Oh no not Facebook Social media is essential


    What’s your company’s social media policy?

    Probably shortsighted.

    Social media or social networking — better defined by the larger players: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Flickr and YouTube — has become more than a global phenomenon. When combined with your online presence and online outreach, it’s a global business phenomenon and a revenue-generating phenomenon — if it’s done right.

    Many businesses are using social media.

    Many businesses are not using social media.

    Many businesses forbid social media.

    Many businesses are still trying to figure out what to do.

    Wake up and smell the re-tweets! Social media is not only here to stay; the few businesses that are heavily involved in using it are (silently) reaping the benefits. Why silently? Because they don’t want their (stupid, chicken, technophobic) competitors to wake up and get on the bandwagon — or should I say, brandwagon.

    Notice to the short-sighted management that is afraid to let the new world in: I assume your health care package includes blood-letting?

    Reality: There’s a huge trust factor at hand: You can’t treat your salespeople like children and expect them to act like adults.

    What your management is saying by restricting social media access is: We don’t trust our people to do the right thing. They’re also saying:

    This is how we want our young employees to perceive management.

    We want to create an opening for competition to steal our customers.

    We want to create an opening for our competition to hire our disgruntled employees.

    We want to create an opening for a huge morale issue.

    We want to create a word-of-mouth issue about our low technology and trust.

    We want to create a perception for our customers of our inferior technology.

    And worst of all: We want to lose an unbelievable chance for feedback from customers.

    Idea for management: If you don’t allow standard Facebook, then allow Facebook Fan or “Like” pages.

    Idea: Create a social media training program for what it is, how it works and what to do to succeed.

    Better idea: Seek professional help.

    Best idea: When you establish guidelines, tell employees what they can do, not what they can’t do.

    Here’s a simple list of what to do as you enter the social media world:

    • Model after others who are successful.
    • Create attraction through value and valuable information offered.
    • Offer value before asking for money.
    • Don’t stick your big toe in the water. Dive in!

    Need more reality?

    • There are 450 million people on Facebook. Who’s your fan? Who likes you?
    • There are 30 million people Twitter. How are you sending value messages to thousands of customers and prospects — for free?
    • There are 65 million business people on LinkedIn. What’s your share of connections and leads?
    • There are millions of videos posted on YouTube every day. Why aren’t some of them yours?
    • There are millions of YouTube videos viewed every minute. Why aren’t your customers viewing yours?

    Reality 1: The sales pressure is on for every company in this country to maintain volume, improve, survive, make profit and hurry up. To go out and make more cold calls and generate more activity (whatever that means).

    Reality 2: Social media is the new cold call, and you are still dialing for dollars or pounding the pavement. How about trying to keyboard for connections?

    Reality 2.5: Sales management and senior management better realize this or they will begin to rot in their own ineptitude.

    By coincidence, I’m in Kitchener, Ontario (Canada for the geographically challenged), to deliver a seminar to a group of tech people wanting to sell better and sell more — people who are not natural-born salespeople. How did they find me? Eh, on the Internet! Through my e-mail magazine Sales Caffeine, my Facebook page and my tweets.

    How are people finding you?

    Who’s your fan?

    Who likes you?

    Who’s following you?

    Who’s re-tweeting you?

    Who’s reaching out to connect with you?

    Answer: Not enough people!

    And it’s free!

    And for those of you about to e-mail me to say you’ve been cold calling for 20 years, blah, blah, blah — go turn on your laptop. You’re right, cold calls do work: one out of 100 times.

    Free Git-Bit: I came across a piece I think will interest you. It’s a chief marketing officer’s view of what to do to be effective on each of the social media platforms. It’s not gospel, but it’s a perspective I think is worthwhile to read. Go to www.gitomer.com and enter the word CMO in the GitBit box. Jeffrey Gitomer can be reached at (704) 333-1112 or e-mail salesman@gitomer.com.

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