As a further continuation of a look back on the recently concluded, information packed Social Media Week Los Angeles event, and the numerous “Lessons Learned”, in this 3rd installment from ROC we will look at the new golden rule(s) of social media for business, and precisely how to tap into the well of crowdfunding. The role social media now plays in our personal and professional lives is undeniable, and if you’re not informed, staying current and using these tools wisely, opportunities for success will inevitably dwindle for your business. Most entrepreneurs are already naturally gifted at putting their best foot forward and making a great and lasting impression, but there are a ton of entrepreneurs with great businesses out there so how does one go about getting noticed on such a large platform like social media now days?
With so much shared content, news and information across all channels of social media, most of us are inundated with information (and advertising) hourly, making getting noticed increasingly more of a challenge. Competition for time, space and attention is fierce, yet the key to getting noticed is so simple and not so different than social etiquette in person. The golden rule for your businesses social identity is authenticity, and just as important, understanding the meaning (and impact) of what you share (and please make it good). Even simpler, if you don’t have anything important, or valuable to share, don’t do it just to be a part of the conversation. By understanding the media’s perspective and the public’s impression of your business, its important to acknowledge that sometimes silence is golden and just as important as speaking out, sharing or forming an alliance.
Gambling with your business before knowing how to play the game is never advisable. In a high stakes game when going “all in” (not so different than running your business) you’re better off having a couple aces in your pockets. In this case the ACES, which was an acronym coined by Larry Krutchik of Allison PR, can really be applied to conduct in social media for business as well as advice for an interview, meeting, and in public speaking. Authentic, Confident, Engaging and Storytellers, those are the ACES to that will get the right kind of attention and form an lasting impression. Each principle acknowledges that people are busy and don’t want their time wasted (including you). As mentioned earlier, most entrepreneurs, like yourself, are adept at more than one of the essential ACES skills, but need to recognize that being authentic is a conscious decision in business and transparent in social media. Newsworthy, sharable content for business should not just be relevant and timely, but perhaps different than what others are doing, trying something first for your industry, creating a valuable and engaging conversation, and resembling a human run business with humor and heart, all ideal reasons to utilize social media in order to benefit your business, get noticed, and be respected.
Crowdfunding is the new bullet train of money movement, the tracks have been laid are people are using the freeway of mass transit funding, carpools of inventors and investors reaching their destinations without the traffic of bureaucracy. With the establishment of of the JOBS Act as further evidence, crowdfunding is working beautifully and not likely to disappear anytime soon. Knowing how to navigate through and understanding crowdfunding may seem overwhelming but is easily broken down into 4 key phases (by Chance Barnett the CEO of Crowdfunder). The dynamics of which involve creating solid strategies for each of the phases (listed below), beginning with the pitch and establishing/evaluating Social Capital and ultimately resulting in signed agreements. As in any investment seeking campaign the plan is key, and now the plan involves social media but where, when, how and why?
Too good not to share, here are the essential elements to a successful investment campaign briefly:
1.) Pitch & Story
2.) Data & Information Presented (and Presentation of)
3.) Investment Return & Terms
4.) Social Proof
5.) The Right Investor, Find the Right Match
Using your online reputation and image to promote your business is part of our social climate. How and if you benefit from the widely available tool can either add or detract from an impression of you and your business. Choosing your words wisely, how and where to use them is simple advice but worth its weight in gold. The power of the people is embraced on social media and it should be treated with respect and forethought. The enormous power of the masses have the potential for both good and bad. The persistence and success of the crowdfunding movement is evidence of the good power of the masses, unlocking the potential of millions in just the last 15 years. Investors and investments are everywhere, knowing how to not waste anybody’s time and get what you need while providing something valuable in return is not as confusing as driving in San Francisco.