So, yes, the title statement is a powerful one, and hopefully got your attention. It’s a true statement. If you are one of the many who still do not know what social media is, don’t freak out, but it is time to educate yourself and start merging it equally, along with your marketing plan. Click here for the actual definition, but in a nice neat package, social media is any web based application like Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, where you can easily utilize it’s tools to make your business visible.  In other words, in today’s world, if you don’t exist online…you simply don’t exist.  My bosses at Demgen were nice enough to set me up with an online social media course put together by Duct Tape Marketing which is teaching me the many in’s and out’s, ups and downs of social media (hats off to Duct Tape for a great job!).  I have known for a while now that being present online through social media was important, but this course really hammers home the point that it is now essential for any business to be visible online, as the web IS the global market place.  From everything I have learned so far here are a few key points when just getting started with social media.  If nothing else, start with these…

1) Blog! simply google the word “blog” and set up a blog account..begin writing about your business, give advice, engage your readers by asking for feedback.  Stir the pot every now and again…get dialoque going.

2) Facebook.  We all know it and love it, and have our own personal pages, but take it a step further and create a fan page for your business..invite your friends and clients to join.  Each of those friends and clients have other friends and clients and so on, who might just have a need for what your business offers.  It is a great soft sell approach!

3) Use social media to drive traffic.  Social media should be used to drive traffic back to your areas of highest business content – your blog and website.

4) Presentation is everything.  Be sure to present yourself in the best light possible, so as to create some solid groundwork to build on for future business dealings, contacts and friendships.

On a final note, it doesn’t matter if you are huge corporation or just the little guy working from home. If your goal is to get noticed, increase sales, and to be a part of the growing online community, then you need to bring yourself up to speed on social media.  Once you start, you won’t want to stop.