I don’t understand it. I don’t want to deal with it. I don’t have the time. What’ll it get me anyway?
Those are a few of the reactions I’ve gotten when talking to folk about social media. Their bottom line question: why do I need it?
Well, I’ve got several answers for you:
- It’s free.
- It’s easier than you think (if I can do it, anybody can do it). You can set up an account in under five minutes. And they make it easy for you.
- It gives your Web site traction. The days of putting up a site and waiting for people to find you are over. The Internet is full (well, sort of) and you need new ways to market your site.
- It doesn’t take as much time as you fear.
- Most important – it’s where the people are. Or soon will be.
As Business Week magazine advises, “Catch up…or catch you later.”
Smart marketers are already jumping in. One example: Zappo’s – the online apparel retailer. CEO Tony Hsieh believes Twitter and other open forms of communication are required for excellent customer service. All his employees are trained to use Twitter and other social media platforms. Oh, and Hsieh’s company did a billion in revenue last year despite the recession.
In our recent member survey, many of you asked for more information on using social media. We’re already planning a series of Business Brain Food sessions for our 2010 schedule, so watch for that.
In the meantime, check out how others are using social media. One Chamber member who excels at the use of social media is Kevin Kagey of Bear Creek Bronze. He was featured in a story on innovative manufacturers in the September issue of The Chamber’s Greater Kansas City Business.
I also hope you’ll check out The Chamber’s social media offerings. (You’re already reading this blog, so thank you for that.) We’re on Facebook, LinkedIn, and we’ve got seven different Twitter accounts (depending on your interest – the economy, politics, business resources…)
We’re proud of the fact that our Twitter account kcchamberEVENTS is ranked number six in the Kansas City area, a TwitterGrader ranking based on the number of followers, the power of those followers, and the level to which you are engaged in the community. (Congrats to Chamber staffer Lindsay Nelson – who tweets for that account! And BTW, Kevin Kagay’s Twitter account is number five on that list.)
In summary, the best advice is jump in the social media pool – even if you don’t understand what you’re doing.
You’re smart – you’ll figure it out.