Why Businesses need to think like Media Companies?

Why Businesses need to think like Media Companies?

Let me tell you why I'm writing this blog post. I was reading a Forbes article on Social Media and it said  that 60% of small business owners say they haven't seen ANY return on investment from their engagement online. I wasn't sure I read it right, so I re-read it. The words apparently did not change. If everybody including yours truly is touting social media as a golden tool for finding new customers, reaching out to existing customers, building customer relationships and solving customer service problems then why are 60% of small business owners saying, "It's not working!" Something was not right. There had to be a major problem.

About eight years ago, I started a Network Marketing business for approximately $250. I failed miserably at that business. Why? I heard a speaker say this at a seminar I had attended a long time ago ... Most people fail at network marketing because it is very easy to start this business. It doesn't take much investment of time or money. Sadly, people operate it like a $250 business as well. Think about it. If you had invested $200,000 in opening a retail store, would you have worked your tail off to make sure you get your investment back and then some more? Of course you would! Then why would you not work a network marketing business with equal passion and enthusiasm? Because, it only took $250 to start the business. That's chump change for most people. The real problem here is not the start-up cost. It's the mindset. Both businesses have the potential to become million dollar businesses. But the secret lies in how you think about them. One took an investment of $200,000. For most people that's automatically a million dollar business. The other isn't. You know the reason why.

My apologies for beating this up so much, but I had to get the point across. The price of the tool is irrelevant. What matters is the future value that tool will provide for your business, and that depends on how effectively you use that tool.

As early as 10-15 years ago, if you wanted to get the word out about your new business or a new product or service, you would either go hire a media outlet to spread the word or you would write a press release and try to butter-up a journalist to get it printed in the newspaper. Good news is ... that was how things were done more than a decade ago (some companies still do that ... Ssshh!).

Today, with social media and search engines like Google, Yahoo! and Bing, businesses can pretty much reach a vast majority of their target audience without any significant investment or connections with media publicists. Businesses are well-aware of that. Despite that, 60% of business owners claim social media is worthless to them. Could it be that they are thinking about this in the wrong manner? It's possible. Just because social media sites allow accounts to be created for free, could businesses be discounting their real value? Again, it's quite possible. In my humble opinion, success rate will change when the mindset towards these tools will change.

Five years ago, social media was considered a novelty. People were not sure whether this would work or not. That's not the case today. It's proven that these tools work if you work the tools. If they have worked for other companies, why can't they work for you? Why can't you replicate their success? It just takes a different level of mindset and enthusiasm to make it work. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, your company blog, etc. have gone much farther ahead than just places where you post your daily happenings. These are massive global communities. They are broadcasting mediums and you need to use it in that manner. Build your own community within them. Engage with your community by educating them, entertaining them and empowering them with quality content. If you need social media tips, just Google it. There are more tips available than necessary.

Before you paid money to other media outlets to do advertising and marketing for you. Social media has now given you the power to do the same. Instead of money, it's asking for sweat equity. Will you give it? Your company is a media powerhouse. You simply need to realize it.

Until next time ...

- Mayur

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