought your business?

    I have CEO’s call me. Thats right, CEO’s actually call me. It’s not because I am on LinkedIn, but the ways in which I work LinkedIn as well as other Research tools necessary to focus on business issues at the heart of their model. I have been able to develop Channel’s for organizations, in excess of $35 million annually. I have also benefited greatly by “listening” to what the audience wants.

    I have also built many relationships with “like” and “dislike” service partners – many of which I currently work with today Steve Rankel, Roger Gimbel, many others, write articles for their books (Jill Konrath) and make money via affiliates by marketing to my audience of over 20,000 direct connections.

    2. Have you generated actual income from your activities?
    In excess of $300,000

    3. Have you made contact with people that have directly benefited your business? If so, how did you benefit?

    Yes. For example, I met Charlene Li through Social Networks, connected with her and actually had her do a TweetUp with the Local Roanoke Social Media Club just Thursday that had an attendance of over 317 people, and if Twitter would not have encountered a failure yesterday this number would have been above 1,000. I have talked with many of the major thought leaders, PR Sarah Evans, Charlene Li, Scott Monty, Joel Comm, and Chris Brogan to name a few.

    4. How much time do you spend weekly monitoring your social media accounts?

    10-14 hours. I have a large network and leverage this as my main Business Generation medium, as well as field many calls from my network connections for questions, webinars and offers.

    5. What other value does it bring you?

    A sense that I can help, first and foremost, anyone looking for guidance, jobs, and connections (i.e.: you and me)

    6. What tips have you to share to help others’ experiences?

    -Mis-spell your name, with the keyboard and from experience and place this in your summary on your profile – easier to be found if typo’s occur.

    – Review Q&A Daily, engage, answer questions and never, never ask a question blatantly that you know is geared toward your business – ever.

    August 10, 2009 9:25 AM
    Rachel Simeone said…
    1. What direct benefit has social media brought your business?

    It has mostly brought heightened awareness of my business, especially with people that I have lost touch with.

    2. Have you generated actual income from your activities?

    I have not, but a friend who is a feng shui consultant has generated and continues to generate money via facebook.

    3. Have you made contact with people that have directly benefited your business? If so, how did you benefit?

    Yes, I have had people that I am/was out of contact with refer clients to me.

    4. How much time do you spend weekly monitoring your social media accounts?

    30 – 40 min/week.

    5. What other value does it bring you?

    It’s biggest value to me (and I assume most everyone) is as a way to stay in touch with people.

    6. What tips have you to share to help others’ experiences?

    In terms of “generating actual income”, I think everybody needs to keep in mind their target. These networks are going to be a lot better for b to c marketing, and especially if your target is under 30. Those are the people that are most active on these sites.

    As more “oldsters” get on the site, we will all be able to use facebook to market to older people, in the same way the demographic profile of people on the interet has evolved over the last 10 years, allowing marketers expand the type of people they can market to.

    And yes, college kids are probably moving on to the next big thing. But again, that is only relevant if your target is a college student, if not, we just need to worry about being where our customers are.

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