For years local business owners have joined networking organizations and clubs. Local Chamber, 20/30, Rotary, BNI, just to name a few. Some are exactly what they are networking, and some are disguised as charitable although we know that 90% of the reason we are involved is for the networking.
Most clubs/organizations then have sub-committees that you volunteer for. Typically if a business owner is involved with one group/organization he is involved with multiple ones and see’s the benefits of networking through these clubs and organizations, and as a business we’re no different. A lot of time is being spent with these organizations networking and now comes social media which also requires some time, so when do you actually have time to dedicate working and running your business.
In talking with a lot of the business owners we network with in these organizations they are still a little skeptical about social media, finding and managing the time, taking the time to understand how it can work for them is a real dilemma for small local business owners.
While being involved in local organizations and clubs isn’t, nor should it be the end all of your networking strategy neither is social media. Just like most marketing endeavors social media is just one layer of your marketing strategy not the end all. Most businesses have employees represent their business with organizations and clubs. The employees see it as a great opportunity to not only increase their value with their current company but also enhance their resume at the same time.
Social media isn’t any different. It takes time, it takes commitment. I’ve never been involved with a community organization that hasn’t said “you get out of it what you put into it,” and don’t we all know how true that statement is. Social Media is the same, you’re going to get out of it what you put into it.
You need to make the commitment. You need to make the time, or create the budget. The explosion of social media in 2010 gives your business another option and great opportunity to communicate to your customers and potential customers that doesn’t exist with your organizations/clubs.
Doing the little things is the key to success in 2011.