It's official: the excitement of Web 2.0 has finally reached "non-techy" marketers and business owners. Everyone (myself included) is all a'flitter about Twitter. And Facebook. And blogs. And just about every other social media tool.
The opportunity to share information, build relationships and start conversations with customers and prospects has never been easier or cheaper. Yahooo! Yippeeee! Now what?!
That’s right, many of us there is still have no idea what to do next now. We’re paralyzed by the newness of it all.
Well, I’m here to tell you this: none of it is all that new. And I want you to spread the word. To your boss. To your clients. To your marketing manager. It is just conversation.
You’ve been starting conversations with your clients for years now. Through holiday cards and corporate newsletters and sales calls and promotions and web sites. You’ve been attempting to pique interest and elicit reaction. You’ve been trying to move prospects along in the sales process and retain customers by sharing useful information.
That’s all social media is. A new way to do all the same stuff that you’ve always been doing.
Sure, it is different. It is intrinsically two-way. It is fundamentally more informal. And it has a low tolerance for bullshit. But it’s still basically the same.
Yes, I know you don’t have a line item for any of it in your budget. But because it is basically the same, you can just re-direct some of your “customer newsletter” or “ad development budget.” Trust me, nobody will care (they probably won’t even notice). Because -- again -- the new stuff you’ll be doing is essentially the same stuff you’ve always been doing. And it most certainly shares the same objectives.
Still not sure what do to now?
Do something. Anything. I suggest starting a Twitter account (because it is so easy and doesn’t cost anything). Your boss will think you’re a hero. Your clients will think you’re “cutting edge” and the CFO will think you’re fiscally responsible.
You have nothing to lose.
And if anyone does question your judgment or motives, just tell them you’re doing the same stuff you’ve always done.