Send this post to your friends who are resisting social media...

By: Viveka Monday November 1, 2010 comments Tags: LinkedIn, Social Media, Twitter, Facebook

If you have been watching ABC, or bought shoes from Zappos! lately – then you’ve been touched by social media.

You can’t avoid it, don’t even try.   No doubt you’ve seen your kids messaging each other - their fingers moving faster than the speed of light?  And wasn’t that guy who created Facebook™ a young whippersnapper of 19 (now a 24 year old billionaire)? So one must ask oneself, “Seriously, how could a tool utilized in such crazy, time wasting ways be a useful form of communications?”  If you think social media (facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace, blogging, YouTube, etc.) is a waste of time, you are not alone.

But wait – there must be something to it when Facebook is bigger than the US (population wise)at 550 million users,  and worth more than Ford Motor Company.  When Twitter is so popular it grew 1400% just last year. Social media can be an extremely powerful tool.  Many very successful businesses have used it to:  connect with like minded others, let people know about their gifts, inform audiences of upcoming events, sell product, or just keep better in touch with friends.

So what is this social media thing?  In its simplest definition, social media uses online and mobile tools to communicate user generated content. And why is this important?  Well, its user driven.  That means you, and your potential clients, can drive the conversation.  And the result?  Connections with people that generate better information, better ideas, more directed sharing and if you are in sales, better leads.  We are telling corporations what we want (and your consumers can tell you what they want – saving you time and a lot of money).

What I like the most about social media is that it truly seems to reflect the authenticity and integrity of an individual or a business.  Very simply, people who try and use social media in the old style of  “sell, sell, sell”  become irrelevant and  ineffectual in this medium.  It is self-policing too, so people trying to abuse the system are often caught out and shut down immediately.  Those who operate within social mediums with authenticity, integrity, generosity and relevance begin to attract a large audience.  If you have a service or product to sell, or even information to give away, this can be a very good thing indeed!

I often say that social media “creates a false sense of familiarity.”  But this “false sense” can quickly turn into genuine friendship and powerful strategic business partnerships if you reach out beyond the screen.  Social media is its most effective when we reach out via phone or phone to actually connect with those we are connected to online.

Say you have a law practice.  You know your stuff, you’ve been successful through referral marketing, but would like a little more exposure.  Using the combination of blogging, twitter, facebook and some great downloadable e-material you generate, your business could explode into new markets and widen your influence base.  If you have something valuable to share, let social media help you do it

Maybe you are contemplating moving somewhere new? Through social media you can reach out and create relationships:  business mentors, partnerships, advisors, referrals – and even a clientele base, before you even step foot in your new city.

Do you have an event? Either a local workshop or global webinars or teleseminar?  Social media can help widen your circle of influence so that you can touch a lot more hearts, minds and souls!

Go ahead, dive in.  There is a reason that most of the people who jump into social media stay in.  Because it allows them to experience greater success, connection, increased business and simply better relationships.

About the Author: Viveka

Viveka is author of LinkedIn Marketing: An Hour a Day and is known internationally as the “LinkedIn Expert”.
CEO of Linked Into Business, she also hosts the biggest LinkedIn chat on Twitter.  Forbes has listed her as a top social media influencer for three years running, and she has been cited in Ragan, CNN, Forbes, Mashable, Simple Living, Bloomberg, LinkedIn's Small Business Site and "The Sophisticated Marketer's Guide to LinkedIn, The Miami Herald, Social Media Today and The Social Media Examiner!

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