Intro to Social Media for Business

Story by Hal Goodtree, Publisher of and resident at Cary Innovation Center.

Cary, NC – Last week, CaryCitizen held a seminar at CIC. The topic: Intro to Social Media for Business.

Intro to Social Media for Business

The conference room at Cary Innovation Center was packed at 8 AM. It looked like a who’s who of Cary business leaders: two vice presidents of the Cary Chamber, the president of HoCA and Sister Cities, the Executive VP of the Railhawks, two executives from the YMCA, a restaurateur, business owners and media execs.

I was the speaker. No pressure.

I divided my talk into three parts:

  1. The strategic overview
  2. The tactical focus
  3. Top Tips for social media

Here’s a summary of the presentation.

1A. Social Media for Business – Why Bother?

The big strategic question for business when contemplating social media is: Why Bother?

Here are three good reasons –

Promote your mission
Dominate search
Get in the Conversation

1B. Digital Immigrants & Digital Natives

The other big strategic issue for business when it comes to social media is to recognize that there are two types of people on the world wide web:

  • Digital Immigrants
  • Digital Natives

Digital natives were born with a mouse in their hands. They’ve never known a world without computers. Their brains exhibit a different type of behavior thyan the digital immigrants. It’s called Constant Partial Attention or CPA. They can do their homework, watch TV and text all at the same time, and pay attention to everything.

“Digital immigrants will get along in the new world, but we’ll always speak with a thick accent,” Maurice Saatchi said a few years ago.

Business owners, by and large digital immigrants, need to recognize this reality and work hard to lose the thick accent if they are to proper in the new world. And that’s the point of our seminar: how to understand and prosper in social media.

2A. Tactical Focus: The Hub of All Things

Sometimes, people say to me, “Hal, I don’t need a website. I have a Facebook page!” Really?

The hub of all things in the world of social media for business is the website. Here’s why:

  1. You control your own destiny
  2. You can easily publish your story to the world
  3. It is the central connector for all your other activities

Surrounding this hub are the major social media channels. The most important are Facebook, Twitter and Google.

LinkedIn, YouTube and other websites are also important satellites of your hub.

2B. Stuff You Don’t Need

Another thing people always say to me: “Hal, are you on Pinterest? Digg? Stumble? Instagram?”

These and many other services are fun, even interesting. I use some of them myself.

But they’re not important. Not yet.

Especially in the local setting, none of these services commands a big enough audience.

Focus on your website first, then get good distribution for your message on Twitter, Facbook and across Google services.

Until then, don’t worry about Foursquare or getting a “Pin It” button on your site.

Part 3: Blistering Array of Tips

My goal was that people at the seminar could walk away with a few actionable tips. I tried to cover abroad array of social media activities related to business and hopefully planted the seeds for future seminars at CIC.

Here’s the run down:

  • Top 5 Tips for Your Website
  • Top 3 Tips for Facebook
  • Top 3 Twitter Tricks
  • Top 3 Security Tips
  • Top 4 Engagement Tips
  • 4 Tricks with Gmail
  • More Google Business

I uploaded the presentation to Google Drive so you can see exactly what tips I recommended in each category:

View & Download: Intro to Social Media for Business (pdf)

Wrapping Up

We had time for a few questions and surveyed the attendees for their opinion about the presentation and future seminars.

Big thanks to Lindsey Chester and Jimmy Orban of CaryCitizen for producing the show and Bill Warner of CIC for technical support.

What seminars would you like to see?