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Do You Embrace Social Media?

Whether we like it or not, social media must have a presence in our business today. Its use is continuing to grow at rapid acceleration and its power is being felt by businesses large and small alike, who are now reaching out in creative ways to join the social media generation. Just to put its growth in perspective, here's a staggering statistic from Erik Qualman, author of "Socialnomics":

Years to Reach 50 millions Users: Radio (38 Years), TV (13 Years), Internet (4 Years), iPod (3 Years) … Facebook added over 200 million users in less than a year.

Social media has truly revolutionized the way we communicate and has added a new dimension to the sales and marketing process that businesses are finding they must embrace now if they want to stay in the game. Their presence online is now expected.

So you might be thinking this is all well and good if you're large Soda Company or Sports Network but how does it affect me as a designer running a small business? Consider this statistic that Erik shares as well, "78% of consumers trust peer recommendations". That statistic should speak volumes to you as a designer because the nature of our business lends itself towards referrals as a strong source of new clients. Potential clients really rely on that know, like and trust factor in determining whether or not to work with us.

The biggest message that I took away from this conference was that we all need to be building a strong online presence through our websites, twittering, Facebook and blogging. Social media is all about connecting, and those connections can both directly and indirectly benefit your business. Your online presence establishes your brand and people get to know, like and trust you. You can position yourself as the expert and really gain credibility quickly. It's not just potential clients that see your presence; editors, publishers, vendors and manufacturers see your presence and these online relationships can lead to opportunities you never even imagined.

ACTION STEPS:

Start looking at some of your favorite designers and manufacturers and note what they are doing online. Literally take notes. How often are they interacting online and what conversations are they are starting? Who are they connecting with and what topics seem to generate the most interest? Really get familiar with what's happening with social media within our design industry.

If you aren't already following some blogs in our industry, pick three to follow from prominent designers or manufacturer within our industry. Social media truly is a language that we need to learn and become comfortable with. Like learning any language, the fastest way to learn is through immersion so immerse yourself right now as an observer and over the next few weeks we'll move you into becoming an active participant. so you too can start reaping the benefits of having an online presence.

I am a Commerce, Computer and Law graduate. I am running my own IT Company since 1993. I like to Read, explore Hindu Sanskruti, Travelling and Riding/Driving.

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