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  • #987118
    Johny
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    I think John Romaine wrote a very good piece about using social media. I think it was very pertinent and included some great advice. But I did notice those who suggest it isn’t a real effective way to get business.

    I would like to offer my own personal experience of using social media if I may. Maybe interesting to some and not so to others, but hopefully someone will get something from it.

    As some will know, I own a sourcing company where I source stuff from China. I am a complete dunce when it comes to anything internet or computer related.

    I previously had a website that was intended to offer advice to people when sourcing stuff from China. I didn’t put time and effort into it and had no real clue about promoting it online, and it eventually died.

    A few years ago I joined LinkedIn, sat there and waited for stuff to happen. Nothing ever did, so I cancelled it.

    About 2 years ago I reregistered, but the light bulb went off that said, hey, if I want something out of it, I need to put something in. A bit like sitting on my backside expecting to lose weight, then realising that I better get that backside to the gym if I really want something to happen.

    In all honestly, LinkedIn has been it for me so far, I still haven’t got my head around Facebook likes, twitter etc.

    I now have 364 connections on LinkedIn. All of those connections are associated with the things I do, but I would say 340 of them are not really of any real use to me, other than the expanded network they provide.

    From that network I can look at potential contacts. I take time to see their profile, peruse their website and then ask to connect. Never a generic request, but something to show I have made an effort to know what they do.

    Then once connected, make further more direct contact which is more closely linked to how they may benefit from using my service.

    Added to that, I am very active in contributing to discussions. It is very rare that I promote myself other than trying to show I know a little bit about what I am talking about. Sometimes I am a little controversial just to get something going. But generally find there is always someone who agrees with me, even if others don’t.

    And I have made many of my contacts through that.

    Starting out was a little slow, but in the past 12 months I have probably gained 8-10 customers who are now talking to me when they are looking to buy stuff, and half of those buying from me regularly. May not seem like a lot, but in my business, I am happy with that so far. And in $ terms the effort has certainly been worthwhile.

    A couple of those rely on me greatly because their knowledge is limited and they put quite a lot of work through me.

    It has actually become one of the things I enjoy most, writing stuff and making contact with new people, and I have generated business as a result.

    It may not be the right way or the best way, but it is the way I have gone so far, and am constantly learning new things that take me to a different level.

    So I hope there may be something interesting in there for someone to see that putting in the effort can provide a tangible result.

    #1161229
    Anonymous
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    Thanks for sharing your experiences Johny – and for all the other wisdom you impart around here too.

    I suspect that there’ll be some folk around here who find this post very inspiring…

    Love your work,
    Jayne

    #1161230
    Aidan
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    Hi Johny,

    Another great post on SM!

    You connected, participated, engaged, showed you know your stuff, etc and then the business followed – that’s exactly it!

    It works like that in just about any form of social networking; offline, forums, other social media. Of course some platforms work better for different individuals and niches, horses for courses and all that…

    As JohnW says (i’m paraphrasing here but I know he’d agree), he has been engaged in social media since before we all called it that (i.e. he is an active participant and ‘connector’ in forums like this one).

    Well done and thanks for the inspirational post.

    #1161231
    John Romaine
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    Thanks for the mention Johny, I appreciate it.

    What you said is spot on.

    “If I want something out of it, I need to put something in”

    #1161232
    RodBartley
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    • Total posts: 17
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    Hi Johny,

    For me, I use social media to strengthen my company’s image and increase productivity quickly, easily and cheaply. I get connected to customers or industry leaders. Social media is a great way to discover and quickly resolve, issues effectively making a positive experience out of negative one.

    Cheers,
    Rod

    #1161233
    Johny
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    Hi Rod,

    My experiences are the same. Actually a couple of very good points I think you make, which I would like to expand on as they relate to me.

    1. In my opinion it is such a cost effective method of getting noticed. Sure, I spend a fair bit of time on LinkedIn these days, which really is quite a cost, but in terms of actual $ spent, it is NIL.

    It is actually quite easy for me to see the return I have gotten for the amount of time I have spent.

    2. You mention you get connected to customers and industry leaders. One other aspect of that is that with a little digging, you can often get connected to the real decision makers within the companies you are looking at.

    I have done that on several occasions, and while not everyone has resulted in business (yet), I am now connected to people who I know are the ones that make the decisions.

    3. I agree with you it is about building and improving things such as company image and resolving any issues.

    Conversely, I also go the other route sometimes. It is not uncommon for me to have the opposite opinion of everyone (or most others) in a discussion. There are a lot of people who offer theory, whereas I offer practical comment, and I often have some pretty strong views when I see something I don’t agree with.

    But I always try to explain my position, and provide practical examples of why I have said something. Perhaps a reason I haven’t got to twitter, as I haven’t yet figured out how to rebut something with 140 characters.

    Thankyou for your comments.

    Finally, one thing that I have found is that you have to be constantly at it. When I get busy doing other stuff and start to neglect my regular LinkedIn sessions, I get less contacts, less people who view my details and less communication in the discussions which leads to less recognition.

    As with everything, if you are not seen, you get forgotten.

    #1161234
    LuchiaBloomfield
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    • Total posts: 117
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    Really interesting post, thank you for sharing!

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