There are many people who believe social media as a business development tool are played out or somehow overrated. But as brand strategist Ryan Erskine explains in a thoughtful piece in Entrepeneur magazine, it’s not about the medium, it’s about the brand.
First of all, Erskine points out that there is a lot of data that supports the effectiveness of social media. Salespeople who utilize social media as part of their approach outperform those who don’t by nearly 80%. In addition, social media-generated leads are much more likely to convert that other types of leads, according to one study.
Erskine believes that even if you are not a salesperson, you can still drive additional business into your company by using social media. A lot of people prefer to spend money on advertising because it is less time intensive, but that is not the complete ROI picture. The real question is whether or not that time invested will yield sales and revenue and therefore be worth the investment, and in Erskine’s view, it is usually worth it.
One of the best ways of getting new business is to get attention by making a name for yourself, publishing on blogs and websites in your industry. This is closely related to the first impression that potential customers will have of you when they google your name or brand. An essential first step is to google yourself and remove anything unflattering that is within your control. This is the centerpiece of online reputation management. Moreover, if you don’t already have a website, get one, and make it a central repository with information about yourself and your brand. Erskine recommends reserving your name on all major social media platforms as a way of improving your Google first page.
Controlling your brand is important, says onlinereputationreviews.com, but it’s a means to an end. The end game is to generate business and revenue, and Erskine argues an excellent way of doing this is through content marketing. He believes that content marketing is one of the best investments you make in your business, since it keeps working for your brand continuously.