BY JANELSA OUMA – Guest writer for AdviserEdge 2016
Remember when you first got the internet? It came with that box that made funny noises when it was turned on, otherwise known as ‘dial-up’. At the time, it was the biggest breakthrough in the digital age since the invention of the telephone, uniting the entire world.
Today, technology is at its peak. Information is shared across the globe in a matter of seconds, reaching thousands upon thousands at any given time whether it be news, sport or events and entertainment. So why not your business?
Keeping up with 21st Century technology advancement can be tough on businesses, both big and small. One minute a computer is the size of a microwave oven, the next they fit in the palm of your hand. Sometimes it seems that keeping up with technology is so distracting that it does your business more harm than good.
For the more experienced business mind, you need not to fear change but embrace it, as it will propel your business to different platforms that cannot be ignored (and are surprisingly easy to use). And by ‘platforms’ we mean social media, also known as giving value to the world in the most scalable way possible.
Business and Social Media
People are looking for relationships. Whether in life or business, they value human connection both in person or via social media platforms. Speaking to business professionals at Adviser Edge, Paul Wright of Innovus Advice Solutions believes that knowledge is no longer power.
“People don’t buy what you know, they buy who you are. Knowledge isn’t power anymore,” Mr Wright said.
This means for a business, it is not about promoting who you are on various social media platforms but connecting meaningfully with people in a humanistic manner. If you’re not sure about what is socially appropriate, think: would you do act like that if you were talking to someone at a party? By thinking this way, you benefit them with connection before boring them or assuming they are ready for ‘a pitch’.
Media with purpose
15 years ago, words like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and YouTube were non-existent or scarce. These social media platforms are some of the technological tools for your business to advance ahead and open the door for genuine interaction with people to discover more about who is behind the business.
Open and genuine interaction breaks down the walls of any pre-conceived ideas a person may have about who you are and what you do. By being open with people and setting the standard of expectation of who you are and what you deliver, you give others a clear and direct narrative about what it means to work with your business. As a business, to be effective, you must break down this ‘cognitive dissonance’ so you can stand apart form the crowd.
Post, Tag & give value
When posting on Social Media, being authentic is the key. It doesn’t have to be clean- cut and ‘television ready’; it just has to be you, as if you were talking to a friend. This is essential for video broadcasts especially if they are a ‘live’ and unscripted.
— Baz Gardner (@iambazgardner) February 12, 2016
Often on Social Media, you’d see this symbol ‘#’ at the end of a post followed by a word or continuous string of seemingly unintelligible words. Do not panic. There is some serious power in the tag (‘#’) that you can tap into. The tagging system is a search tool used for an individual to discover similar content to what the ‘tagged’ word was associated with.
— AdviserEdge (@AdviserEdge) February 12, 2016
Use the ‘#’ to associate your business with an event but don’t abuse the tagging system by having half a dozen tags that are popular yet nothing to do with your business.
In his keynote speech ‘I am the Customer’, Startup Advisor and former CFO, Richard Arnold explains that much of the benefit of technology and Social Media can benefit your existing relationships, rather than just nurture new ‘potential’ ones. This includes using systems that allow you to automatically remind your client of meetings, events and new information, free up your time and your client’s time because it’s up to businesses to set the tempo of how they work together.
“The modern customer is diverse and busy, and are looking for new experiences,” Mr Arnold said.
When speaking at AdviserEdge, Brett Evans of Atlas Wealth Management explains that when you don’t know something, reach out to others.
“Surround yourself with people who know something you don’t,” Mr Evans said
“Unless you’re putting yourself out there, you’re not learning.”