I was invited by the Carolina Mixed Media Art Guild to present “How to Use Social Media to Leverage Your Brand and Attract More Paying Customers For Your Business!” Saturday, June 6 with Donna Maria Coles Johnson, founder and president of the Indie Beauty Network and Indie Business Media.
At the Small Indie Business Breakfast, we had an exhilarating discussion surrounding concerns about small business. From discerning the difference between ‘Brand’ and ‘Branding’ to utilizing social media as part of the marketing tool-kit.
As a designer-entrepreneur, I’m a dedicated trendwatcher in all areas -not that there’s anything wrong with that- I rather enjoy it. As a small-biz marketer for myself and for others, I’ve watched a major trend shift occur in marketing over the past decade. No longer are the days of resting completely on what we know as traditional broadcast media (aka industrial media) : print, radio, TV & film, or sending out a campaign of postcards hoping for the 1.5% return.
I consider the beginning of the 21st Century a new Renaissance for the Creative Class. Watching the World becoming flat to Blue Ocean Strategies, my mantra for years has been that small business will be the back-bone of the United States.
This past 10 years or so has shown me that social media is a steadfast part of our life and as small business owners, we must embrace it as it gains speed and velocity. If you’re a working Creative or Gallery owner, I bet you’re asking…
What is Social Media All About?
This epoch stage of social media discourse allows us to interact (instead of broadcast) and allow us to cast a much different net with our customers and community. Yochai Benkler of Harvard Law School, describes social media as the underlying economic, social, and technological characteristics a “network information economy.” Social Media is known also as new media and currently, Web 2.0. Social media is the opposite of traditional marketing in that it is engaging and not purely broadcast. Social media is also about interactivity and reciprocity, ideally to engage in conversation among your enthusiasts to promote a well-rounded brand ownership.
Currently, most of us are already playing in social media: forums, weblogs, social blogs, wikis, podcasts, pictures and video. Technologies notwithstanding include: blogs, picture-sharing, vlogs, wall-postings, email, instant messaging, music-sharing, crowdsourcing, and voice over IP (VoIP), to name a few.
Still confused? Let’s break it down:
Web 1.0 | When the Web was new, the new era was all about read-only content and static HTML Web sites. It was thought that people preferred navigating through link directories (Yahoo! ,dmoz) but they were quite limiting. Even jumping off the AOL island was a bit of difficult leap until one realized that linking to other Web sites was “considerate,” even becoming the norm.
Mostly read on your computer’s monitor, there were only 45M users that used portals, web forms, dmoz directories, Netscape, page views, and advertising.
Web 2.0 | This era of consumption allows one to generate content as well as contribute within forums, blogs, and other sources like Flickr, YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter etc. Quickly, the consumer and content publisher line in the sand is getting obscured with waves of fresh innovation.
With over one billion online, communities, blogs, Wikipedia, RSS, Web apps, Google, are the mainstay through this epoch change of discourse. Ever important it is to get yourself and your business online to remain deep within discussions and seated infront of your buying audience.
Web 3.0 | Your Portable & Personal Web. It’s a fascinating approach focused on the individual through lifestreaming, consolidating content, dynamically and personal input, widgets, mashups, semantics, advertainment and much more.
So, now you’re asking… how does social media involve my brand? Stay tuned!
Up Next | Brand Awareness Through Social Media.
CREATIVEMeans | Sign up for a 60-minute CreativeSM Session with Lisa!
Just because you’re a Creative, doesn’t mean you have to be poor. Want to know how your Brand and social media can harmoniously weave together? Through years of marketing experience and small business insight, we can bring you closer to harnessing the power of social media and leveraging it for sustainable income.
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