“If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking.” – George S. Patton
Times are changing for business building and business branding. No longer does a business need 40 years to build their image, their cherished slogans, or their customer loyalty and word of mouth advertising. No longer do business owners need to desperately hope to get past gatekeepers for prominent TV Executives, Radio Station Directors and Newspaper Editors. Now, we have Social Media.
We are living in the day and age where we can personally deliver the message ourselves and the cost to build brand equity has switched to sweat equity, it’s not about dollars and cents. If you are just catching on to the the social media craze you had better buckle up, because you are about to embark on a crash course in the power of what Gary Vaynerchuk of Wine Library TV calls “word of mouth on steroids”!
Gary Vaynerchuk has a multi-faceted approach to personal branding and business and his dual identity as both business guru and wine guy has made him the “Social Media Sommelier”. Thanks to Charles Bohannan of Wordful.com and his generosity, I was fortunate enough to win a ticket to Social Media Success Summit 09 where Gary held the opening keynote speech.
During the keynote, Gary referred to the many consultations he has done for Fortune 500 companies, and states:
“This is not about dictating…businesses want to send press releases and try to dictate and control their message, but we’re living in a day and age where nobody is in control of the message except the user, and word of mouth is what you really want to focus on”.
Once you understand that anyone can harness their passion for a product or service and use the different tools social media provides to control word of mouth about your brand, you will see that the ‘big guys’ don’t control the playing field anymore. It will take hard work and you’ll have to master the learning curve of social media. You’ll have to actively and passionately market yourself to your niche. And, you will need to monitor the word of mouth conversations on your product and socialize with your base.
By using Twitter, Facebook or another social media platform to send out your message you are able to then have your message ‘re-tweeted’ or copied by your base. Let’s think about this for a moment. If you have just one big or powerful follower in your base and they retweet your messages, not only is it going out to massive amounts of people that otherwise could cost you millions, but imagine if it caught the eye of an Publisher or Editor and the next thing you know you are signing a 7 figure book deal! That’s how quickly things can happen with social media.
One of the most powerful and grossly underused tools online right now is the search box on Twitter. By searching keywords or your brand on Twitter you can instantly test the temperature of what’s being said. You can get an instant ROI from just one search. Others can search keywords and find you through current conversations. The possibilities are endless if you just open your mind, think outside the box and use a little sweat equity.
“Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!” – Theodor Seuss Geisel
Where can you see yourself soaring to using Social Media as your platform? What is your favorite social media tool to use in marketing your brand?