Note from Don: A few months ago I had an interesting conversation with a very interesting guy on Google+. A phone call, personal meeting and a few months later I’m excited to call Brandon Schaefer a friend. Brandon owns the 90 Day Entrepreneur and he helps business owners learn how to excel in their business. He’s a social media and offline networking master and today you will glean some ideas from Brandon that you can use today to build your business.
Take it away Brandon…
By reading this post, you’ll learn how to use social media marketing and online networking to grow your business.
Two of the most used buzz words in the world today are social media marketing and online networking. In fact, it’s tough to go into any business meeting without social media marketing or online networking coming up in the conversation. This is why it’s important that you get up to speed on both topics, and start to implement a strategy for yourself.
Here’s the catch with social media marketing and online marketing… there are a lot of people out there telling you what to do, and how to do it, but it may not necessarily be the best fit for you. You need to get a lot of information, decide which of it is best for you, toss it all in a blender, and make up your own recipe for success. It may sound strange, but it’s true.
Terms the Professionals Use
There’s no doubt that social media marketing, when used properly, is an extremely effective way to share your message, as well as communicate and network with your clients, prospects, and peers. There’s also no doubt that online networking is an extremely effective way to meet clients, prospects, and peers, but they both need to be used properly.
Social Media Marketing
So what’s the best way for people and businesses to use social media marketing… the best way is to not try and trick the system, it’s actually to do one-hundred percent opposite of that. Believe it or not, people still love people, and people just want their interactions to feel personal and special. The days of companies blasting static ad’s up, saying “Look at us, look at us, we’re great,” are long gone, and the days of companies saying “Share your photo’s and experiences with us,” are here to stay.
Against what most people think, effective social media marketing is about attracting people to get engaged with your message, and for them to reshare it back out to their preferred social media marketing channels of choice. Most brands and people make the mistake of creating a one way message, while the most effective brands and people focus on creating a two way message ie: there’s a social signal going outbound, and then there’s an inbound social signal coming back from your audience. This is how true social media marketing is done… and this is the most effective means of communicating your message with your audience.
So what’s the best way for people and businesses to use online networking… the best way is to again, not try to trick the system, and to naturally just be you. The biggest asset a person or business has, is who they are, and what they stand for, so just be you when you’re networking online. No one likes a person that’s like a lion in Africa trying to take down a gazelle the first time you meet them. Take it slow, add value to every conversation that you have, and look to make natural progression together.
Not everyone is going to like what you have to say, so don’t take it personally, just look to find the people that do like what you have to say, and focus on networking with them.
My Own Terms
Now that we got all the formal stuff out of the way in the above paragraphs, let me share some personal ways in which I maximize my social media marketing and online networking. They both work in unison for me, but let me break each one down, and then I’ll tie them all back together.
Breaking Down Social Media Marketing
Let’s take a look at social media marketing first. The funny part is, I don’t even like to call it social media marketing, I like to call it attraction by sharing helpful, useful, timely, and engaging information. I like to say that I’m marketing, by not marketing… because I’m usually just being myself and sharing what I think is going to be helpful, or useful to you.
There’s no rocket science behind what I do in terms of social media marketing, it’s really quite simple. For example, I like to put people and companies into market segment buckets ie: hospitality, sports, entertainment, and so on. When I see something of value to that market segment, I simply share the information with the corresponding people within those market segments as best as possible.
This means that I’m not sending a person or company that likes to golf, information on surfing, that really doesn’t seem to make much sense to me.
Breaking Down Online Networking
Now, let’s take a quick look at online networking, which happens to be one of my all time favorite things to do. Online networking is what fuels me through the day. I found out early on that if I want to reach as many people as possible, online networking was going to have to be the fuel that got me there.
There’s no doubt, I can cover a lot more ground, and make more connections in one day online, than I can in a couple months of in person networking. Don’t get me wrong, there’s still a place for in person networking, but it’s the efficiency that online networking provides, that allows me to do more, in less time.
My best advice for someone that’s just getting started in social media marketing and online networking, is to just be true to who you really are… it’s by far, the fastest way that you’ll make strategic partnerships and relationships.
I know everyone likes to focus on numbers, and a lot of people say “It’s a numbers game… the more people you talk to, the more you’re going to sell,” but that’s not the approach I take by any means… I always focus on quality, not quantity. The relationships I build via social media marketing and online networking, are some of the most fulfilling and rewarding of any type of relationships I’ve ever had in my entire life.
Quotes to Live By
I’ll leave you with some of my favorite quotes that I live by, and hopefully you can implement some of them into your own social media marketing and online networking plans in the near future.
“The fortune is in the follow up”
“You don’t have to be great to start, just start to be great”
“It doesn’t matter where you’re from, it’s where you’re going”
“Don’t drive out of the rear view mirror”
Think about these quotes for a few minutes, and if you can find a way to implement and live by them, you’ll without a doubt, become a success in social media marketing, as well as online networking. Now that you know better, go out and do better… and leave the excuses at home.
If you have a thought or comment, please leave it below in the comments section. Brandon and I would love to interact with you!
About Brandon Schaefer
Brandon Schaefer is the CEO of 90DayEntrepreneur, and is the go-to resource that local, national, and international businesses and entrepreneurs turn to when they want to bring a product, website, app, or service to market. Brandon has in depth knowledge in business, entrepreneurship, social media marketing, SEO, funding, and mobile search. Brandon is always at the forefront of industry and market trends and is a key influencer in business and entrepreneurship.