As a “One stop Shop” for all your IT needs, you would think our company – CSI Onsite – could care less about Social Media. However that would be a false assumption, because we are first and foremost a business that exists to serve our customers. And Social Media has become an integral part for virtually all small to medium size business in the United States. Even large businesses have to participate in this recent development in corporate dealings.
When Social Media first came on line it was quaint, trendy, and appealed to “less serious” people, certainly not business professionals. My Space was the King and then this upstart Facebook burst on the scene. But all the experts said “It’s a trend, it won’t last, not worth investing in.” As you now know those “experts” could not have been more wrong, and to be fair to them, their areas of expertise were based in decades old, time tested, education and experience. They were business and marketing experts, not sociologists, and Social Media is a Social phenomenon that broke through sociological barriers into the world of business and communications. Sociologists saw this trend becoming more than a trend, and they were correct.
Fast Forward 10 years and Facebook is a major influencer in the world of communication, politics, IT, advertising, marketing, and a major reflection of current culture. Twitter is now how most teens communicate, Facebook, email “they are too slow” is a comment I heard when asking some high school students about how they stay in contact with one another.
The combination of Facebook and Twitter has now been recognized and is now a part of every major business strategy in 95 percent of business in the USA (this is my anecdotal estimate). As a business owner you truly have to consider your Social Media Footprint. If you don’t you can surely operate as a company and probably maintain a decent level of business, but you are missing out. Your company is missing out on the most accessed form of information gathering and dispensing in the history of American business.
Here is the typical search cycle of most new customers:
- A felt need (product or service)
- Ask for references from friends (done word of mouth and now through Social Media)
- After gathering a list of Companies, the searcher begins to investigate each potential company.
– Guess where their search begins…that’s correct on their computer/tablet/smartphone.
- They will explore your web site (hope you have one).
- They will explore online reviews of your company
- And they will look to see how you are represented in Social Media. Are people talking about your company on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn…are your pages fun, put together well, active, reflect relevance to their felt need?
- Then then choose a company to try.
For better or worse this is what most companies are now facing in competition for the business of potential customers. This is why 3 year ago CSI Onsite’s President Mark Wheatley made major changes in our company. He hired a professional website designer to build a new website for CSI Onsite. Something he is more than capable of doing himself, but saw the need for a person whose expertise lies within that realm so as to attain the greatest potential impact for our customers and the business. He contracted with a business coach and marketing expert to re-brand CSI onsite to better reflect our vision for the company. He also had one of our employees’ trained to fill a new position (social media director) who would then manage all of CSI Onsite’s Social Media efforts (that would be yours truly-John Guist).
What have the results been? While results with our Social Media are a little harder to measure in tangibles, through different metrics we can see upward and downward trends in influence, reach and sheer numbers of visits to our different Social Media efforts. You can use Google Analytics, Feedburner, MailChimp, HootSuite, etc…to not only manage your Social Media but also measure some tangible results of your different Social Media efforts.
As a company we do not attempt to monetize our Website, Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. Our Social Media is designed to educate, inform, engage, and create credibility for our Web presence. This could lead to new customers and sales, but this is not the main purpose for CSI’s Social Media presence.
Your company may be different, you may wish to monetize Facebook, that’s O.K. but you would then take a different approach then we did. To do so does require some training in both Social Media marketing and the technological ins and outs of Facebook, websites and how to integrate the two both technically and philosophically.
So here’s what we want you to walk away with from this blog – How is your Social Media image? Do you have a presence in the world of Social Media?
Chances are you need one and if you don’t have one, you probably need a little help getting into the game. We would be more than happy to get you started in this arena of business that has become so very important to business as we know it. And we can also refer you to others who have aided our Social Media adventure as well. Give us a call at 952-928-1788 and we can set a time to meet and get you going. In the meantime peruse these websites to get a feel for what is available in free and paid train for those wanting to embark upon their own Social media adventure.