According to NeilsonWire the top Social Media websites in Australia for 2009 are Facebook with a 75% following, YouTube with a 70% following and Wikipedia with 65%. MySpace had a 48% following and Twitter just 35%. Don't let the 35% figure of Twitter fool you as the application has grown by 400% according to the latest report on the NeilsonWire Website. 38% of users also interacted with a brand using social media.
Looking at these figures to me it really indicates that small to medium enterprises need to embrace the social media avenues to stay in touch with their clients, customers and strategically aligned businesses.
I know for myself I have had some extremely positive results using social media for business. I have been fortunate enough to have some fabulous networking opportunities come my way which would not have happened with tradional marketing of my business. I have also had interaction with other businesses that has lead me to be invited to be a guest presenter. These opportunities were only possible through my business being seen and being at the right place at the right time, by the right person. Six - eight months ago my business would not have been at the right place, at the right time and seen by the right person, I just wasn't there. Besides my website and a few on-line directories my on-line presence was limited.
With social media sites growing in Australia Mr and Mrs Small to Medium Business Owner need to ask themselves the key question........... Are you media ready for Social and Tradional Media?
Mastering Media With Clarity - 21st April 2010 (See Events Page)
We are constantly told to network, network, network. Networking helps to build business,foster contacts and leads, create opportunity for career change or promotion, increase learning opportunities etc,etc,etc.
Recently I was at a conference where it certainly was networking heaven. Attending were key industry figures, peers, suppliers and industry leaders. I had my 'elevator pitch' down pat. I had spent time working through my pitch to inform and not bore my audience. I was prepared, confident and ready to build my networks. I only wish that some of the people I encounted had also pre-prepared their 'elevator pitch' before embarking on their networking experience.
Speaking with several people over the course of the four day conference, I came to the big question. 'When does self promotion become too much self and you lose the art of promotion?'
After 15 minutes of listening to one attendees self promotion I felt my mind wander and I started to glaze over as I looked around for a good exit strategy.
There is a fine line on the self-promotion platform. Where is that line? Does the line change with the audience? These questions I posed to myself in my glacial state. The line is thin and can become blurred. A 60 - 90 second elevator pitch should give your audience a brief introduction with them wanting more, opening up the opportunity to ask further questions. This should also allow you the opportunity to ask your listener further questions. The wonderful art of conversation is now at work.
From this 10 - 15 minute converstion business cards can be swapped, opportunities for future mutal business enhancement can be considered, even so far as possible future strategic alliances contemplated. However, if the conversation becomes so self focused these opportunities can be lost.
It is a part of human nature to want to talk about ones self. Who best knows you? You! You are the expert on you and your business. Given it is human nature to want to disclose information on oneself then the art of networking is finely balanced on engaging your audience to also impart information of themselves back to you. Why do they want to listen to you? WIFIM - What's In It For Me? What is in it for your audience?
If you find yourself getting lost in 'self' take a breath and consider this question...What would be the ultimate question I would want to be asked at this networking event? Now you have it, ask your listener that exact question. See their reaction to your interest in them. It now can move the focus to the listener and demonstrate your desire to find out more about them. All of a sudden you can elevate their perception of you with a short well constructed question.
Personally, I go as far as having 6 - 8 pertinent questions prepared along with my elevator pitch. My questons I change and adjust slightly to suit the situation at the time.
Next time you are thrust into a networking situation consider this 'when does self promotion become too much self and I lose the art of promotion?
I would like to hear from you on your networking experiences
I remember many years ago about 25 I think, sitting at a training session. Huddled around an old cassette deck we listened how to set up our next big promotion. This was state of the art and one of the few retail groups in Australia to take training to this level. The group was very progressive and even today, looking back some of those initiatives are still in play in the retail sector.
Fast forward to 2010, we now have everything from the web, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Blogger, MySpace, Mybloglog, LinkedIn, Skype, Typepad, Wordpress and on and on it goes. The world has gone made for social media and social networking.
The insurgence of these types of arenas has caused businesses no matter how big or small to re-look at their marketing campaigns, their reach and their target market audience. Us Gen X's are flabbergasted at the whole change to the way we communicate. No longer is a brochure, newsletter or phone call going to cut it, we need to embrace the technology that was once something we only saw in Sci-Fi movies.
This AT&T commercial below just shows you that Social media and Networking can work in so many ways.
These are my thoughts, I would like to hear from you on your thoughts.
Everyday we can be so consumed by all the work, family tasks, errands and business that sometimes we lose sight of the most important person, YOU. Where do you fit in your life?
We can get so caught up in all the daily and weekly grind that we forget to schedule in time for oursleves. I like to call it 'me-time'. It may seem strange to schedule in time to take care of ourselves, yet it is so important.
Me- time can be anything from a massage, a walk in the park or a trip to have your hair and nails done, even reading your favorite magazine or book.
Taking care of ourselves is an important event in our busy schedules as it gives us the opportunity to refresh ourselves, our thoughts and opens the mind.
Me time is not a selfish act, it is about acting smart. If we don't take care of ourselves our energy can be drained and our willingness to help others can also deteriorate. A stressed person doesn't have time for others let alone themselves.
When you are plannihng your day, week or month include yourself in the schedule. Block out some me time and include in the blocked out area exactly what you would like to do with that time. You can consider plannig some small breaks throughout the day that can allow you some time for rejuvenation. Each morning you might consider blocking out time to go for a walk, do some morning exercise or read the paper. Blocking out a fun activity that you enjoy at least three times per week can make the working week not seem so long and onerous. For me I schedule in some exercise classes at night to help break the week. Just try it for a month and see your stress levels reduce as you spend more time on caring for yourself and scheduling the well deserved me time.