It is Cactus League season here in Arizona, so I will probably throw in some baseball lingo, but I promise, no pitches, just reliable information from my perspective. Many clients have embraced the realm of social media. Others are slow coming to the plate. In either case, the way you win the game is by putting prospects in the seats, while you perform on the field. In some cases, you should invite them into the dugout, so they can get the insiders perspective on what is happening here. What has not changed in this new world? Where your clients are found. You must put most of your efforts in gaining new clients in the places they hang out, all the while, finding new ways to attract others to your products and services.
So what do I mean by traditional meets social? Nothing more than recognizing that social media is a new way of looking at things, with some new tools, and a fresh perspective, that isn’t really new at all. Sometimes I think there truly isn’t anything new under the sun. So, lets play ball.
When you think of traditional media, you think of Print, Radio and Television. Note that two of the three are dominated by images, so I will ask you keep this in mind for future reference, as I add this as a quasi fourth element. Social media is more of an online relevance, so in my mind, here is how they relate:
Printed media relates to online media in the form of: Blogs, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, websites, etc. I would be remiss if I did not mention the power of eBooks here. Many are free, others are fairly inexpensive.
Radio media relates to online media in the form of: audio podcasts and internet radio programs. Again, it would be a mistake to not mention audio books here. If you drive around town quite a bit, these are a great windshield time filler.
Television media relates to online media in the form of: internet broadcasts (live streaming events), screencasts, video podcasts and YouTube. Other video sharing sites worth mentioning here are Animoto, Hulu and Vimeo, just to name a few.
Image media (photos) relates to online media in the form of: photo sharing sites such as Flickr and Photo Bucket, Picasa and Zoomr
What makes this interesting is how many sites rushed to permit the attachment of photos and videos to their offering to make the experience more relational. For instance, you can upload a photo of someone or something and “tag” them in Facebook. This makes an instant connection back to the people in the photo, assuming they have a Facebook account, making the “experience” more real.
So, while the sites are new, and some of the steps are new, here is what is not new. Social sites require you to go back to the 30’s and use a technique made popular in my lifetime by Dale Carnegie in his book, Win Friends and Influence People. He determined that companies would be further ahead if they would focus company growth goals on building relationships, not selling products and services. Interesting huh? If you have never read the book, you should consider it. And, by the way, it is available as an eBook download.
The dominant theme in this new era (on these social sites) is that people do business with other people, not businesses. It also purports the strength is in the law of attraction, not the law of promotion. Listen first, sell second. Build relationships with me, don’t try to sell me. This ties nicely with the Know, Like and Trust principle in networking, doesn’t it?
Now, here is the crazy part. The Social sites already have categories linked to them. I was able to identify twelve, but I’m sure there are more. Here is what I have discovered, with the categories in bold and some examples in each. Please note that some of these you may have never heard of. Most are .com sites.
Blog Creation – Blogger, TypePad, WordPress
Bookmarking – Digg, StumbleUpon and Ning
Email and Surveys – ConstantContact, iContact, SurveyMonkey
General – Twitter and Wikipedia
Job related – Careerbuilder, Monster, Sologig
Meeting sites – FreeConference, GoToMeeting
Niche sites – FourSquare, Hubspot
Photo sharing – Flickr, PhotoBucket, Picasa, Zoomr
Podcast sites – Blubrry, iTunes, PodBean, Podcast Alley, Podango
Pro Networking – Facebook, LinkedIn, Plaxo
Radio online – BlogTalkRadio, Pandora, TalkShoe
Video sharing – Animoto, Blip.tv, Hulu, Mogulus, Viddler, Vimeo and YouTube
Now that you have been given a nudge, go do some research. What sites are best for you and your business? I’ll give you a hint. Never lose site of where your clients are found. Social media is used best when your intent is to educate and inform, not promote and sell. Think of this before you venture out, what do I have that I can share with others. If you build on this foundation, you will hit one out of the park!
Have fun! And, don’t forget to Market Naturally!