The 5 Social Media Lifestyles can outline 5 tactical uses of social media you could employ in your business and for your customers. These aren’t in an order of progression that you have to go through, they are lifestyles. Ways you can choose to involve yourself and take part in interaction with these new tools…or not.
- Participate or not: You don’t have to use social media. No one is forcing you. You have the choice. Since our major focus on social media is for business purposes, ask one question, “Does my current customer use social media?” Ask one more question, “Will my future customer use social media?” The choice you make here will shape your future. You’ve committed to this presentation. As a result, you will know more than some about social media and how you could use it for your business. That won’t last forever and knowing is only half of it. Trying it is a whole different ride! Choose to participate and you’ll start to grow a new set of skills to make you more valuable.
- Look and Listen: This is the basic starting point of social media, also known as the “lurker.” There is nothing wrong with tuning in to a social media channel and seeing and hearing what’s going on. You could review the Facebook News Feed of Your Friends, you could follow a conversation about collections on a LinkedIn user group, you could even watch a YouTube video about digital printing and packaging. You chose to join and show up. You can learn a lot by observing, but what if you decided to participate?
- Engage and interact: Engaging and interacting are what make social media “social.” Two or more people sharing ideas, content, music, video. Growing our knowledge exponentially through people we are connected to. You decide to comment on a blog post and the author asks for your help on a project he’s working on. You send a direct message to someone you follow on Twitter. You decide to write your own blog and your first post is about making the move from lurking to participating. Now there’s no turning back. Watching your time and knowing what you want to get from engaging and interacting are important to reaching your business goals.
- Develop and Implement: Now you are making decisions to use social media to reach your goals. You decide to create a blog and link it to the website and optimize the tags so people find you in a search on “custom photo books + kindergarten.” This aligns with a new market you are targeting and a new product that will appeal to parents who are sending their children to school for the first time. You decide to write on the blog about how easy it is to use the web to build a scrapbook and appeal to parents, teachers and administrators. You produce a two pronged YouTube series on the How-To Create and the Business Value of Offering Scrapbooks to your students. Your Facebook page and Twitter feed align with these approaches and support a common message and theme of “capturing the first steps of lifelong learning.” You get the idea.
- Provide as a Service: It’s in this stage you make the decision to help others start the journey you’ve been making using social media as part of your marketing plan to grow your business. It’s a busy market out there. Marketing services have been around a long time. Social media provides new channels to reach goals. The channel alone doesn’t make a company successful. It’s the alignment of the goals and objectives to the needs of the customer and the use of channels appropriate to make it all happen.
Which lifestyle is for you? Is there another lifestyle I haven't considered? Let me know.
~Keep the learning going, pass it on!