I’ll never forget hanging out with a client of mine at a barbeque on a Saturday night. I was building a website for him and he was considering new mobile phone options at the time. Being the passionate (some would call annoying) MAC customer that I am, I immediately began to show him what I was able to do with my iPhone and social media. My client wasn’t even registered with a social media site and frankly, didn’t understand the purpose and concept of it (I still talk to people on a routine basis that don’t understand Twitter, so don’t worry if you don’t understand it either).
I shared with him how I use my integrated social networks for personal and business purposes and he said something I never expected. He said, “How much would it cost to have you set that up for myself and my business?” I wish someone had a camera ready because I probably had the “deer in the headlights look” on my face. I had never really thought about doing social media as a service. As far as I saw it, anyone could do this stuff (and anybody still can). It wasn’t so much that my client couldn’t do it either, it was more that he was very busy and didn’t want to spend a lot of time setting it all up. Honestly, the information you need to setup your networks properly is mostly used one time at the beginning of the process.
I was upfront with him, as I am with every customer, and told him I wasn’t sure how long it would take. He told me that he trusted me to be fair and to just do it and bill him for the time. I accepted the offer and took another substantial step down the social media path. Soon after launching this client’s website he contracted out to Mason Media to help manage and grow his networks in a strategic way that would drive traffic to his website while also allowing him to use the social media himself to connect with people and potential customers. In a very short time he had thousands of friends on Facebook, thousands of followers on Twitter, over one thousand connections on LinkedIn, YouTube videos with thousands of views, a podcast being featured by Apple on the iTunes Store and much more.
My client had been running his business for ten years very successfully but he had his highest grossing year in sales in the first year using Mason Media for internet marketing and social media management. I was blown away. Not only had sales increased but the overall perception of his company had been elevated in the industry as well.
Looking back at that first year I experimented with a lot of different sites and apps. There are hundreds of different forms of social media out there. Some more relevant and effective than others. Gradually, I began to purge some sites while investing more heavily in others. I fined tuned techniques and strategies until we achieved the proper results. Even now, I am constantly doing my best to keep my finger on the pulse of what’s new and possible in this ever-changing environment.
Now I know what you’re saying to yourself. That sounds great Mason, but what if I don’t want to hire Mason Media to manage my social media? Is this something reserved for a techy-type (aka geeky-type) of person? The answer is “No!” If you’re willing to invest a little bit of time and patience on the front end of this strategy, you too can build your own integrated and influential social network that will be very user friendly and effective in the long run… (I’ll have more on this in a future post).