Social Media = Business Skills

On LinkedIn, Josh Blank asked the question in the Social Media Success Summit 2010 group:

How important is previous experience when hiring someone to head up Social Media?

There were a few comments, but the one that really stood out to me was Tia Dobi’s [highlighted parts are mine]:

Hmmmm…I would definitely hire someone with the ability/mindset to bring in new business – is there a head position where we would not want experience and results from the new hire?

…Getting someone with business sense to create profits for your company (and to not understand that relationships create profits would be amateur/immature thinking it seems to me).

…I would never suggest entrusting the future profits and growth of a business to someone without a mature business mind and the hands-on knowledge of connecting the dots.

In my social media research I rarely come across social media = business.  Yes, there is alot of discussion about what is the ROI of Social Media.  My favs:

The perception of Social Media is that it is Social and thus not a true business driver.  Social media is a young field.  The internet is young.  I’m 36 and my university days did not include the World Wide Web.  I graduated in 1995 when the web was born.  There was NOT ONE laptop at my lectures…  that was 15 yrs ago!!

But lets look at the core of what a business is.  According to dictionary.com, its “the purchase and sale of goods in an attempt to make a profit.” In order for that transaction to happen you need 2 people.  The seller and the buyer.  Business is that fancy dance of letting you know what I got to buy and finding what you need to buy.  Yes… to use the cliche, it takes 2 to tango (and to make money).

Social Media = Relationships

So… Laurinda where are you going with this?  Its about the relationship.  I need to find you.  You need to find me.  We meet and have a transaction that is mutually beneficial (for the most part).  Without you or without me.. there is no transaction.  No business.  Therefore the relationship is ESSENTIAL.

What makes a good relationship?

  • Understanding
  • Communication
  • Credibility
  • Respect
  • Trust

How do you build relationships in social media that lead to business?

  • Understanding:  Listen to your marketplace.  Understand who they are and what are their needs.
  • Communication:  Talk to your marketplace.  Be part of the community.  Be helpful.  Don’t just PUSH your message out.  Imagine if you did that with your friends, they would look at you as if your nuts.  Instead, put to use all those good manners that your mom taught you.
  • Credibility and Respect:  If you listen to understand and communicate to be a good community citizen, you build trust and credibility.  And when someone wants something that you offer, they will go to the place that they know and trust over someone else.
  • Trust:  If you hang out long enough and proven your worth, people will trust you.  Its a slow build, but in a time where people value other people’s opinions, you will have business “ambassadors” doing the pre-relationships for you.

In answering Josh’s question.  One key element is truly understanding how social media will drive your business.

Do you agree?

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