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Three Reasons to Get In On Social Media Now

by | Nov 24, 2009 | Industry News & Trends

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We do have rush hour in Florida but your view looks like this.

The annual migration of the snow birds has begun here in Florida. I am by no means an ornathologist. I am referring to the folks who come down here to enjoy our balmy breezes while the sludgy, gray, cold envelopes the rest of the country. I can’t speak for all Floridians but I love to see them. Come spend money; buy houses. Lots of them.

Anyway, I was on my way to work this morning, sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic. I think it surprises the snowbirds and tourists that people actually live in Florida year-round. Most of them believe that as soon as the north begins to defrost, we shut down the borders and close up for the season. This was evident by the surprised look on the man’s face as he sat in the driveway of his condo complex looking up and down the road at the rush-hour traffic. I could almost hear his thoughts, “When did all this happen? How am I going to get in there?” His face was painted with an equal combination of eagerness and fear. The only way he was going to be able to accomplish his goal of joining the masses was to either squeeze himself in with no regard to the frightening things that could happen or he’d have to rely on the kindness of a stranger.

Social media may feel that way to some of you. You’re sitting on the sidelines watching others in this teeming, frantic virtual community. (To give you some perspective, the web has undergone a 40,000-fold increase, to 200 million plus, in the number of websites since 1994’s approximated 5000. Now that’s traffic!) You want to be a part but frankly, entering the fray kind of scares you. 

You’ve heard the arguments about how you can’t afford NOT to but let’s explore the why behind it.

3 reasons to get involved in social media now:

1. Keeping up with the Joneses — no, I’m not referring to doing something because your neighbors are. This one’s all about your competition. How are they using social media? Research their web presence and reputation. Think about what clients or members you might be losing because they are represented and you are not. Don’t believe me? There are over one million blog posts daily. Do any of those belong to your competition?
 
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2. Becoming part of the routine — our members’ schedules fill up fast. So do their Internet habits. People surf the same old sites on a weekly or daily basis. They check email, they visit a favorite social networking site. The longer you wait to develop your online community, the less time and interest your members will have. Becoming part of their daily Internet routine is what you want. Most people go where they are comfortable and can get worthwhile content. If you’re not providing it, you’re not meeting their expectations and they’ll find it elsewhere (See chart on consumer web attitudes. Customers’ views on what they expect from corporations may not be that far removed from what they expect from your organization. Can you afford to wait around and see?). Once consumers or members have a routine established, there’s even greater competition for their limited time.  Getting them interested in adding something may mean prooving that you are more valuable to them then their other sites. Are you up for the challenge? Don’t get me wrong — the occasional drop-by users are nice but wouldn’t you rather have core people who check your site religiously? They’re out there so make sure you are too. 

 3. The technology is ripe — most people shy away from buying technology until the price comes down and the “bugs” are worked out. Social media and its peripherals are now well over a decade old (if you count email as social media, it’s older than that). The processes may still be malleable but the technology is there and very intuitive. Offering your members a private online community isn’t cutting edge anymore, it’s just smart business. Choosing an option that includes membership management software means you are doing something for them and something for you. If you wait any longer for the technology to ripen, you might just find that your competition has had the pick of the harvest.

My dear snowbird did finally make it out into the teeming activity of the morning commute. He just needed someone to take the time and make some room. If you want someone who can help you establish a private online community and membership management software, we’d be glad to let you in.

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