Social media is a great resource for many things, but is it a replacement for meeting face-to-face with clients? I believe it can be over time, but only if done correctly. Today on LinkedIn, I read one of the best articles on something I believe, which is, there is no substitution for personal, word-of-mouth referrals. We have so many ways to use social media in our promotional mix. Yet, it’s just one part, not the whole part.
What is the benefit of building a following of 10’s of 1000’s, or as I like to say, a group of networking professionals to connect with others, to learn from one another, and the added benefit of building your name and brand recognition in the business world? Is it to make connections, help inspire, encourage others and grow by mutually engaging with people of like minds? It’s apparently good for those who offer webinars and teleseminars, and those people may get sales on Amazon books, e-books or coaching. Coaching is the word for what people like myself have done for 30+ years – “counselling”.
Depending on the coach you see or talk with, they may literally “coach” and cheer you on with whatever you need to do in your professional or personal career. Others may make recommendations, design plans and strategies that make sense, and help you to execute those plans. My coach, Tee Crane, of TCCS in Vancouver, has helped me from a professional perspective to a personal/health perspective actually providing me with the tools to get through a life threatening illness this past year. His job doesn’t end at the end of the contract as he has a follow-up period with each of his clients. So, each Coach offers different skill-sets.
What I do in my practice is work with people in building a strong foundation making recommendations, designing plans and strategies that make sense, and helping my clients execute those plans while never making the client look bad to anyone. That’s how personal referrals are made. From client to client. From recommendations that can be followed up on and verified.
Not on LI endorsements. What people have the opportunity to do, which is what I enjoy, is sharing information and learning from others. While money is great to have, it is not why I connect with people. I look for a mutual connection where it may be a beneficial relationship for both parties as a business connection. With Skype, I can start my day talking with clients or contacts in the UK and wind up in Australia, having talked with clients or contacts in South Africa, Canada, the US, and elsewhere throughout the day and evening. What a great resource social media is making our business communities more global. Some geographic areas may not be ready for a “global” community coming into their backyard. Too bad, because I learn so much from others all around the world. However, social media is no substitution for fine work product and client recommendations.
My rules for social media:
- Set aside a specific amount of time to check your social media each day. If you have someone else doing it they should be following up for you with a summary.
- Make sure your social media posts are pertinent to your interests, business and trends of the day.
- Are you following people you want to have in your list of “friends” or followers.?
- The same holds true for who you follow.
- Do you respond and engage with people who are engaging with you?
- If you are participating in a discussion on LinkedIn, make sure that your thoughts make sense. If you have to cut an paste first. it’s worth it. Spell-check.
- Make sure your information is current.
- Don’t let social media replace meeting people, calling, or writing those you’ve known for years.
- DON’T let it overtake your day that you have little billable hours left.
OMG! It’s almost 5 PM & I haven’t looked at Facebook!
Most people live in areas where they can
easily connect with local people and become a part of a community. That’s a great way to get started. If not reach out to those where ever you have lived in past years. Make your web wider and brighter. The bigger it gets, the more talent and information (not to mention potential clients) you bring into your world).