Leveraging Social Media for Your Business

BY: Stanley D. Koopmans

I have always loved reading, and I consistently read a couple of dozen books annually.  “Reading” is a misnomer as for the last several years I have mostly read by listening to books.  This listening has progressed from books on cassette tapes, to compact disks, to my iPhone.  Currently between Overdrive and LibraVox Apps, I have 28 books downloaded on to my iPhone.  I also have a dozen eBooks downloaded/available on my Kindle App.  Literally a world of knowledge is available through my fingertips. 

These aforementioned books cover various genres and numerous topics, but not one is business related, i.e. none are banking, finance, economic, marketing, etc.  I found this a bit surprising and eye opening as I really enjoyed my business classes in school and I find commercial banking to be very interesting.  Frankly, I find most business related books to be boring, which makes them especially hard to listen to.  I will put in a quick plug that two of my favorite audio Podcasts are business related, Planet Money and How I Built This, both sponsored by National Public Radio.

That is why I am especially excited to urge you to read, ROTOMA – The ROI of Social Media – Top of Mind.  I received a hard copy of this book through a recent presentation that its authors, Spencer X. Smith and D.P. Knudten gave to our bank.  It was an excellent presentation and their book is no different.

The book is very fun/easy to read, pertinent and interesting.  This roughly 200 page book is broken down into 39 snippet chapters.  I timed myself on a few chapters, the average time per chapter was four minutes.  So it was easy to read a couple of chapters a day when I had a few minutes to spare.   

I am a firm believer in the business power of social media.  I was first convinced a few years ago while meeting with a local business.  The owner informed me that he had a new product that sold out in a few days.  The only advertising that he did for this new product was on his business Facebook page, which only cost him his time.  Just recently I met with the owner who maintains three Facebook Pages for three segments of his very successful business.   

I need help promoting myself and the bank on social media.  That is why I found ROTOMA so pertinent and it’s a great resource to refer back to.  Early in the book, it shares that 90% of Internet users are only observers and silent consumers.  9% of users engage; they like, comment, and share.  1% percent of users create; they share themselves via original content.  I am trying to be more in the 9% and 1% categories.    

Two chapters that I found especially useful are “LinkedIn Means Business” and "LinkedIn Without the FreakedOut.”  I have been scratching the surface on LinkedIn for several years, but have not been using it near to its full potential as outlined in the book.  I currently have 880 LinkedIn contacts, but have mostly been using it to be familiar with local businesses and to keep track of where people are employed.  For the past few years I have also been copying LinkedIn profile pictures into my contacts in Microsoft Outlook so I can better recognize people at networking events.  I plan on turning more prospects into clients by actively using LinkedIn “biz intel.”  I have also started tagging people on LinkedIn as “Tag smart, and you’re always it.”

In conclusion, I want to bring this back to my personal reading habits.  In the chapter, “Personal Branding Power Hour – a 60-minute strategy to social success,” it includes “a simple thought-ask your customers what books they’re reading.”  I have not consistently and diligently acted on this simple thought.  The book continues:  “After a customer gives you a book recommendation, they’ll love that you actually read it.  Why?  People love giving advice, but people really love when others actually act on their advice.”  I am hoping to read some additional great business books recommended by my customers; but I would “love” if you take my advice and read ROTOMA! 

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