I always hated the term “old boy network” as it felt a bit dated and tired, yet it still did exist pretty strongly until the millennials came around with their technological know-how and new ideas. They embraced technology and slowly made an impact into big businesses with their online strategies and new, fresh ways of marketing and communications.
Hanging around with the upper echelons of company men no longer mattered. What matters is the middle managers that embraced these new ideas, pitched it to their bosses who in turn sold it to their Directors and then things started happening. Companies that embraced this new way of management and marketing in our connected world thrived, while others who ran back to their golf buddies at the Country Club and thought everything was ridiculous – well, they are no longer in business.
Kudos to those middle managers that were into taking new risks and thinking outside the lines at a time when it really, really mattered. Business has gone through such a shift in the last 4 years. If you haven’t taken a risk and sprouted a Pinterest account, or updated your LinkedIn profile you are a bit farther behind than many businesses. But there are still businesses that have not ventured too much into the online world of social media marketing and updated WordPress websites. I call these business owners the “let’s wait and see” types. I take a mental picture of their current situation and make a plan to revisit them in a year or two. Most likely they are gone. Closed. Kaput.
It’s “the economy”. Hey! It’s your inability to see ahead versus behind you. Making decisions for your business based on what has worked in the past no longer applies. There are new opportunities that come and go. Either you jump on board and give things a try, or you sit back and breakeven or worse, go under.
But this blog post is about connections. Working with other people – customers, other business owners, leaders in the community, “tipping point” communication zealots. These are the people that are active in your community and making things happen. They are on social media. They “get it”. They will talk about your business so let’s give them something awesome to say all the time.
Have a promotion? New stock has arrived? A sale? Special Open House? Construction nearby that might delay your customers? The business owner that stays on top of their communications with customers and others – they are the ones who will succeed. Why? They are remembered. They are there. Telling you – asking you – making you think about them in different ways.
The expert communicators have some kind of presence on these popular networks:
Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | LinkedIn | Forums | Their own websites | Google Plus Local | Google Maps | Local & National Directories
And some of these communications areas are connected to each other. If you don’t know how to navigate through these areas it’s time you did. Now. Don’t wait. There is a small learning curve, like most things, but by starting now you will be farther along and be pleasantly surprised when customers start telling you “hey! I like that post!” or “sadness, it only comes in red?” or “your flax seed, blueberry pancakes are the bomb I will see you again for breakfast next Sunday!”.
Endorsements from real people telling others that you rock! Now that kind of a communications network is the one to embrace.