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Richard Gabel
Coworking, Office Space and Meeting Rooms / Strategic and Business Planning Consultant
Issaquah, Washington
Posted by Richard Gabel, Issaquah, Washington | Nov 15, 2010

Subscribe to Business Advice Social Media - Is it an Essential for Every Business?

When I was in the corporate world our company pac was called GIPOGOOB (Get into politics or get out of business). Today, I think we can all be part of GISMOGOOB pronounced gizmogoob (Get into social media or get out of business.

Do you think social media is an essential part of businesses large and small today?


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37 Bizniks have posted replies

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  • Holistic Business Coach 
Portland, Oregon 
Taylor Ellwood
    Posted by Taylor Ellwood, Portland, Oregon | Nov 16, 2010

    I think social media is an essential part of business, but I also think it's blown out of proportion and that people need to not just jump in, but actually develop a plan of action and also understand the social aspects of the medium, which means they need to recognize that they are developing relationships with what they say and do on social media.

  • Coworking, Office Space and Meeting Rooms / Strategic and Business Planning Consultant 
Issaquah, Washington 
Richard Gabel
    Posted by Richard Gabel, Issaquah, Washington | Nov 16, 2010

    Great points. I think a lot of us participate in fits and starts even when we have a plan of what we are trying to accomplish. It's easy to get carried away with what you might achieve through social media.

  • Holistic Business Coach 
Portland, Oregon 
Taylor Ellwood
    Posted by Taylor Ellwood, Portland, Oregon | Nov 16, 2010

    That's what I see happen. People either don't do it enough or spend too much time on it.

  • Online Writer and Publication Developer 
Baltimore, Maryland 
Joe Blend
    Posted by Joe Blend, Baltimore, Maryland | Nov 16, 2010

    Social media is not more or less valuable than websites or printed business cards. Successful brand communication is about identifying the most appropriate communication tools for your business and using them well. If that includes social media, great. If not, that's fine too.

  • Coworking, Office Space and Meeting Rooms / Strategic and Business Planning Consultant 
Issaquah, Washington 
Richard Gabel
    Posted by Richard Gabel, Issaquah, Washington | Nov 16, 2010

    Good point, every business and/or target market will have a different media balance.

  • Website developer & online marketing 
San Francisco, California 
Eric Weidner
    Posted by Eric Weidner, San Francisco, California | Nov 17, 2010

    At the very least, business owners should check on Yelp and other sites to see what people are saying about their business. Otherwise, social media is like ... well, I heard a great quote: Social media is like a free puppy! (It doesn't cost anything to get it, but it takes time, energy and money to keep it alive).

  • Online Writer and Publication Developer 
Baltimore, Maryland 
Joe Blend
    Posted by Joe Blend, Baltimore, Maryland | Nov 17, 2010

    I would like to add that if social media is in fact appropriate for a business, all social media avenues should be considered before commiting to, and developing, a social media strategy.

    For example, I find biznik to be much more effective for networking than LinkedIn (however, LinkedIn is great if you want an online resume-on-steroids). I never would have discovered biznik had I not decided to branch out from LinkedIn and see what else was out there. Sure, not all social media sites are worth it: I'm guessing that around 85% are either only effective for one market or are on their way out. But biznik definitely adds value to my online presence since it gives business owners an appropriate way to network with me, if that's what they prefer.

  • Coworking, Office Space and Meeting Rooms / Strategic and Business Planning Consultant 
Issaquah, Washington 
Richard Gabel
    Posted by Richard Gabel, Issaquah, Washington | Nov 17, 2010

    Eric,

    I love that quote, it's right on the money.

  • Coworking, Office Space and Meeting Rooms / Strategic and Business Planning Consultant 
Issaquah, Washington 
Richard Gabel
    Posted by Richard Gabel, Issaquah, Washington | Nov 17, 2010

    Joe,

    Nice observation. I put together a list of every social media site that I've signed up for over the years. I couldn't believe how many there were and how few I participate in.

  • Online Writer and Publication Developer 
Baltimore, Maryland 
Joe Blend
    Posted by Joe Blend, Baltimore, Maryland | Nov 17, 2010

    Richard, I've gotten a lot better at deleting social media profiles, and creating profiles on more effective sites, over the last few weeks. It feels great to have a small list that makes sense.

    My list of current social networking profiles contains only six sites: LinkedIn, biznik, HOW Magazine online forum, Social Media Today, My Starbucks Idea, and Twitter.

  • Holistic Business Coach 
Portland, Oregon 
Taylor Ellwood
    Posted by Taylor Ellwood, Portland, Oregon | Nov 17, 2010

    I'm on Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook, and Biznik, plus my blogs...Seems to work for me.

  • Coworking, Office Space and Meeting Rooms / Strategic and Business Planning Consultant 
Issaquah, Washington 
Richard Gabel
    Posted by Richard Gabel, Issaquah, Washington | Nov 17, 2010

    I may need a 12 step program. You mentioned some I'm not familiar with, I'll try not to sign-up.

  • Online Writer and Publication Developer 
Baltimore, Maryland 
Joe Blend
    Posted by Joe Blend, Baltimore, Maryland | Nov 17, 2010

    Richard, I'm not sure if you were referring to my comments, but I'll comment anyway.

    The HOW Magazine online forum is a forum for graphic designers. The way I see it, graphic designers are always working with copywriting. Social Media Today is an online publication/blog space for social media topics. And My Starbucks Idea is a really cool site that allows people to submit, rate, and comment on ideas (submitted by the public) for Starbucks retail efforts. The last two sites work well with my freelance work because social media integration and creative conceptual thinking are two services I offer.

    Twitter, LinkedIn, and biznik are the only "traditional" social networks I use.

  • Owner 
Auburn, Washington 
Steve Fiksdal
    Posted by Steve Fiksdal, Auburn, Washington | Nov 17, 2010

    Absolutely! Social media is the ultimate in "permission marketing". Potential customers and/or clients ask to 'like' you, 'connect' with you, follow' you, and so on. Your competitors are using social media - you too had better have a presence.

  • Coworking, Office Space and Meeting Rooms / Strategic and Business Planning Consultant 
Issaquah, Washington 
Richard Gabel
    Posted by Richard Gabel, Issaquah, Washington | Nov 17, 2010

    Joe,

    I was thinking about the sites you mentioned. Very interesting concepts and there's no limit on the number of interesting concepts that can concieve a social media site. I must restrain myself.

  • Coworking, Office Space and Meeting Rooms / Strategic and Business Planning Consultant 
Issaquah, Washington 
Richard Gabel
    Posted by Richard Gabel, Issaquah, Washington | Nov 17, 2010

    Great points. I wish I could opt out of TV commercials like I can social media.

  • Online Writer and Publication Developer 
Baltimore, Maryland 
Joe Blend
    Posted by Joe Blend, Baltimore, Maryland | Nov 22, 2010

    I think social media is still a trend right now. In a year or so, it will be interesting to see who is still using social media, and to what degree, and who has decided to stop using it.

  • Tax Professional and IRS Representation 
Blaine, Washington 
Bill Bradfield, EA
    Posted by Bill Bradfield, EA, Blaine, Washington | Nov 22, 2010

    I have been reluctant to use most of the social media out there and I don't think my business is suffering because of it. Quite the contrary, my business continues to grow through referrals and other direct contact marketing that I do.

    I am in Joe's camp. Let's wait and see instead of getting on the bandwagon.

    Bill

  • Coworking, Office Space and Meeting Rooms / Strategic and Business Planning Consultant 
Issaquah, Washington 
Richard Gabel
    Posted by Richard Gabel, Issaquah, Washington | Nov 22, 2010

    Do you think that in these difficult economic times that businesses that are not doing well use social media as a last resort?

  • Tax Professional and IRS Representation 
Blaine, Washington 
Bill Bradfield, EA
    Posted by Bill Bradfield, EA, Blaine, Washington | Nov 22, 2010

    That's a very good point and is very valid. I think if my business were not doing well, I would be doing everything I could think of to market myself and my business.

    Bill

  • Holistic Business Coach 
Portland, Oregon 
Taylor Ellwood
    Posted by Taylor Ellwood, Portland, Oregon | Nov 23, 2010

    I think businesses are resorting to social media because of the tough times. That said, I think it has helped some businesses do more business as a result of the exposure.

  • Coworking, Office Space and Meeting Rooms / Strategic and Business Planning Consultant 
Issaquah, Washington 
Richard Gabel
    Posted by Richard Gabel, Issaquah, Washington | Nov 23, 2010

    Here's a link to a recent LinkedIn survey on maintaining brand image. Owners, executives and management have a different take on social media than the rest of the world.

    http://polls.linkedin.com/poll-results/111428/ioneo

  • Online Writer and Publication Developer 
Baltimore, Maryland 
Joe Blend
    Posted by Joe Blend, Baltimore, Maryland | Nov 23, 2010

    I don't think it's as much economic times as it is the social media explosion that occurred over the last couple of years, to include the present.

    It's tempting to do what others are doing out of fear of getting left behind, overlooked, etc and I think, in a lot of cases, that's what may be happening right now. And that's where the problems start. Following the herd and jumping on the bandwagon, without conducting research, leads to a ton of effort without real direction or useful results.

  • Coworking, Office Space and Meeting Rooms / Strategic and Business Planning Consultant 
Issaquah, Washington 
Richard Gabel
    Posted by Richard Gabel, Issaquah, Washington | Nov 23, 2010

    Joe,

    Excellent point! All you Tweeters out there, measure your results against the time expended.

  • Website developer & online marketing 
San Francisco, California 
Eric Weidner
    Posted by Eric Weidner, San Francisco, California | Nov 23, 2010

    For solo and small business owners, I suggest you at least try some of the services - particularly LinkedIn. LI is free, you instantly connect with other professionals, and it's pretty hard to mess it up. Essentially, you have nothing to lose, and something to gain (at least some experience). Facebook is kind of strange if you have a personal profile already and are chatting with your pals about the Van Halen concerts you went to in high school - not really a business-like feeling! Twitter can be hard because it can really take up a lot of time. I basically use it as a "distribution channel" for my blog posts and SEO-friendly tweets. A blog is the biggest challenge because, as many people have realized, a blog that is not updated is worse than no blog at all (if your blog or website is "dead," your business is "dead").

    Here's the honest truth about how I utilize social media and other passive online marketing services: 1. Create blog posts with (I hope) relevant interesting content. 2. "Distribute" links to the post through social media (LI, FB, TW). 3. Link to blog post through Reddit, Stumbleupon, Tumblr, Bizsugar, Googlebuzz. 4. Edit & post on ezinearticles.com, goarticles.com, associatedcontent.com. 5. Send monthly email newsletter that contains brief summaries and links to the month's blog posts.

    This is a combination of SEO, SMM and email marketing.

    When I'm lucky enough to write a good blog post (I only know after the fact, and the content usually involves either sexy Russian spies or geeky WordPres stuff - go figure), my hits go through the roof and I get leads.

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