Well to a greater degree yes, in terms of products and services, that’s right. Traditionally we prefer to trade with companies who have an eCommerce platform on a website with a PayPal checkout service. But it’s not just products or services that are being sold online these days. It’s credibility and reputation too.
I came across a comical sketch on a birthday card recently, it went something like this:
Facebook: I’ve just eaten a doughnut.
Twitter: Lovely thank you for the gift of doughnuts from client X this morning, kettles going on in the office now.
LinkedIn: I went to the Catering University of doughnut making, I have been producing an average of 1,500 doughnuts a day for 8 years, here is a link to the website for my doughnut shop, which we sell online.
Already, we have fallen into patterns with different uses for social media platforms. Many use Facebook for sharing photos with family and friends and private messaging far-flung friends, whereas LinkedIn is your electronic CV. It’s your portfolio of qualifications, training, work experience and a biography to tie it all together and stamp your personality on it.
When networking or attending a meeting with people you haven’t met before and there’s an exchange of business cards, one of the first things people do upon returning to the office (and men admit to this more often than women do) is to check you and your website out.
So it’s really important to use social media in its appropriate domain:
Keep qualifications, training and areas of expertise up to date. Make sure your personality comes across too. Gather testimonials and endorsements from people who have used your services. Have a recent photograph of yourself on the first page or uploaded into the profile picture slot.
Make sure your website, which is your shop window, is up to date, relevant and looks credible. Then you’re open for business.
‘Everyone likes to buy – no-one wants to be sold to.”