The Missing Social Media Ingredient

Social Media is everywhere. They talk about it on the news and radio, there are articles in newspapers and magazines, and searching “Social Media” on Google returns 194 million results.

If you want to learn more about it there are hundreds of thousands of blogs, podcasts, and videos available to review. There is no excuse why you cannot figure out how to put social media to work for you. Well maybe one excuse.

That excuse is the missing ingredient in most people’s social media strategy and its “Time”. You can’t learn time and its a limited resource. You either have it or you don’t. Or you need to find or create it.

You really have three choices if you want to get serious about making social media a part of your marketing efforts.

  • You can learn it from scratch by simply diving in and figuring things out.
  • You can tap into the knowledge of others through classes, books, workshops, blogs, audio, and podcasts.
  • You can outsource your efforts.

Regardless of which you choose you will still have to invest some time and money.

Learn it From Scratch:
For the most part this is how I originally learned social media. The benefit in this method is that by building your knowledge through trial and error you learn it from the inside out. Its sort of like working your way up from bag boy to CEO, you have a better feel for all of the moving parts. Its also costs nothing but your time (what’s not getting done while your doing this?).

In the first year of trying to figure out LinkedIn I estimate that I invested over a thousand hours. My path was a little abnormal because I was doing research for my blog and for writing my first LinkedIn book. How much business and sleep did I lose in that first year?

I’m certain that I lost out on a lot of opportunity that year, but based on the results since I’m confident that it was time well spent. I went from 0 social media inbound calls to 3 to 5 per week. At a minimum thats 156 leads calling me over 52 weeks.

Tap Into the Knowledge of others
There are some times in the past and still today that I take a step back and invest in my education by buying a book, reading blogs, and watching videos. This has helped me shorten the learning curve on Facebook,Twitter, and the other tools I utilize.

The positive is that I’ve decreased the learning curve, spending more time working on my business. I’ve decreased my time but my costs have increased a little. The money I spend on time, tools, and resources is a good investment.

You need to do your research though before investing your money. Not every resource is worth the dollars you spend. You may find that you spent your dollars on a resource that provided information you could have obtained for free by searching the FAQ’s of the different social media sites.

Outsource Your social Media:
Your last option is to let someone else handle your social media. The benefits to outsourcing your social media is the same as outsourcing any work task …you can focus on what it is that you do best. To save the time though you’re going to have to spend some money.

I’d like to believe that the sole reason our client’s chose to outsource their social media to SONARconnects was because we were able to articulate how we would help them create and implement a social media strategy. A huge part though is that they realize that without outsourcing they don’t have the time or knowledge to handle it on their own.

One of the ways we’ve been able to develop new clients is by telling people exactly what they need to do. In our workshops we show people how we use each of the tools so that they can walk out an immediately get started.

What we find though is that after they go back to their office and begin following our instructions, a significant number call us within next two weeks. They realize that while they now know what to do, they lack the time to consistently do what it takes.

Wrap Up
Over the last two years social media has played an important role in my marketing efforts. Its expanded my ability to network, connect, engage, educate, share, and communicate to grow my business. It can do the same for anyone that is willing to invest the time and/or money.

You simply need to determine whether it makes more sense for you to spend time or money to put it to work for you.

Note: There are thousands of social media/networking sites so its important to spend your time utilizing the tools that will give you the most bang for your time or buck. We recommend that you start with some or all of the following: LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and a blog.

Social Media Sonar provides the following four resources for FREE… 1.  The Blog, 2. The Online Marketing/Social Media Blueprint, 3.  Conversion Rate Optimization Guide, 4.  Resource Center.  If these help you implement your own online marketing program, great. We love helping people. If you decide you need some help, great. We love new clients.  Contact Us if we can help you.

Published by

Sean Nelson

Sean has been a Keynote speaker at Norvax University, conducts social media workshops and webinars, and has released three books on LinkedIn and written several social media guides. Sean currently runs Social Media Sonar, which in addition to providing free resources, manages social media strategies and tactics for companies. He is also a partner in Surge Labs, a conversion rate optimization company, helping companies improve conversions and profitability through scientific testing of Landing Pages, Websites, Email communications, and Shopping Carts.