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Ready to Go Social? Three Ways to Tell.

Ready to Go Social? Three Ways to Tell.

Is your business ready to go social? All of us are at different stages of readiness to live and work online. I like the straightforward approach Pam Danziger took to the topic below. See, I feel very comfortable building new businesses and sharpening existing ones to better compete in retail stores, overseas factories, buyers' offices and boardrooms... but when it comes to interactive online marketing, I find it challenging to learn and execute fast enough (and I try every Saturday morning with this blog)... without distracting from my professional mission to build new businesses, to create and harvest more demand more profitably.   


Here's some helpful content on building an online community and going social...

1) What is your business' current level of participation on the internet?

For example, do you have an internet website that includes not just directory or brochure-type information, but that also has e-tailing capabilities so that customers can buy products or services online (maybe not all products, but a carefully edited selection of items)?

If not, your first task before venturing into social media is to raise the bar on your existing web presence.  You need to set up shop in cyber-space, creating a virtual store front where internet-empowered shoppers can visit, select items and make purchases.

Brochure-only informational websites won't cut it in a social media world, so you should talk to your ecommerce provider about expanding the purchase capabilities on your site.

2) Do you have an email list of contacts and customers that you regularly update and use to mail out notices, newsletters, or press releases?

If you answer "No" then this is another critical need you must address before launching a social media initiative.  Social media is all about making personal connections, i.e. making friends online.  That means you need to start with a bunch of friends that already live in cyber-space and that you can meet in the online world.

You will need to start building and expanding your online list, by asking people who visit your shop to share their email address.  You will also need to activate those on your list by inviting them via email and regular communication to share their time and attention with you.

3) Do you have something important to say to people in cyber-space?

Answering in the affirmative to this final question is ultimately the essential thing you need to launch your efforts in social media.  The previous two show only that you have command of the tools, but this requires content:  information that people will be interested in and will want to share with other like-minded people.

While in cable television it appears that the person who shouts loudest and longest gets the attention, that same dynamic doesn't operate online.  People have to tune into your special message, they have to search you out and want to share your news and views with others.  So it is content that will grab their attention, not slick packaging, fancy programming or colorful graphics.

Social media requires that you provide meaningful and important content that other people are interested in.  You need to commit to developing such content and sharing it regularly and frequently in order to build a connection with friends online.

Written by Pamela N. Danziger

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