As featured in Franchise Times Magazine: September, 2010 – “Family is important to Paul Segreto, founder of FranchisEssentials and the host of two Internet radio shows, Franchise Today Show and Franchise News Radio. Both can be heard at BlogTalk Radio.com. And although he mentioned his four “great” kids in one of his answers, note that it was a picture of him with his dog he chose to send in. But in his favor, he also included one taken with wife Laureen. Here are his answers to our glimpse behind franchise execs’ professional exteriors.”
As I often do on the weekend, I spend time reading about social media, among other subjects, always looking for new trends, technology, and ways to effectively use the same within marketing strategies for my franchise clients. Today I came across an interesting article about whether or not social media is a fad, or actually a part of our future. The article pointed out some fact and fiction that really sheds light on where social media is today, and a glimpse into its future.
In addition, I came across another article listing 11 Twitter and social media tools to try in 2011. Which poses the question, do we really need more tools? I say, “yes” but then again, I love social media, and all it has to offer!
Social Media: A Fad or the Future
By: Sital Ruparelia
As posted on Career Hub Blog
FICTION: “Facebook is for kids”
FACT 1: Actually, the 40 – 55 years age group is the fastest growing demographic on Facebook.
And, of course, this demographic also has the highest disposable income, lowest debt levels and strongest professional network. Which is why businesses and recruiters are flocking to set up Facebook pages to engage with this group.
FACT 2: Over 50% of the world’s population are under 30
So in the next 10 years years ”The Facebook Generation” will be leading businesses, hiring people, making key commercial decisions (what a scary thought!) – and, of course, buying products and services
So if you don’t learn to engage and interact with this generation using the tools they use – both you and your business will be in serious trouble.
FICTION: “Facebook is just a fad”
FACT 1: Facebook has 500 million users across the world.
So if Facebook were a country it would have the 3rd highest population in the on the planet. Hardly a fad?
FACT 2: Two months ago, in September 2010, Forbes released its list of the 400 richest Americans.
The biggest headline: Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted the largest wealth increase on the list, with his estimated net worth jumping 245% to $6.9 billion. Love him or loathe him, Zuckerberg has changed the way people around the world connect and engage – and it continues to grow as more businesses start leveraging Facebook.
FICTION: “Twitter is just some silly thing that kids and celebrities use”
FACT: Actually 60% of Fortune 500 firms now use Twitter.
In my opinion, Twitter is the fastest, smartest tool to get real-time information on any market news. I often know more about industry news in my clients’ worlds than they do – simply because I use Twitter as a real-time news channel from my mobile phone.
It’s also a super way to engage and build relationships with people and organisations you’d have difficulty doing in the offline world.
With the advent of smart phones (iPhone, Droid and new Blackberry) Twitter has opened up all kinds of commercial opportunities for building a tribe of followers, potential customers and potential employees.
FICTION: “LinkedIn is just for job seekers who can’t find work”
FACT 1: 70% of clients, prospects and potential employees will Google you before meeting with you. And when they do, your LinkedIn profile will often be on the first page.
So just remember, your LinkedIn profile will paint a picture of you before you’ve even spoken to or met anyone. It’s very much your online branding tool regardless of whether you’re job searching or not.
Have you got a profile so that you gain an advantage even before you speak or meet? If so, does it reflect how you want to be perceived by clients, stakeholders, recruiters and potential employers?
FACT 2: Every recruiter and HR team I know use LinkedIn as a sourcing and networking tool.
Especially when trying to headhunt passive candidates who may not actively be searching – but are open to hearing about interesting opportunities.
FACT 3: LinkedIn is currently fairly unsophisticated. But in the pipeline are a series of upgrades which will transform how many firms use LinkedIn to recruit talent and how many of you will find jobs in the future.
FICTION: “You MUST be on these platforms. Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook are the future”
FACT: Well actually it’s not about the platforms or tools – but about the message. About the way you use social media to engage, interact and build your brand.
The internet and social media are still very much in their infancy. What we’re seeing is just the tip of the iceberg. There’s much more to come – so don’t obsess about one or two platforms. Focus on your message and your brand so that you can adapt to the tools that seem most relevant to your needs and style.
FICTION: “You need to be really good with technology to fully leverage social media”
FACT: I’m rubbish with technology so if it were all about technology, I wouldn’t have a clue!
But I am good at relationship building and engaging with people – which is what social media is all about.
So focus on learning how to use social media as an engagement tool and brand-building platform – instead of worrying about how to use the technology and which button to press – you’ll figure that out as you go. So just get started.
Many “social media experts” will have you believe that social media represents the “biggest shift since the industrial revolution.”
That’s quite a statement.
Others will tell you it’s a complete time dump; just a fad which will pass. The reality is that no one really knows where it’s heading. But one thing we do know is that social media is here to stay and will continue to play a bigger part of our lives and careers.
Serious businesses are making profits, selling products, building brands and hiring talent using social media tools.
And they’re doing it today – not some time in the future. Which means you simply can’t afford to ignore it….
I recently completed a fascinating book, Crush It! by Gary Vaynerchuk. He has posted, tweeted, and video taped himself, and his business, to unbelievable success in a very short period of time. The book is a relatively short read, so there should be no excuses for not reading it asap, as it can only help you improve yourself and your business. The book is better described on the Crush It! website where there are various tabs to information that’s in and about the book. There’s even an inspiring video that’s sure to make you think about the possibilities. Although the author talks about career, the same philosophies equally apply in utilizing them within your franchise system. The following is directly from one of the tabs on the website. Upon reading it, I’m sure you’ll further explore Crush It!
By Gary Varnerchuk
Everything has changed. The social media revolution has irreversibly changed the way we live our lives and conduct our business. There are billions of dollars in advertising moving online, waiting to be claimed by whoever can build the best content and communities. Despite this change, most people keep working at jobs that don’t make them happy and businesses continue to ignore the major marketing and public relations benefits that can be found online.
I’m not passionate about something sexy or popular like wine so these lessons don’t apply to me.
The internet has drastically decreased the costs of building communities around niche subjects, allowing for even the most obscure subjects to draw enough eyeballs to command advertising attention. Starting a video blog about tortilla chips may seem farfetched until Doritos gives you a call and offers 40,000 a year to sponsor and advertise on your blog.
My business already has a Twitter account and a Facebook page, we’re set in the social media department.
This is the equivalent of claiming twenty years ago that just because your business bought a TV spot and a few ads in the newspaper, you didn’t need to pay attention to your advertising department. Social media isn’t about joining in, it’s about being involved.
I’m happy at my job so this book is irrelevant to me.
First of all, congratulations on finding work that makes you happy! However, the lessons in this book are valuable to anyone, regardless of their employment status. Crush It will show you how to utilize high level and platform specific social media and marketing strategies that will improve your work. It will also show you how to build a personal brand so that even if you’re forced to leave your job, a situation that’s especially relevant today, you’ll be able to easily find employment elsewhere in a field you’re passionate about.
I need to quit my job to take advantage of this book’s entrepreneurial lessons.
While the entrepreneurial strategies in this book do take time, it’s completely reasonable to start the effort as an after-work project to build up until you’re able to replace your current income with the income from your online presence. While you may have to fall behind on the current season of Lost or let your Madden 2010 game suffer, because you’ll be doing something you love you won’t mind putting in the extra effort.
In Crush It, Gary Vaynerchuk shows how anyone can build a career around what they’re passionate about. He also delivers both high-level and platform specific strategy and analysis, allowing you to take advantage of the current business environment while preparing you to succeed as it changes and evolves.
This book isn’t interested in making unrealistic promises while glossing over the work involved. Making a living by building content around your passion isn’t simple and it doesn’t happen overnight. What it is, however, is fulfilling and in most cases just as profitable, if not more so, than your previous job.
Furthermore, a business can’t just pay lip service to social media and expect it to return results. The transparency and accountability inherent in its structure necessitates a comprehensive and dedicated strategy in order to reap its tremendous benefits.
By combining practical analysis and strategy with the same passion and humor that’s made Gary one of the most in demand keynote speakers in the U.S. as well as network television’s go to wine expert, Crush It is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand and harness the future of business and work.
Learn: Why social media has evened the playing field, destroying the “gate-keepers” who had previously dictated the distribution of content.
Learn: How to beat unemployment and create wealth-building opportunities by building and maintaining a personal brand.
Learn: Why storytelling is the most important business concept in the current marketplace.
Learn: How you can build an online business around your passion without quitting your day job.
Learn: Why Twitter and Facebook are just tools and not a social media strategy.
Learn: How to take advantage of the half-billion dollars in advertising that are moving to the internet
Learn: Why transparency and being true to yourself are now winning marketing formulas
Learn: How to build and maintain an online community around your passion and brand
Learn: Strategies for turning attention into money
Learn: Why the legacy element of the internet era is so underrated
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