Myth: Social Media Isn’t for my Industry
By Zach Laurer, Gallagher
Believe it or not, social media serves a purpose for EVERY industry. Although you may think you should be left out of this category, this blog will cover the reasons why the platform is important for everyone, and how to be sure you’re using the right one.
When I started my sales career in 2010, social media was fairly new in the business world. I already had Twitter and Facebook, at the time, but those were only for personal use. I remember being encouraged to open a LinkedIn account for business use. At the time, it didn’t click for me that social media could ignite so many new opportunities. Sure, I followed some business pages and groups, but I was very green when it came to posting, connecting, following, building a social brand, etc.
What is incredible is how fast the social community has grown. In 2007, LinkedIn for example, had 15 million members. In 2016, that number grew to 500 million (https://www.britannica.com/topic/LinkedIn). That growth has allowed members to expand their network both personally and professionally.
Some might say that social “networking” is not for them. Maybe they feel like it doesn’t work in their industry or it doesn’t work for the role they have. These are all common reasons I hear against the use of social media. The purpose of this blog is to help you understand how powerful this can be for you and your business.
While doing some research on this, I came across a very interesting article that provided some great stats on the topic of social media. Here are a few that I found powerful… (Brought to you by https://www.lyfemarketing.com/blog/importance-social-media-business/)
- “According to 2019 social media statistics, there are now 3.2 billion users around the globe. That is about 42% of our total present population.”
- “68% of adults based in the U.S reportedly have a Facebook account.”
- “Active social media users are composed of 48.2% Baby Boomers, 77.5% Generation X and 90.4% Millennials.”
- “73% of online marketers agree that their efforts in implementing a social media marketing strategy for their business has been effective.”
Take a look at those numbers! Think about what this powerful tool can do to not only a company’s brand, but your personal brand. It’s obvious that if you spend some time perfecting your profile, connecting to the right people, and publishing content, that it will pay off immensely. Let’s focus in on LinkedIn since the majority of people use it strictly for business. Here are a few simple ways to develop your personal brand on LinkedIn:
- Add a recent, professional photo of yourself
- Follow organizations and causes that are important to you
- Update ALL areas of your profile that are relevant to you (i.e. work history, volunteer experience, education, certifications, skills & endorsements)
- Post content & share your interests – non-profit work, activities you’re involved in through work, interesting business trends, news from your industry, etc.
- Connect with coworkers, thought-leaders, business contacts, clients, prospects, literally anyone that can impact you and your brand!
When that is all said & done, keep an eye out on your Social Selling Index Score. This is a LinkedIn feature that helps you understand what you can improve upon for the most impact. Here is a link to understand what SSI is all about and to find your Score – (https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-find-your-linkedin-ssi-score-karlyn-williams/)
I hope this blog has provided some insight and motivation on this topic. I am a strong advocate on social selling as it has drastically helped me in my career. Think about it…if you’re someone that wants to change careers, social media can have an impact by finding new opportunities posted or by having someone reach out to you. If you’re trying to find new sales leads, social media can help by finding new contacts to call on, uncovering news about an organization, connecting to the right decision makers, etc. If you’re trying to find a way to differentiate yourself in the market, social media allows you to share your story across multiple channels. All of these things help you establish your brand and be viewed as a thought-leader in your industry. Since it’s the New Year, make this a resolution for yourself – put some time & effort into your social media profile(s). It works!