I was talking to someone about a blog post where I was sort of tagged as a Social Media Maven They asked me "Is Social Media for Business?". To me, that's like asking "Is oil for the car?".

Then I got to thinking. I came to the conclusion that a lot of businesses do not know what social media, social marketing, social networking, and web 2.0 are. They don't know what it can do for them and their business.

How NOT to be Social - video

So I started to explain to him with a lot of questions and a story. I'll try and retell it as best I can here.
Say like Bob decides to start a business in a town. It's a bagel and lunch place. They close at 5pm M-F. In order to get people to come to the shop, he joins the Chamber of Commerce and the downtown neighborhood association. He decides to host the next Chamber get together. He gets a write up in the paper. The mayor was there. It was a good time. He's at all the local events talking with people. Making sure to wear a Bob's Bagels hat and shirt everywhere. He hands out cards to adults, balloons for kids. He's doing it all right.

Now imagine that Bob makes the best Olive cream cheese people have ever tasted. He's done surveys and people love his Everything Bagel with Olive Cream Cheese. It even won a county award. One of the things Bob does, which is unique for a bagel shop, is he gives recipes to his patrons to complement his cream cheeses. Like the Olive stuffed chicken breast, stuff like that.

Then someone asked if he had a website. He didn't at the moment but was in the middle of creating one. His website would have order placement and drive by pickup. He even set up prepayment, shipping, and a newsletter. All of his recipes were on there.
You see, Social Media IS for business! It doesn't matter what you're selling. People buy from PEOPLE!

I drive 30 minutes to another Best Buy  instead of the one 8 minutes from my house. Why? The people!

What Bob did was SOCIALIZE with the people in his town. He talked to them, shook their hand, and LISTENED to what they had to say. Since this was a brick and mortar business he did this all in person, whether it be him or one of his employees.

So now take that to the online world. What are you selling? Who are you selling it to? Where are they hanging out?

Don't walk into the bar screaming "I've got the training course you want, get it now for 20% off!" That's not being SOCIAL.

Join the conversation. If you happen to be able to help someone then tell them about yourself and what you can do. If you can't help them, tell them where they can get the help! It's being Social!!

I had a client who wanted more SEO work done and some training. I can get around with SEO but am not an expert. I was happy to steer them in the direction of some SEO Gurus.

Things like that are appreciated and will be returned 10fold. Because when that person hears someone in need of business building help or social media marketing help, I'm sure they will send them my way.

YES! Social Media is for Business. Just be REAL and get in touch with your peeps.