Everyone is in sales. How are you differentiating yourself?
Our value in the future will come from perceived trustworthiness online. Sharing valuable business information will help others see you and your organization as experts in your field. When someone does an online search for your name, your organization’s name, your product or service, social sites pop up first and you want to have the good stuff on the top. You are already active in your community, on boards of directors; give your time and energy to good causes. You know how to network face-to-face, so look at social media as an extension of your offline network. You have a lot of experience and education. Some days, it feels like you are not getting the respect you deserve for your accomplishments, or that these things don’t matter anymore. They do matter! The trick is to convey how awesome you are online so that your influence translates to the rest of the world.
If you are worried about privacy issues, make your Facebook profile all business. Otherwise, learn how to use the lists so you can feel comfortable sharing different messages with different groups of people. If you are already using LinkedIn to share articles with your network, sign up for Twitter and share to both platforms at the same time. Continue to connect with everyone you meet at offline networking events online – LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.
Use social media on your smartphone – down time or in between times. Learn where to find quick and relevant information to share on the fly. Flipboard is a service I have been using on my new Samsung Galaxy Note II and I love it so far! Even if you are not great about having a daily social media routine, don’t forget to use social media before, during and after events that you attend. They are a perfect way of connecting with other attendees, sharing what you are learning and giving the organizers feedback.
The more you start to use social networks for yourself, the better understanding you will have of how your customers want to connect with you. The future of customer service is 24/7/365 via social media. Business hours are quickly becoming a thing of the past. Future employees will judge your personal brand and determine whether or not they want to work with you based on what they see online. If you are not already, you will start to hear about marketing automation systems and social CRM. You will need a basic understanding of why these tools are important to have.
If you need help, find someone who is patient. Don’t ask younger relatives for help because it will be hard for them to take the time and walk you through each step until it clicks for you. People who grew up with computers have a difficult time understanding why it takes older people so long to operate them.