I had a meeting with one of my prospective clients for their social media marketing needs a couple of days ago. The gentleman I met, works with one of the top network marketing companies in the U.S. He asked, "Why do I need to spend my time and money on social media when the company I represent is rocking so much?"
That is a common question I still see people have across industries and career levels. There are a lot of people who think Social Media is a waste of time and it is used by people who are not focused on their goals. This post will make a lot of sense for you if you still have been ignoring social media or do not know how to harness it's power. Please do share your thoughts in the comments…
Social Networking and Personal Branding is nothing revolutionary. We always needed it, we always did it even when there was no internet. Before making any new decisions such as making an investment, buying a property, making an alliance etc, we all do a background check. We like to check with a few people and as much as possible, we do a Google search to make sure everything is alright or if at all anything shows up on Google – just in case!
The Personal Branding expert, and the author of Me 2.0: 4 Steps to Building Your Future, Dan Schawbel says:
You are the chief marketing officer for the brand called you, but what others say about your brand is more impactful than what you say about yourself.
It is public information that employers do background check on employees, governments do background checks, banks do background checks and so on. Now, do you think your social media presence is not part of your background check? Do you think a trivial thing such as a 'Google Search' on your name is not part of the background check process?
Now, the question is, "Are you doing something to help Google show something 'good' when you are Googled or are you leaving that on fate?"
You might be thinking, "There is nothing to be found about me when people search on me anyway. So I have nothing to worry about."
Well, that might be true. But think about it for a second. Imagine you are going to meet a new person for an interview, or a new business deal. Would you be more comfortable about the person if you got to know him (or her) a little bit through Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or will you be more comfortable if you found absolutely nothing prior to your meeting?
The above situation is not hypothetical. I personally do a Google or Facebook Search and on the LinkedIn to get more information on the person I need to deal with. It gives me great comfort if I know about them through social media prior to meeting them in person or talking to them on the phone. If they have something impressive on social media, they already have created a third party credibility in my mind.
That reminds me of Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, who said:
Your brand is what people say about you when you're not in the room.
You need a 'good' reputation and it is totally and positively in your control. If you're in high school you need to position yourself as worthy of a top school. Therefore, in addition to getting good grades, networking with alumni who can endorse you, writing a compelling essay etc. are as much important. Do you think social media can be very helpful if you learn to leverage it?
If you are in college, you're interested in either getting an internship, starting a business or getting a corporate job upon graduation. You need to position yourself as a better candidate than your peers. That means, developing leadership skills while in college, networking with people with a great reputation and an influencial positions can be very helpful to your success. I think social media can play a major role in accomplishing your goals.
If you are a professional working for a company and have a good job at hand, congratulations. But if you ever need to change your job, the rules of personal branding and social media will apply to you as much as it applies to people who are actively looking for jobs. You can't afford to ignore social media if you are serious about your career.
People are no longer defined by their employer. People who define their own brand – get hired.
If you are in network marketing or the direct selling business, I hope you do realize that people do not join your opportunity company. They actually, join you. As a matter of fact, they join you because they know you, like you and they trust you. The question is, "Do you have a good personal brand that people can like and trust?"
We probably don't need to discuss much about big businesses as they already have jumped on this bandwagon and that has made social media even more important.
We are all free to choose. You can choose to accept the importance of social media, build your reputation, grow and protect your brand value. Or… you can ignore the facts, ignore the opportunity, change nothing and let this opportunity pass by. The choice is always yours!
I'd love to hear from you. Please share your thoughts with me in the comments box now. Also, how do you think Social Media is going to play it's role when it comes to job market and business development going forward?