Stop Delaying. Get on Social Media. Create Value. Build Relationships. NOW.

“I have run this company for 30 years and never had Facebook.” Well you are about to get your @$$ handed to you by some 20 year old kid. #truth

If you are an entrepreneur / business, stop denying social media and do yourself a favor and immerse yourself in it. Learn as much as you possibly can about the platforms that you feel are best for your business. If you already have accounts, stop thinking that social media is solely about marketing your business and use it to build relationships with the people that care about you and your company: your fans, your customers, your friends. Provide value and stop telling people that you are giving 20% off your product every day. Sorry… no one cares. Once in a blue moon is ok, but every day… NO.

Most businesses that think social media is a marketing tool end up doing more harm than good. They go online and make one post that they blast on all platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, etc. No no no no no no no. Please no. Stop it. Every social media platform is unique and many times can have different audiences. Your message, THE VALUE, you are providing should be tailored to the audience of each platform.

Gary Vaynerchuk puts it perfectly… “Many companies just don’t take the time to learn the platform’s native ways before throwing content on it. Those who do, however, see results. And the ones who really dig deep to understand the subtleties and nuances of the platform that aren’t obvious to the more casual user? They truly shine. It’s like the difference between someone who learns a new language well enough to order meals in restaurants and talk about their day, and someone who is so fluent he dreams, curses, and makes love in the language.”

What do we do at NS4L? We learn (and continue to study/learn) as much as we can about the different platforms, experiment with them, and see what we like best. Personally, I feel it is better to be all in with one platform than to do five or six half-ass. For example, we have a strong presence on Facebook, YouTube (i’m obsessed with video right now), Twitter, and Instagram. We are very active on these platforms and are constantly learning how to tailor our own content towards these audiences. Though we have Pinterest and Google+ accounts, we are weeding out of these platforms because we don’t enjoy them as much and find our target audiences engaging us more on other platforms. For many businesses, these platforms (Pinterest especially), can play critical roles. Start figuring out what platforms are best for you, which you enjoy, and start using them to build those relationships.

Special Note: My twitter usage is about to go UP! As of last night (2/17), you can upload videos directly to your twitter feed. Because I am obsessed with video at the moment, I am sure my frequency of use will increase!

I am often asked, “Collin, can you give me an example of how NS4L has used social media to build relationships?” I look at social media and the time engaging audiences as an investment. There may not be a lot of short-term payoffs, but I believe there will be long-term. Here is an example:

Last Friday, the University of Florida notified applicants of their acceptance into the University of Florida. All of a sudden, these high school seniors started tweeting “Yay! I’m a Gator! #UF19” (For UF Class of 2019). Our ‘Voice of NS4L’ (social media manager), Shannon, started searching for all #UF19 hashtags from our @NS4L Twitter account and started congratulating all the new freshman. Here we are talking and connecting with UF Freshman Students before they have arrived to Gainesville for school. Some students see that the @NS4L handle sent them a tweet, simply open our profile to see who we are, see that we are a scooter shop and BOOM — we just made our first impression on a new student, who may even become a customer. Most importantly, we are talking and building relationships with our audience: STUDENTS. Sometimes there is no conversation. Other times there are these connections that stir up GREAT conversation like this:

99% of our tweets DO NOT PUSH SCOOTER SALES. We simply talk to people and get to know them. If we tweeted “Welcome to the Gator Nation! Buy a scooter from us!” we would be losing everyone we engage with.

In short… Please stop telling me you don’t need social media. Believe me… you do. Don’t push. Build, talk, and give value!

If you would like to talk more about social media, hit me up! I obsess over social media (ask my wife — she knows). If I can ever help you and offer up an opinion, connect with me!

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