Rockford Social Media-Starting up Social Media for 2011
You are a small business person, like me. (My wife, Julie Logan, LCSW, and I are Logan Counseling, with our world headquarters in Loves Park, Il. 61111, and my wife, the co-owner could be less interested in marketing). So I am the one who worries that every year there are more highly qualified providers in our metro area, who are competing for clients and reimbursement. If you are like me, you are looking to build your ‘know, like, and trust’ factor as economically as possible. For us, a TV or radio ad is way too expensive, and has no lasting impact. We do not use print or radio broadcasts for the same reason, nor do we use the Yellow Pages. The last time I bought an ad was perhaps 10 years ago, and I got not one call from that Yellow Pages ad. The downside of not purchasing another ad is the listing in the local phone books is ten years old, and we have moved twice. My first web page for my business was a brochure website that I paid a developer to build, and I expected it to bring me a tsunami of clients, and it did not, because the web site developer does not do Search Engine Optimization. Not his job, and he did not contract for that, but I did not know anything about SEO, as it is called. SEO is the art of getting the major search engines to visit your website or blog by ranking in the top ten for particular keyword combinations, like rockford social media. Now I know a lot more about it, and this blog, and my Logan Counseling, and my website AskMiketheCounselor2 , rank very highly for a great number of keyword combinations, which is great for folks who use search engines to find information about my keyword combintions.
But since I have begun to learn about SEO, a whole ‘nother species of communication and sharing has come to be on the web, broadly called Social Media, and it is big and very confusing if you are not used to playing in Social Media. The good news is that I can build my personal and professional brand effieciently and effectively on Social Media platforms daily, and even hourly if you want to tie yourself to your computer. I can even sell stuff related to my field and/or interests and provide an income that could keep coming in to my wife and kids after I am gone.
But what is the bad news? There are about 1600 social media platforms to choose from and without a plan you may find yourself using your time away from your clients to send a tweet to a great online friend in Australia, who appreciates the knowledge, but will never come to your world headquarters in Rockford. And in the last week, Google has changed the way they do local search, and it appears that they are making a big move into mobile, and Facebook inadvertantly showed us a glimpse into the Facebook of the future, and if all you want from Social Media is an extra few clients a month that make your local business more safely profitable, why would you waste the time on this mysterious social media beast? That is a good question, and the answer is that within the next year or so, the price of smart phones is going to drop so low that everyone, including me, who can barely operate the cell phone they currently have, will have one.
And that smart phone will be the key to people on the move finding your business. Folks do not carry a phone book or their PC with them, but they do carry a phone. In my business, folks may still be at home and search on their PC for counseling information, but if you are a restaurant, and you cannot be found by mobile searchers, get ready to close your doors. Many industries are going to feel the impact of this switch in the way we communicate and search very fast. Switch now.
What can we as small business folks do to prepare for this? Call me and I will be glad to work with you on a 2011 strategy. Check my contact page too, for e-mail, and phone. If the contact page is not working for you, call me at 815-484-0946.