Social Media: the New Networking

By April 17, 2017News, Your Advantage

Associate Contributor (10)

Social media is more than just a trend, or something teenagers use to share gossip and memes. It’s a legitimate, and increasingly critical business tool. Where networking events were once the best means for companies to promote themselves, the Internet has blown that idea wide open.

Where networking was confined to four walls and a limited capacity, social media offers countless channels and infinite reach. If that sounds enticing, that’s because the opportunities are that juicy. On the other hand, social media isn’t cake. It takes hard work, a smart marketing team, and strategy.

At Pacesetter Steel, we decided that launching active social media profiles would be in our best interest—something that may have initially seemed counterintuitive for an antiquated industry like steel. Bringing traditional elements into a digital space actually gives us a competitive advantage, and is a great way to connect with industry insiders across the country.

Here are a few reasons you should consider upping your social media game.

1. Stay ahead of industry trends

If you want your business to grow and thrive, market insight is key. Social media is all about what is happening now, what is trending, what is or isn’t garnering interest, and tracking all of the above and more in real time. By managing social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, your company hooks into the pulse of the Internet, and all of the data it harnesses. This is beyond valuable when it comes to marketing your products and services and forming new connections.

Now, I know that the above sounds like a glorified search engine, so let me make my case:

I understand that social media gets a bad reputation. However, most don’t realize that sites like Twitter and LinkedIn are filled with like-minded professionals and budding thought leaders ready to learn from, engage with, exchange, and share your content with others. Connecting with those key influencers will truly get your hands on the pulse of industry trends.

2. Give your business an online footprint

Your business might have a great presence in its neighborhood, city, or even state. But online presence is increasingly important, especially as more people turn to the internet for information, whether it’s on where to do business, what to buy, or where to work. Social media allows you to tell your story, establish a voice of trust, and become a resource for Googlers and Tweeters near and far. Even better, it facilitates conversation, education, and can convert readers into loyal followers.

Owning online real estate is just as critical as any physical space, and of course, the richer your properties, the more valuable they become (in Googles eyes). By creating, optimizing and managing an online presence, you’re taking one big step forward to owning your online real estate (aka the first page of search results).

My mantra? If your first page of search results can answer any question a current/potential customer, investor, or associate may have, that’s the best (and cheapest) kind of marketing you can get!

3. Recruit new associates, partners, and more

Networking is all about making connections; social networking, facilitated by social media, is the same. It can be a great tool for promoting careers within your company, thereby recruiting new associates, or for finding new customers and business partners you might have never rub shoulders with in real life. White it takes more than a tweet to form a meaningful connection, it can be the catalyst of something great.

It’s also key to engage with your current customers, partners and associates and facilitate conversation between them. Why? When those future associates and partners are researching you, they’re going to trust and rely on an outsiders perspective more than anything. The copy on your website may be descriptive and engaging and the content on your YouTube interactive and relevant, but what your associate tweets about working for your company once will have more weight than all of your perfectly-branded content combined.

These are just a few of many benefits that come with smart social media management and marketing. While at Pacesetter we believe that face-to-face time will never be old fashioned (after all, it takes more than a text to form a relationship), it’s clear that social media as an add-on can lead to growth and opportunity.