(Read Time: 5 Minutes)
Your company can learn a lot from Charlie Sheen...
By now you've probably heard and seen more than you care to about Charlie Sheen.
Except this: He's a freakin' genius!
Now, I don't know whether or not his "genius" was preordained or whether he just got "lucky" but you cannot deny the juggernaut that is Charlie Sheen.
What does this have to do with Internet marketing and your business?
That's the easy part:
- Try 2.7 MILLION Twitter followers in less than 1 week (now up to almost 5 million)!
- Try the fact that Sheen just opened up a new live variety show and sold out both dates, in Detroit and Chicago, in under eighteen minutes, a Ticketmaster record.
- Try the fact that this is just the BEGINNING of the potential of his newly created online empire.
- Try the fact that out of thin air, Charlie has created millions of dollars of revenue, goodwill, branding, buzz, and free marketing!
Wouldn't you like to have 2 million followers on Twitter for your business -- in under a week!?
Think of what you could do with that sort of traffic...heck, what about 100,000 followers -- as Fidel Castro has right now (now down to 30,000...guess there's something to be learned there too..).
Yep, Fidel Castro is ranting and raving about this and that and actually has folks listening to his live, and real time rants on Twitter!
I have to shake my head at what a new -- and sometimes crazy -- Internet marketing world we now live in.
"Yeah Chris," you're probably thinking, "but how does this help MY business, MY brand and MY company?"
|The Problem: Social media isn't for fun and games anymore -- rather it's a serious medium for gaining new leads and customers.
The Solution: Make sure that a part of your budget, staff, team -- whatever -- is out there constantly talking to your audience, potential customers and getting out ahead of your competition, and adding real value to them through social media.
The Bottom Line: Sow the seeds of your social media marketing NOW so when the time comes, you'll have a willing and ready audience of loyal, interactive followers craving your products and services.
Even assuming you don't want to jump on couches (as Tom Cruise famously did on the Oprah show a few years back proclaiming his love for Katie Homes) or go off about Tiger Blood and rampant drug use as Charlie Sheen has done -- by the way these are usually NOT recommended marketing tactics for most upstanding businesses -- how can you utilize this knowledge and insight about the viral nature of social media for your real world, bricks and mortar business?
That's what needs to happen to start building trust, a following, a brand and then when you have something to sell those loyal folks, guess what?
They're ready to buy from you.
If you sit on your hands and never start that conversation on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn or other social media platforms, you are leaving money on the table.
Make sure that a part of your budget, staff, team -- whatever -- is out there constantly talking to your audience, potential customers and getting out ahead of your competition.
And make sure they're doing it right -- by not saying dumb things, annoying followers or adding little value to them.
Social media isn't just for fun and games anymore.
It's for doing REAL business -->
- To gain new customers
- To address customer service issues
- To introduce breaking company news or products
- To gauge the market, get feedback and probe
- To illicit passion for your brand, identity, products and services
- To remind folks of what you offer, and the value you provide
- To get out ahead of potential bad news and address complaints
- To increase search engine rankings (no kidding!)
- and much, much more...
Major corporations that you know and trust like Dell, Apple, AT&T, SouthWest Airlines and countless others, are using social media to grow their businesses and interact with their current and future customers.
Are you doing the same?
The Bottom Line:
Social media is no longer a luxury annoyance relegated to the back office or that new intern you just hired on the cheap.
Rather, your social media presence is just as important -- and in some cases more important -- than your day-to-day interactions OFFLINE.
Don't believe me?
- Wait till the next time you have something really cool or important to announce and nobody to announce it to...
- Wait till the next time a customer complains about your company online (to THEIR Twitter followers!) and you have no ability to respond!
- Wait until the next time you're looking to create "buzz" or increase your standing within the Internet community but have no equity built up.
- Wait until you've just exhausted your marketing budget with traditional offline tactics that no longer work and didn't get any results.
Quite frankly, if you are living in the dark ages and haven't seen the power yet of not just the Internet and having a website that closes and draws and attracts clients -- but also the power of interacting with and delivering constant value to those clients -- then your way of thinking has to change.
We might not like Charlie Sheen, what he is doing and saying, or how he has gone about his business lately, but we also cannot deny that there is a huge lesson to be learned that we can all apply to our businesses immediately.