I recently had a partner ask me what I thought the next “big thing” is as he wants to make sure his firm stays on the cutting edge. I shared with him that, although there are many marketing initiatives that need to be paid attention to, ONE of the major developments gaining speed rapidly is Social Media and Networking.
I recommended to him, and to you, that you add Social Networking to your list of traditional media to consider when implementing your marketing, communication and business plans for 2009 and beyond. Traditional media have their place, depending on what you are trying to accomplish, and shouldn’t necessarily be thrown out just because Social Media is hot. It depends on your situation.
I shared with him that I think he should create strategy around how to accomplish firm goals through all media available, and to pay attention to the benefits Social Media can add to the conversation we all attempt to have with our potential/clients.
One of our goals as marketers and business owners is to find ways to engage and interact with our clients and potential clients in order to build and cement our relationships with them. Even if we think our target audience isn’t spending time using social media, we might be wrong. It can’t hurt to be there before they get there, then show them the way. To be viewed as a resource for the unknown, or the intimidating, is just one more way you can reinforce your brand as a trusted advisor.
Sure, it can be intimidating. To get started, you could pick at least one practice, industry group, department, service or studio, and add a Social Networking strategy to your marketing and business plan for 2009, if not sooner. As you are ready, add it to other areas. Just don’t put it off because you are afraid of it. Ask for help.
Twitter, for example, is one of the fastest growing applications out there. I invite you to “follow” me on Twitter www.twitter.com/nancymyrland. If you don’t know about Twitter yet, go to www.twitter.com and set up your account in a few seconds. You not only have the opportunity to create connections with your target audience and friends, but you will also find multiple ways to expand your knowledge by following thought leaders around the globe.
Twitter, as well as LinkedIn, Plaxo, Facebook and other applications, creates the perfect opportunity to update clients at a moment’s notice if they care about a subject with which you are connected. Thus, reporting on legislative issues, new laws, changes in policy, events, personalities, etc., often throughout the day would be one way to engage potential/clients.
Social media itself is nothing without sound strategy behind it, the same as video, radio, direct mail, podcasting and other marketing media are nothing without good content and execution behind them. They are all simply means of sending a message to our intended audiences. The difference with social media is the ability to interact instantly with those we care about, and who have chosen to care about us, and for them to provide feedback if they so chose. This makes for a pretty powerful connection.