Social Media – Time Is The Wisest Counselor Of All
It’s All Greek To Me
How many times have you heard a frustrated businessperson exclaim, “Social Media, it’s all Greek to me?”
As it turns out, that’s at least partially true — because it can be argued that Social Media actually began in ancient Greece.
In 472 BC, the statesman Pericles was the wealthiest man in Athens — and Athens was the hub of wisdom and commerce in the known world.
Pericles attributed his enormous success to the way he maximized his time — and the way he learned from it, once spent.
In response to a question from an ardent follower, Pericles famously remarked:
“Time is the wisest counselor of all.”
In the days of Pericles, all learning was accomplished — and all commerce was conducted — through conversation. There was no such thing as formal classroom education — knowledge came from experience and interaction. Those wishing to learn, sought out the thought-leaders of the time, and listened carefully to them.
There was no such thing as marketing as we know it today. Products and services were sold through relationships and trust. Those wishing to sell became experts in their chosen field, and those wishing to buy sought them out.
2,500 years later, much has changed but some things have remained the same. You might say we have come full circle. Once again we are engaging in commerce through conversation — we call it Social Media.
And time is still the wisest counselor of all.
What Has Time Taught Us About Social Media?
Twitter first flew into our lives in July 2006. Three years later, in August of 2009, most businesses still believed that Twitter, and Social Media generally, were a waste of time and resources.
A Citibank survey of small businesses across the United States reported that:
“76 percent (of the businesses surveyed) have not found social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to be helpful in generating business leads or for expanding their business during the last year.”
Maria Veltre, the Executive Vice President of Citi’s Small Business Segment, was quoted as saying: “Our survey suggests that small business owners are still feeling their way into social media, particularly when it comes to using these tools to grow their businesses.”
She importantly continued: “While social media can provide additional channels to network and help grow a business, many small businesses may not have the manpower or the time required to take advantage of them.”
“Read It And Tweet” Inc Magazine Reports
Time truly is the wisest counselor of all. Just five years later, in April 2011, everything had changed.
Inc Magazine, in a report entitled Social Media Worth Time, announced:
“Read it and tweet: Social media takes a lot of time, but it pays off.”
Writing for Inc Magazine, Courtney Rubin stated: “Ninety percent of marketers surveyed say that social media is important for their business, with the self employed and small business owners with two or more employees ‘more likely to strongly agree.’
So what have we learned about Social Media in the last five years? According to Inc Magazine:
- Nearly 9 in 10 marketers have generated more business exposure from Social Media.
- 72 percent have significantly increased traffic to their websites.
- 62 percent have improved their search engine rankings.
- 43 percent of those surveyed have improved sales.
- Self-employed and small business owners, with two or more employees, have reported that Social Media helped them close new business.
- 59 percent of this same group found business partnerships through Social Media.
What have we learned about the time required for effective Social Media activity?
- 58 percent of respondents are using Social Media for more than six hours per week.
- 34 percent invest 11 or more hours weekly.
- 15 percent spend more than 20 hours a week blogging, tweeting, and the like.
The more experience respondents had with Social Media, the more time they spent:
- 63 percent of people with three or more years experience spend more than 10 hours a week on Social Media.
- 41 percent of those with one to three years experience spend more than 10 hours a week on Social Media.
- 50 percent of those surveyed have less than a year’s experience with social media marketing.
Who is doing the actual Social Media work?
- 72 percent are performing the Social Media work internally.
- 28 percent are outsourcing some portion of their Social Media marketing.
What are the top Social Media tools?
We have learned a great deal about Social Media in the last few years.
It has become a formidable tool for business accomplishment.
With proper strategy, execution and management it can mean the difference between profits and losses, particularly in smaller entrepreneurial companies.
It requires an investment of time and resources, but that investment can pay dramatic dividends.
It is not a one-time event, but rather an evolving process over time. As new tools and techniques become available, it requires a progressive learning curve — but this too pays dividends — as time is the wisest counselor of all.
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