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Why You & Your Business Need to be Involved in Social Media

Why You & Your Business Need to be Involved in Social Media

    I joined Facebook in 2005.  I can’t dig up the initial registration email, but I know this because this was the last time that I had access to my college email, which was required to be a member of the social networking site at the time.  At first, it seemed like just another MySpace type site, although with a much cleaner interface and the ability to connect with classmates. If you watched the movie “The Social Network” or are in tune with current culture, then you probably know the jist of the Facebook story and how it’s grown, so I won’t bore you with the details.  These days, if you’re in business, have made a name for yourself or want to make a name for yourself, you need to be on Facebook. Why? Let me explain.

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    Back in the 1980s and even the 1990s, if your business wasn’t listed in the phonebook, you had to rely on word of mouth to be discovered by potential new customers.  Then along came the internet and slowly businesses started putting up websites.  It was great because you could put a lot more information on a website than you could in a small add in the Yellow Pages.  With the internet well established now, most businesses do have some kind of web presence.  If you don’t, you’re losing out on a lot of potential business. It’s like the phonebook of yesteryear – you need to be on it.

    Now, in the past few years, social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter have grown into something more than just a place to connect with old friends or classmates.  It’s now a way to give your business a public face to interact with the world and your customers.   If you’re not on Facebook, you’re missing out on potential customers. The same goes for Twitter.

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    As a consumer, I’ve found both Facebook and Twitter to be excellent ways to interact with companies.  Instead of calling customer service and then being put on hold forever, only to be connected with someone who can barely speak English, I can post a message on their Facebook wall or send them a message.  If I really want quick action, I’ll @ reply them on Twitter. Companies are a lot more responsive, especially if you have a complaint, if it’s out there for the whole word to see.

    But it’s not just lodging complaints that Facebook and Twitter are good for.  Since Facebook and Twitter are sites that people visit every day, you can use your account to constantly put out information about your company and to interact.  This will keep your company fresh in their mind, more often than if you just had a website because they’d only visit it when they need to.  Social media is like commercials on television for a business; you can get your info on the streams of hundreds, thousands, and even millions of people easily and for free.

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    Don’t own a business?  It’s still a good idea to be involved.  Whether you’re an entreprenuer, a freelancer, or a working stiff, you’ll find benefits to utilizing social media.  As a business and website owner, I can’t even begin to tell you how many contacts I have made through social media.  It’s gotten me interviews with people, press passes to concerts, PR contacts, media contacts, new writers, and so much more.  If I did not have a social media presence and if my business did not have a social media presence, I can’t imagine where we would be today.  As a freelance writer, I’ve also utilized social media to promote myself and gain contacts, and it also gives people who read  some of my work to interact with me personally.

    If you’re in the market for a new job, you know how important connections are.  Networking, networking, networking is key.  While it probably helps more to know someone in “real life”, you can still make connections online that could help you now or in the future.

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    If you are one of the social networking holdouts, it’s time to reconsider.  If security is your concern, rest assured that if someone really wanted to find where you live, they could do so easily without having to look you up on Facebook. You’re missing out on opportunities by not giving you or your business a public face on these social networking sites. Just try to refrain from posting photos of drunken revelry or other questionable images that could land you in some hot water.

    That being said, make sure to join Lifehack.org on Facebook and/or follow us on Twitter.  There are some exciting things coming soon!

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    Last Updated on December 2, 2018

    7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

    7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

    When giving a presentation or speech, you have to engage your audience effectively in order to truly get your point across. Unlike a written editorial or newsletter, your speech is fleeting; once you’ve said everything you set out to say, you don’t get a second chance to have your voice heard in that specific arena.

    You need to make sure your audience hangs on to every word you say, from your introduction to your wrap-up. You can do so by:

    1. Connecting them with each other

    Picture your typical rock concert. What’s the first thing the singer says to the crowd after jumping out on stage? “Hello (insert city name here)!” Just acknowledging that he’s coherent enough to know where he is is enough for the audience to go wild and get into the show.

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    It makes each individual feel as if they’re a part of something bigger. The same goes for any public speaking event. When an audience hears, “You’re all here because you care deeply about wildlife preservation,” it gives them a sense that they’re not just there to listen, but they’re there to connect with the like-minded people all around them.

    2. Connect with their emotions

    Speakers always try to get their audience emotionally involved in whatever topic they’re discussing. There are a variety of ways in which to do this, such as using statistics, stories, pictures or videos that really show the importance of the topic at hand.

    For example, showing pictures of the aftermath of an accident related to drunk driving will certainly send a specific message to an audience of teenagers and young adults. While doing so might be emotionally nerve-racking to the crowd, it may be necessary to get your point across and engage them fully.

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    3. Keep going back to the beginning

    Revisit your theme throughout your presentation. Although you should give your audience the credit they deserve and know that they can follow along, linking back to your initial thesis can act as a subconscious reminder of why what you’re currently telling them is important.

    On the other hand, if you simply mention your theme or the point of your speech at the beginning and never mention it again, it gives your audience the impression that it’s not really that important.

    4. Link to your audience’s motivation

    After you’ve acknowledged your audience’s common interests in being present, discuss their motivation for being there. Be specific. Using the previous example, if your audience clearly cares about wildlife preservation, discuss what can be done to help save endangered species’ from extinction.

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    Don’t just give them cold, hard facts; use the facts to make a point that they can use to better themselves or the world in some way.

    5. Entertain them

    While not all speeches or presentations are meant to be entertaining in a comedic way, audiences will become thoroughly engaged in anecdotes that relate to the overall theme of the speech. We discussed appealing to emotions, and that’s exactly what a speaker sets out to do when he tells a story from his past or that of a well-known historical figure.

    Speakers usually tell more than one story in order to show that the first one they told isn’t simply an anomaly, and that whatever outcome they’re attempting to prove will consistently reoccur, given certain circumstances.

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    6. Appeal to loyalty

    Just like the musician mentioning the town he’s playing in will get the audience ready to rock, speakers need to appeal to their audience’s loyalty to their country, company, product or cause. Show them how important it is that they’re present and listening to your speech by making your words hit home to each individual.

    In doing so, the members of your audience will feel as if you’re speaking directly to them while you’re addressing the entire crowd.

    7. Tell them the benefits of the presentation

    Early on in your presentation, you should tell your audience exactly what they’ll learn, and exactly how they’ll learn it. Don’t expect them to listen if they don’t have clear-cut information to listen for. On the other hand, if they know what to listen for, they’ll be more apt to stay engaged throughout your entire presentation so they don’t miss anything.

    Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm4.staticflickr.com

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