The stats are in. Social media is huge. It is transforming business and the way that we communicate. It isn’t a fad. It is here. Yet many business professionals still don’t really understand social media, and aren’t entirely sure what it is and how it is impacting business.
5 years ago I spent most of my time convincing people that social media was important. Today, most people know that it matters, the question is where to get started, especially for those who still aren’t using social networks personally. We have a Social Media 101 Training program in Cincinnati every quarter, specifically to help people who still aren’t using social media.
- Do you avoid using social networks personally?
- Are you usure which social networks are worth it for your business?
- Do you worry (even a little) that you don’t understand this stuff (and you should)?
If this sounds like you (or someone you know), there is still hope. Our program is the perfect Social Media 101 Primer for those new to social media. We’ll cover a complete overview of social media and why it matters to business. You’ll leave this program understanding why people Like, Share, Pin, Tweet, Tumble or Plus One content online.
If you are struggling with social media (or you know someone who is) and you can’t make our training, here are 5 ways to start to “get it”.
1. Join a few sites personally
Don’t just join, but have a purpose for joining. Think about what you could get out of the social network, and start participating consistently. LinkedIn is often a good start for most business professionals since it is business focused and provides lots of opportunities to connect.
2. Ask people you know (from diverse backgrounds) which sites they use and why
Start to get a feel for how people you know are getting value from social networks. Ask them which sites they are on and why – what value do they get from participating? Don’t just ask people like you – get diverse feedback from different people in your personal life. This may also spark ideas about how you can use social media.
3. Check out your competitors
Seeing what your competitors are doing is a great source of inspiration and can really bring social media to life. Take a look on your competitors websites to see if they link to any social networks and just start exploring. Are people paying attention to them? Do they have a big following? How are they using it?
4. Search for case studies in your industry
Case studies are great because they usually share the actual results vs. just the activity. Also, case studies are often done on “best in class” companies, so these are great sources of inspiration. Do some google searches for “Social Media Case Study INDUSTRY” with your industry name and start reading about what comes up. Seeing tangible results from your specific industry is a great way to start.
5. Attend a training session or lunch and learn
In every city, there are tons of social media lunch and learns. I personally give hundreds of these kinds of presentations for businesses. Look at your chamber of commerce, better business bureau, small business development center or trade association for a calendar of events, and chances are you’ll find tons of social media on the list. Get out there and learn from the experts.