In terms of business-building, it seems Social Media has two major benefits:
1. Width (Quantity). Social Media allows one to connect with people with whom they otherwise would never have had the opportunity. More important than entertainment or business celebrities, this includes the local CEO or decision-maker you’ve been trying to meet for a long time. Well, do it correctly, and now you can.
2. Depth (Quality). The correct use of social media also allows for deep relationships to be cultivated. 140 characters or a post (blog, on Facebook or LinkedIn) are only the beginning. You probably already understand the how-to aspect. If not, there are a multitude of books, articles and blog posts from which you can learn.
However, one disturbing trend — that need not be — regards Twitter and the many retail businesses that are joining. I said businesses instead of people because they join as businesses, not as people. And, typically, people (consumers) don’t do business with businesses…they do business with people running or representing those businesses.
Often, there is no picture of a person; a human being with whom we can connect. Instead, only a logo. Most people don’t do business with logos; they do business with people.
And (Burg still on soapbox), not only do they join as a business, their tweets are totally “Me-Focused.” It’s all about their products, the specials they have going on, and any links are to their information.
It’s as though they’ve heard the news…“If You’re In Business You Need To Be On Twitter!!!!!”
And, I agree. However, it seems many have not taken the time to learn “how to be on Twitter.”
The same basic principles apply as in “real life.” Engage, find ways to add value to others (aside from your products), cultivate relationships to the point that people know you, like you and trust you.”
Of course, this doesn’t mean you can’t promote yourself and your business. It’s not an “either/or” situation. Absolutely promote. But do it the right way and not only will your business make a lot more money, your business (I mean, you) will enjoy yourself immensely.
Do you see this trend, as well, or am I off-base? And, if you agree, how would you suggest retail merchants make their Twitter experience more fruitful…and multiply their business? 🙂