Motivational Speaker Raves About Power of Social Media – For Those Who Still Don’t Get It

I’m baffled at the people I meet who are still scratching their heads and wondering why they should participate in social media. One friend thinks it’s the downfall of our society – another thinks it’s a colossal waste of time – someone else thinks it’s ruining the way we communicate – and one is sure it’s a tool of the devil.

I gasp when I hear people say, “Blogging is nice and all, but does it really make anybody any money?” or “I’m just not convinced that Facebook can help my business.” Or “I’m not going to worry about getting liked and gaining friends – I’m going to keep doing what I’ve always done to get business. This is just a passing fad.”

They said this about the internet too, and it’s been one of the biggest game changers in the world. The internet has allowed me, as a motivational speaker,  to get more business than I had ever dreamed in a record amount of time. Thanks to Google I don’t have to wait to get noticed in a world where success is no longer about getting noticed. So you can stay in your cave and insist on doing things the way you did ten years ago and race each other to irrelevancy. As for me, I’m all for using the tools, whether I completely understand them or not.

I think social media is one of THE GREATEST things to help my business since the internet. And for once I am not exaggerating. And, no offense, but if you don’t get the value of social media there’s no hope. Except for maybe this article – this one last chance to show you that social media is not a tool of the devil – but a beautiful tool that has allowed all of us a front row seat to our market – an open door – a way to access more people than many of us would ever be able to reach effectively on our own.

There are two camps of people playing on social media. The first group is those who use it for its created purpose – to connect – to join in like-minded communities and share information. Bands use MySpace as their platform. Business people use LinkedIn to talk shop. People who like random stuff on the internet and sharing it with others – use Pinterest. And the place to go chat, share pictures, etc., is Facebook. There are many, and will always be many as more are created to fit different communities of people and their needs.

You don’t have to play. You can call Facebook stupid, and leave it to the millions of others who don’t. So you don’t have to be in the camp that enjoys connecting online. But there’s another camp – and that’s those who want to get their message in front of millions – or even in front of a select group. The people who see these communities as an opportunity to advertise. The people who realize that while they may not be playing, their customers are. For many, Google has become the new phone book. And many of us have decided that we’d like to take advantage of this exposure. So here is how many of us in business are using social media.

Market Presence. Social media is a way to get in front of your market –kind of like a radio ad – or a TV ad – or getting an ad in a magazine – or sending out a newsletter – or doing a postcard mailing. It gets your name in front of your potential buyers, current customers – as well as your friends who can also help you get business. And if you think your customers aren’t hanging out on Facebook – think again. I get a lot of business from friends on Facebook who are customers, potential customers, or three people away from a potential customer.

Market Research. I learn about my audience on social media – whether they be select specific groups  – or just female consumers in general. I learn what they talk about, think about, share with their friends – what connects with them emotionally. Selling is about developing trust, rapport, and a relationship. No better place than Facebook to get to know how your buyers think.

Customer Contact. My clients hang out on Facebook. Sure, I can send my client a postcard every three months with a canned picture of me on the front – or I can talk to them every day – ooh and aaah over pictures of their children – congratulate them on their new sofa purchase. And if you think we aren’t developing a relationship, you are wrong.

Getting Customers. Sure, maybe my facebook friends aren’t all hot leads – but they are people who may be just one or two people away from my key clients. And there is nothing more valuable than a referral. I can’t tell you how many people have shared me with others.

Staying In Touch With Fans. Letting them know you have a new book out. Telling them about a show in their area. Staying front of mind is important with your market. This is a great way to touch base often.

Find out who else you want to do business with. Keep people talking about you and with you. Sharing the love about your favorite vendors – and bad expriences.

Not to mention the humor, the warm fuzzies, changing the world, and staying abreast of current events. It’s like this one giant conversation, with tangents, and moments of passion, cute cartoons, and encouraging quotes, prayers passed along friend to stranger, arguments from both sides of the fence, news as it’s breaking, weather in the making, and sharing the songs that we grew up to and grow old to. And even mourning together – as friends and as strangers. Sharing our faith, and the experiences that unite us even while they divide us.

So you can scratch your head and say “I don’t get it.” You can choose to unplug. It doesn’t make you uncool. You don’t have to play. But if you’re in business, with a desire to get the word out, then you might want to give this a second glances.

Think of social media as something like a radio station – where you get all the air time – your audience chooses you – you get to be on the air anytime you feel like it – you get to pick the audience and grow them as big as you want – and even create more channels – and it doesn’t cost you a dime!

This is not about a new way to do business. This is the same way – letting people know what you do – just in a different playground. This is about creating your own tribe.

So you can stomp your foot and refuse to play. That’s fine. Keep licking envelopes and sending postcards. I don’t care.

But here’s the deal – if you decide you want in, you can’t be half in. You can’t just expect to post on occasion and wonder why it didn’t turn into a lead. There’s no right way and no wrong way to play this game. But you have to be all in if you really want to play.

And you don’t have to do all the social media that exists out there – pick what works for you. Create your own path. And have fun! And this by no means excuses you from face to face communications. So when you’re done, go outside and say hello to your neighbor. It’s much better than a post.


Motivational Speaker Kelly Swanson - called one of North Carolina's funniest women by Our State Magazine. Kelly lifts the spirits of audiences from coast-to-coast using humor, storytelling, and lives of the characters from Prides Hollow - Kelly's make believe small town. This unique approach to motivational speaking allows Kelly to break through communications barriers and connect directly to the audience's imagination.
Her powerful stories and wacky wit will make you laugh, remind you that you matter, show you how to see beyond your obstacles, and teach you how to stand up and stick out in a crowded market.
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  1. Kelly – you are a rock star that’s all I can say!  You really have social media down and you are inspiring me. Just this morning I woke up thinking of how I would write about an incident from yesterday – yes, blogging is on my mind!  Thank you for leading the pack!

  2. Well said Kelly.  Really.  Well.  Said.

  3. You help me every time you post, Kelly.  I love the part about picking what works for you, creating your own path and audience. Great!


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