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Transforming “social” media into “business” media

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Brands & Campaigns

Today’s guest post is by Mike Figliuolo, managing director of thoughtLEADERS, LLC, a leadership development firm.  A graduate of West Point, he has served in a variety of leadership roles and now teaches organizations critical business skills based on real-world experience.

Social media seems complex and daunting to some. What’s a tweet? Why blog? How does any of this activity generate real business impact? It’s not as complex as you’d think. With a deliberate approach, social media can be much more than social.

At my company, we blog regularly on leadership, strategy, and communications. We also have a company twitter account, @thoughtLEADERS.

To the uninitiated, it looks like we invest a substantial amount of time creating our content — a waste of time, even. Experience has taught us differently.

We use social media for three reasons:

  • It’s a sales and lead channel. We recently wrote a blog post that was then picked up by SmartBrief. We immediately had 700 new blog visitors. One of them read the post, then went to our corporate homepage. They requested information on our training programs and coaching services. Cost to us? About 30 minutes of effort writing that blog post — for a lead we never would have found through traditional means.
  • It’s a credibility builder. We teach and train. We refer prospects to our blog to give them a view into how we approach business. Once there, they either love us (and hire us) or shy away (which is fine, too).
  • It’s a CRM tool. For us, “CRM” stands for Continuous Relationship Management. We may only see a participant in one of our courses once. But if they subscribe to our blog after the class, we maintain a weekly relationship with them. When they have a training or keynote speaker need, we’ll be top of mind.

Pursue social media efforts deliberately. Know why you’re doing it. Ensure what you write about is consistent with what your business actually does. Realize you have to move online conversations into the real world to drive business impact. But don’t be scared — it’s not as hard as it looks.

Image credit, mrakocy, via iStock