Seems people want LISTS of TIPS and LISTS of Benefits:
In my original draft of my presentation for speaking at Social Media Camp 2010 in Victoria ( #smcv10 ) I had a list of (numbered) tips, and opted instead, for a more creative (and apparently to those with menopause, somewhat humorous) approach to writing and presenting. (being a Creativity Consultant)
**I know that in general, most people want lists of tips, lists of benefits, in bullet points or numbered lists. However, I opted to not do that in my presentation, but next time I will!
I simply felt that the internet is FILLED with the top 5, the top 10, the top 20, etc., and we are no longer reading blog posts or “really” listening to speakers but … I do understand now, that for many, that is how they learn, and I’m OK with that, to learn from it, and do better, and provide it next time 🙂
So, as I do understand the needs of other side, I have extracted for you, the tips and benefits of social media for rural and small communities that were embedded in my speech.
Here You Go, the Benefits of Social Media When Living in a (rural) Small Community:
- Through Social Media, even though you may be geographically isolated, the “feeling” of isolation can be removed.
- Online communications can turn into offline connections
- Through Social Media one can be exposed to local people you did not even know about, so create a List of locals in your community. For example, there are over 330 people on my Twitter list of locals in the Comox Valley
- Social Media increases access to local business owners but also to large city companies
- Connecting with like-minded business owners in larger centres helps you to stay current and in the buzz.
- You no longer have to pay for and attend networking events in person as now online for the most part, there are tools available to everyone, *free of charge, and that is leveling out the playing field in business. *Of course there are also Social Media tools, which are also only accessible by *paying a fee. (Like Third Tribe)
- Social Media can level the playing field via communicating what you believe, what you say and what you think, rather than by your physical appearance, image, and public persona.
- Online, you can’t hide who you are.
- Online, the focus is on transparency, honesty and integrity. People expect it now. People expect transparency and Social Media exposes who you are, how you think, how you write (including spelling and grammar), what you believe, your interests, your style of humor. You are communicating constantly, while building relationships.
- Social Media is a great way to practice your intuition and to trust your gut.
- For example, when working online, I can pick up:
- The tone and “feel of who you are
- What you think
- How you think
- Your writing and thinking style
- Your sense of humor
- Your level of creativity and interestingness
- A strong gut feeling if you are fake or spammy and for that we have … delete, unfollow, unfriend and block (which nobody wants to be on the other side of)
And a few tips for Social Media When Living in a (rural) Small Community:
- Join an industry specific network online (for example, design, in my case)
- Have a blog, which will connect you and your services not only to your local community, but to business owners in larger city centres
- It’s not about you … it’s all about the people. (Think Dale Carnegie)
- It’s about building trust, and it’s about building relationships with people both locally and globally.
- Be curious about others 1st before yourself
- Nowadays you just never know where your next business is going to come from. (Be Kind. People are always watching you online)
Now what about online competition?
- In my opinion online is no different than offline. If you are truly being who you are, there is nobody like you, so therefore you have no competition.
- So if you fear your competition … the good news is, if you put more of your energy and focus on yourself, your talents, your business, and on what you are good at online, instead of comparing yourself to colleagues you have no competition.
- Nobody is like you, no one can do what you do, or in just the way you do it.
- Here’s some more news … you don’t get to choose, no matter what you think.
- Your customers and clients choose whether they are going to hire you or not. So stop competing and let’s move to a model of collaboration so there is a win-win for all.
And how can you make a difference?
- Think before you Tweet.
- With everything you write, every photograph and video that you post, you have a choice … to be kind and respectful, a chance to praise, motivate, encourage and inspire.
- What you post reflects upon who you are, makes you feel good, lowers stress, and develops trust.
- People buy from people we trust and like. (Scott Stratten says this in his book Unmarketing but at the time of my speech I had never read the book or followed his works. Yep, It’s True. But NOW I do!)
Here’s a few tips from my past career in the helping professions. Use these:
- Compliment, Good For You, Praise, Encourage, Motivate, Inspire
- Use your Intuition to take the time to look for opportunities where someone has achieved a success
- Then Take The Time to Congratulate in public, online (not via DM or private message, congratulate in public)
- On Twitter, Give a RT with a comment. Just do it.
- The world of business needs more kindness.
In fact, I dare you to compliment one of your colleagues who you currently view as a threat or competition (as long as it is genuine and done with integrity) After all, we are all just people on this planet trying to have a happy and successful life.
Let’s make it easier for each other, and make Kindness Public, Online in Business.
And here were my closing final three points:
- I contacted Seth Godin awhile back and asked one question: Is there a difference between marketing to small towns vs. marketing to big cities? His answer? People are people. Yes, humans are humans.
- Recently I contacted Becky McCray, an authority on small towns and rural entrepreneur using Social Media, and she gave me this quote to share with you today: “Remember that your small town roots, your friendliness, openness, honesty, caring, and your cooperative spirit will serve you well online.”
- And three, Be Kind, and Have FUN! That’s what this is all about.