by Paula on November 9, 2011

When your Father-in-Law phones to ask if you’re ok because you haven’t published a blog for a couple of weeks you know it’s time to get writing! Thing is I have been writing, but instead of blogs I’ve been writing ideas, thoughts and business plans. Autumn is very much a time of change and I always strive to evolve my business in the way that best suits my skills, the needs of my clients, and the business climate. I’ve worked with a wide range of businesses over the last year or so and have met some fantastic people running really great businesses. As my business is very much a “does what is says on the tin”¬†service I am naturally called in for support to those looking to venture into, or improve their activity on, the world of Social Media.

I am truly delighted at how that has taken off and yet as with all things it’s important to evaluate the offering, the results and the sessions and be sure that what I offer to clients is clear.

During the last year I have learnt the following:

  • Clients come to me thinking they need to “do Social Media” and go away understanding that in order to “do Social” they need to “be Social”. I recognise that what I offer, my business and financial background and the approach I take puts me in a different arena to some Social Media trainers and it’s important to my clients and myself that I clarify what’s on offer.
  • One-off sessions offer great value to a client and they go away inspired, however the clear list of actions I leave them with often gets added to the already unachievable pile of desirable activity….and stays there. It’s important to me that activity is not seen as stand alone and that actions agreed are integrated into other business demands so that the client has clear focus on a path forward. This level of activity cannot be achieved by a one-off session but rather by a partnership and the follow up advice and sessions to keep things on track, and ensure commitment, are key to Social Media success.
  • First sessions with a client often result in a big step back from social media activity and a good look at what their business does, what it wants to achieve, what’s working for them and where they’re headed. Without doubt my background of project management and the implementation of good business practice means I am never going to say “You need to be on Facebook” without a thorough look at who they are trying to target and ensuring that the activity is focused on getting the required result.
  • Social Media is a fantastic business tool but it is not a magic wand. It offers new and exciting opportunities for sales and marketing, internal communications, competitor analysis, recruitment and networking to name but a few uses, but media and evangleists can whip people into such a frenzy that they think that Social Media alone can turn their business around. I heartily disagree. Use of it on it’s own in a “one size fits all” approach will never reap the rewards people expect. However, bringing it into the mix alongside other business tools, and blended well into your current goals, planning and strategy it can offer remarkable value and exciting results. It is vital to me that I work operationally with businesses and offer my knowledge and experience in the field of Social Media as a part of what I do and not the whole package.

Think, Plan, Do

I thoroughly believe in the value of learning, training sessions, seminars and conferences and it’s no wonder these are well attended as businesses strive for the nuggets of information that will take them forward in their businesses and add clarity and direction to their workload. The big blockage is implementation. It is the minority who learn, plan, action and then implement and it is here there is great value to be added.

So, through contacts I have made over the last year, and through the belief I have in going beyond the advising and into the arena of “getting things done”, I am defining the path ahead for my business. There’s no stopping the current Social Media support that I am being requested to get involved in, as via my own social media work, networking and referrals, more and more businesses are seeking this help and advice. But, something new will grow from this too. Exciting times ahead and looking forward to being in a position to share more really soon.

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