Social Media for Business

 

Don’t you just love technology.  A world with no borders and no limitations.

What I love most about it is that you can schedule meetings online with people from all over the country as well as with people from all over the world.  Face to Face webcam meetings from right where you are.  What are the benefits?

  • No more commuting, a big time saver.
  • Travel costs getting to and from meetings
  • Environmentally friendly, no CO2 emmissions
  • New business opportunities

I can only think of 4 benefits right now off the top of my head but I am sure there are more.  There are so many things you can do via webcam.

Are you a caterer, a good cook, start giving cooking lessons?  Dance and fitness instructors can give one to one sessions.  Teachers can tutor their students via web and online collaboration facilities, if you speak a language, offer language lessons.  Music teachers can also capitalise on this facility.    Do you own a restaurant or a bar, bring people into your domain via webcam, show them around, make them feel at home and when they are in town, I’m sure they will stop by and say hello. 

Think of the 2010 Soccor happening in South Africa, you can easiliy connect with people internationally, build relations and by the time the world cup happens, you are ready to meet and connect.

What an amazing world we live in.  There is a wide audience waiting to discover you via the net.  Real live television at your doorstep.

I had a meeting the other day with Heather Townsend via Dim Dim.  Afterwards I sat in amazement thinking  to myself just how incredibly wonderful this is, to be able to have a meeting, achieve exactly what I would have had face to face and futhermore, I just saved loads of commuting time, travel expenses and managed to get more done.  I have another meeting scheduled this afternoon with Robert Killington, to chat about a few things we are working on.  Looking at both these meetings, their location, I saved myself a wopping 5 hours of commute, this is almost a day’s worth of travelling.

Lastly, I also have scheduled in my diary another training session which I’m doing via Better Networking with Geoffrey Gordon based in South Africa  This is truly business without limitations.

Romany Thresher

 

Reading an excellent book called Socialnomics by Erik Qualman who shares a number of stories on how social media can have an impact on our lives.  I will be writing a review on this book shortly.

One particular story stood out for me as it showed how powerful social media is in terms of creating opportunities for everyone.

Here you have two guys from Seattle, Justin and David  who jokingly said, “wouldn’t it be great if there was a powder that made everything taste like bacon”.

David  started a MySpace profile and called it Bacon Salt.  They then looked for  people on Myspace who had bacon in their profiles which amounted to 35,000. They then tried to find out from these people what their interest would be in Bacon Salt.  There was lots of interest and they started receiving orders for a product they didn’t have.  Word of mouth took over and it became viral. Long story short they ended up selling over 600,000 bottles in 18 months, beginning with no product, a few cheap spice bottles, printed Bacon Salt logos and scotch tape. The bottle and brand was built entirely using social media.


Reading this reminded me a bit of my own business, when I first started.  I did not do any offline advertising, I still don’t do any, all my customers come via social media.  I am also currently exploring 2 joint venture opportunities with two people I met through Twitter  and I am flying to South Africa  to run a social media workshop called Africa Wired, I met Mariéme via an online social network.   I connected with Geoffrey Gordon from my home country in South Africa, we have a lot in common and looking at ways we can work together.

The other day, I connected with Antoinne via an online community site, and helped him get started on Twitter and discovered he has a very interesting community site for divers, called My Dive Album a place where divers can post their videos and log their dives.

There are many business owners who  have made connections with others which turned into excellent results.
Dakar Dragons a group of business owners who connected via social media to work on the Viola Vaughn, 10,0000 girls project.  Better Networking Surf the Web competition, business owners who put together an incredible prize to help a business owner to  kick start their business, again these people connected via social media and lastly.

The other day I needed a bio written urgently, I did not got the yellow pages, no, I immediately went to my Twitter followers and sent Nikki of The Wordwell a dm asking her if she would write one for me.

A shift has taken place, it has become an equal opportunities market.  Before web 2.0 and social media, to start a business was really quite difficult, having the idea, putting it together was the easy part.  The hard part was to market your business and get customers.  TV, radio and magazine advertising was over the top expensive, so only people or companies with a very large budget could afford to advertise.  The only way a small business owner could advertise was via telemarketing,  cold calling, flyer distribution, newspaper, notice boards which only reached people within your town or community and let’s be honest it was a lot of hard work for the return on investment.

If you had a special talent, like singing, music, dancing, acting, you had to go through a lot of red tape to try and make yourself heard.  If you lived in a country outside USA or UK, your chances of being discovered was zero, unless you went to the USA or the UK.

This is such an exciting time, sites like Youtube, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace,  BT Tradespace, MyGenius, Better Networking, etc. are creating an equal opportunities market.  For the first time,  customers are in control, new talent is being discovered and business opportunities are being ignited with people who would’ve never met  if they had not started using social media.

I would love to hear your story of how you found social media working for you and your business.

Romany Thresher

 
Why do people say they will do things and then do not follow through?  This is probably on the top of my list of dislikes.  It certainly gets my blood boiling.

Don’t you just hate chasing people to get things done?  I know I do.

Someone recently offered to help me with a project and I accepted the offer.  This freed up some of my time so that I could get another view point and angle on things.

So I passed on what needed to be done and then I waited and waited and waited.  D-day approached and I emailed the person to find out what was happening.  I got a reply saying that they had been busy but would get on to it.  D-day came and went and still nothing.

I get so annoyed at this.  If you cannot do something rather say so, so that I can make alternative arrangements.  I will not be upset with you or feel that you are letting me down.  I will be more upset with the fact that you did not keep your word and follow through with what you promised to do, as this now causes destruction.  This usually means that I have to try and find someone else to do it, or try and do it myself which is another delay on a job which, by now, is meant to be complete.  A whole host of things occur, all because you did not follow through, but most important of all you  just end up losing your credibility.

Romany

Someone mentioned to me the other day that they are getting nothing out of social media and social communities.

On closer investigation all I could respond with “No wonder you are getting nothing out of it, you have no profile image, hardly any info filled in on your bio and you don’t participate.”

It’s the same as not attending events, parties or networking events.

If you don’t attend no one will know about you.  If you don’t participate and get involved, no one will respond.  If you just stand in the corner at an event and don’t introduce yourself and connect with others you cannot blame it on the event and say it does not work.

How do you expect people to know you, like you, like your product, recommend you if you don’t participate and interact.  How can you expect to help others and have people helping you if you don’t post anything, say anything or do anything.

It is up to you to open your door and allow others to get to know you.  It is up to you to make a noise and let others know you are there.  People respond to those who say, “hello world, here I am, get to know me”.

Romany


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