Why Is Social Media Important For Business Today?

The importance of social media in today’s competitive business environment is unquestionable. It has become a valuable tool for marketers. When it first hit the scene a few years ago, you mostly found people chatting and connecting with people about their interests or hobbies.

But business owners soon realized their target audience were getting more and more involved and now social media marketing has become an important business strategy.

Social media marketing can be a overwhelming process and it can also use up a lot of precious time. You may even be asking yourself if you should even bother it. Here’s how to identify the importance of this medium and why it is good, or potentially not so good, for you and your business.

Why Is Social Media Important?

Ask yourself this question: do you have enough business to last you until you retire? Do you want your business to grow or possibly stall? It’s a proven fact that it is easier and less expensive to keep and please existing customers than it is to find new ones. If you’re not on social media, you’re not only missing an opportunity to get new customers, but also the opportunity to connect with your current ones.

This marketing channel can open your business to a whole new audience. Word of mouth advertising is one of the best forms of marketing. Having a good social media presence can work like word-of-mouth referrals when your followers share your content with their followers. When you create a compelling content that people enjoy and want to share, you can potentially reach tens of thousands of people, for free!

Affordable And Targeted Marketing

Social media marketing offers affordable and targeted advertising options for your business. One example is Facebook advertising which enables you to produce ads that appear only to particular target market based on the information included within their profile or based on their gender, location, or individual tastes.

It’s also great way to get opinions from your customers or your prospective customers. If you are using Twitter as a marketing tool, when somebody follows you, is a good indicator that they are interested in your business and these prospective customers are asking to hear more from you.

Building Relationships With Your Audience.

Personal service is very important to people these days. You can develop a life-long customer relationship just by making people feel that they are important, that they matter and that you want to meet their needs as best you can.

Many entrepreneurs say that you’re not just building a business, you’re essentially building relationships. This is a legitimate thing to say and it is the best way to get loyal customers. When your business is on social media, it is an excellent way to develop those relationships.

The Value of Good Diction in Business Today

Have you ever noticed when watching a movie or a prime time television show that you can always understand the diction of those actors in which English is not their ‘mother tongue?’ We see and hear actors with German, Spanish, French, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Arab and African accents, to name just a few, who all speak clearly and distinctly.

In searching for a video tutorial recently, I found a young man describing exactly what I wanted to learn. The problem was that I could not understand what he was saying. After about 90 seconds of trying to decipher his English, I clicked off his channel and searched for another. Sadly, this young man lost potential business from me because of his diction. For all I know, his tutorial may have been the best on the web; however, I will never know that.

If you are running your own small business, is your diction as good as your product or your service? If not, you should consider improving it. Even if the majority of your workday is spent primarily on the computer in which you seldom speak, it is important that your communication skills are working for you and not against you. From the largest to the smallest, websites are now offering video, conference calls, and webinars and this is where you communication skills will matter. While your own website may not be at that point yet, your success could depend on it in the near future.

Because of the furious pace of business today, your message must to be heard and understood the 1st time you say it. The need to continually repeat yourself is a waste of time and money because it is unproductive.

My advice to improve your diction is as follows.

1. Get an audio book (with the printed version as well) and record yourself reading a couple of paragraphs. Listen to the playback and compare it to that of the professional reader. Be honest in your analysis. Take note of how you say your words and also your speed.

2. Speak English at home. Many whose accents are heavy are speaking in their native tongue among family and friends. To improve your diction, you must practice talking more in English so that you begin thinking in English.

3. Enroll in an accent reduction or a voice training course. In both cases, you will gain control over your diction as well as your speed by retraining your inner ear to listen more closely to your words as you enunciate them.

I love accents and am not an advocate of trying to eliminate them. My advice is not to get rid of your accent, just clean it up. Do not allow poor diction to limit the success of your business. Clear communication is vital no matter what language you speak.

Project Management Is One of the Most Essential Skills Required in Business Today

Project Management is one of the most essential skills required in business today

The reality of business is that the environment, requirements and customer demands are constantly changing, but business structures, processes and organisation design are not built for change they are built for stability.

The focus is on repeatability and predictability, doing the same thing over and over, meeting service level agreements and managing risk. This works well when dealing with day to day operations but not so well for implementing a new technology, meeting the requirements of new legislation or developing an entirely new product.

This is where project management becomes important, while the normal organisational structure is built for stability projects are designed for change.

Where normal company processes are repeated religiously, projects are individual endeavors which start and end.

Some of the important aspects of project management include:

  • Defining the End State or Deliverable – If you don’t know where you are going you won’t get there. It is important that a clear goal is set for a project, this should include a detailed map of how the organisation will work once the project is completed, the expected results and tangible differences expected. Clearly stating the evidence of success can also be very useful.
  • Understanding Resources Requirements – Projects are an investment, staff, facilities and financial support will be required to make it happen. In order for a decision to be made, the total cost of the project must be considered. This must also include factors such as additional costs and opportunity costs.
  • Obtain Approval – Projects by definition will often have have impact across an organisation. How things are done will change, but they can also effect the day the day business during implementation, staff may be required to perform extra duties, delays may occur in normal operations and customers could be impacted. For a project to be successful approval and buy-in is critical. A clear statement of the impact is an important consideration in obtaining approval.
  • Detailed Scheduling and Planning – “No plan withstands first contact with the enemy” is a well known quote attributed to Helmuth von Moltke, a famous Prussian military strategist. But contrary to popular belief the quote is not ‘anti-planning’ it is in fact pro-planning, the point von Moltke was making was that planning was essential but that in reality events do not happen as predicted, but it is the planning that creates the ability to anticipate and react to situations as they occur. In project management detailed scheduling and planning are critical but only as important as the idea that a plan is only a possibility and constantly assessing and re-planning is a fact of everyday life, plans are not frozen they are alive.
  • Getting the Work Done – This is where the magic happens, ideas, budgets and schedule and people come together to make things happen. Work is allocated and teams formed, detailed budgets and estimates are agreed. Then reality hits, tasks take longer and cost more, team members and stakeholders have different opinions, they argue and blame each other, unexpected events occur, and minds get changed. Work organization, communication, risk management and problem solving are the key skills required here.
  • Making Change Happen – Ultimately projects are about making change happen. Organisations and people by nature dislike change. Formal change strategies such as Kotters’ 8 Step Approach should be considered here.