Social Media: The New Currency

Why women must be more aggressive about using networks to create business opportunities

Perry: "If we don't master social media now, we'll be left behind."

Social media is the new economy and game changer for getting your message out in cyberspace and beyond. If you have fresh ideas and the desire to try something new—get ready to grow your brand and be discovered.

You can amplify your message and grow your brand instantly by using popular networking tools such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Ning, YouTube, and Animoto to name a few.

With social media you don’t have to wait for a client or the media to discover your talent, service or goods—you can create platforms by engaging your friends, family and acquaintances by providing exceptional and creative content and messages via website, blog, Internet radio, and promotional videos all for an opportunity cost of free or close to nothing.

African American women are using social media to influence brand loyalty and to increase popularity, however, many are not using social media to increase bottom-line as it relates to business.

According to Pam Perry, head of Ministry Marketing Solutions,  “African American women think social media is a fad and for young kids, and don’t realize people are making money with social media. Social media is a marketing tool and the quickest way to network and increase exposure for a brand. For social media to work you must target people that know and trust you.”

As women we must understand that social media is the new currency, it’s growing at an exponential rate, and if we don’t master it now, we will be left behind. Men are using social media to create business opportunities and make money. Perry passionately asserts, “The difference, as it relates to gender, is that men are focused, deliver a clear and concise message, and are not afraid to make the ‘ask’ to close the deal. Women—more often than not—use social media as a popularity contest, send out random thoughts, and are afraid to promote their brand and make the ‘ask.’ ”

Perry says, “People need to create the three F’s to actively participate in social media:”

Followers: People who like and trust you;

Friends: People who will share your content, post comments, and rely on your message;

Fans: People who will bookmark your blog or Website and will likely need giveaways and incentives to keep coming back.

The Internet is the greatest equalizer for women and other entrepreneurs to participate actively in birthing a new idea, engaging clients and increasing brand awareness, with a minimal investment cost. Let’s change the perception of how black women do business by becoming savvier as it relates to social media.

Six Social Media Steps to Build and Promote Your Brand

1. Create a unique message about your brand/company and share via social media platforms—Facebook, Twitter, Ning, LinkedIn, and YouTube. As an example, here’s the video I created for my book.

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ACROSS THE WEB
  • http://DoktaDivah.com Lisa R.

    Karen, the link this article scrolled up my screen on Twitter *right* after I set up the registration for my June social media workshop. I’ve taken your previous advice about being ready for the blessings to heart, and I am actively providing hands-on learning opportunities for my sisters to be creators of professional learning networks. Karen is right ladies, there’s no time like the present – get started NOW.

    I always tell my students that you don’t have to be a techie to benefit from what technology can do for you. Not everyone who drives a car is an engineer, after all. Feel free to follow me on Twitter: twitter.com/doktadivah and if you’re in Atlanta, why not come out for a workshop? http://bit.ly/cQuLkX

  • http://www.cdstrategiestx.com Shamanda R. Joseph, Esq.

    This is a great article! I recently conducted a social media training workshop for the MBE Accelerator Program Lunch & Learn Series at the Houston Minority Supplier Diversity Council. The overall objective of the workshop was to show small and minority business owners how there is added value from an organizational development perspective through the utilization of social media tools. The training was a huge sucess and this article reinforces the point I made at the end of the workshop — get on the social media bandwagon now and leverage your existing relationships with family & friends to create added value in your business pursuits. Love the title of the B.E. article — “Social Media: The New Currency.” Brilliant!

  • http://www.cdstrategiestx.com Shamanda R. Joseph, Esq.

    This is a great article! I recently conducted a social media training workshop as part of the MBE Accelerator Program/Lunch & Learn Series at the Houston Minority Supplier Diversity Council. The overall objective of the training was to provide the attendees with a roadmap on creating a strategic plan for integrating social media utilization as part of their organizational development strategy. The training was a huge success! This article reinforces a point I made at the end of the workshop — get on the social media bandwagon now and leverage your existing relationships with family & friends to create added value in your business pursuits. We offer social media consulting as part of our full suite of organizational development deliverables. I love the title of this B.E. article, “Social Media: The New Currency.” Brilliant! Lisa R. is absolute right, you don’t have to be a “techie” to benefit from social media. In my training we began with several popular definitions of social media and one of my favorites is: “the use of technology with social interaction to create or co-create value.” — John Jantsch. Technology is already there and available for use; all we have to do is find the value for our intended purposes and for business owners that means, “new currency.” I love this article!

  • http://www.hubcitylivin.com M.L.

    Great article! I created Hub City Livin’ about 7 months ago and firmly believe that exactly what your title says. One major issue I have run into, and I think this explains the ‘gap’ in people understanding this new currency, is the digital divide. My social network is the “#1 online network to discuss the latest news, issues and events in Compton, CA”………a city of 100,000 with a huge digital divide. Because I am tech savvy (i.e. laptops, windows mobile, etc etc) I took for granted that many other people in Compton were as well; This is not the case. So while I think social media is the new currency (ask Facebook how much they made last year), I think the issue of awareness is two-fold. How do we get people to realize the enormous value in social media when many of them have limited or no computer access? Right now the federal government is granted millions and millions in money for municipalities to expand or establish broadband and I notice many if not all of the recipients are not “minority based” cities. How can we best tackle this issue of digital divide?
    On another note, my network has done fairly well in terms of establishment as a viable source of networking and discussion for the professional community in Compton. I spread everything viral throughout the world wide web – twitter, myspace, facebook, , youtube, linkedin and digg. Not to mention RSS feeds. I do have a blogtalkradio account established and plan to expand to that sector as well. I have recently begun soliciting local businesses for advertisements and ‘group sponsors’ and expect that the more my network grows, the more these services will appeal to these businesses. My network is hosted on NING and I recently was chosen by them to attend their network creators council summit. It is a really great platform and is in store for some awesome improvements/features which will help us creators garner more member engagement.
    Again, great article!! I run an rss feed from here to my profile page on my site and greatly appreciate all the great information BE provides for small businesses like mine.
    Thanks and keep up the outstanding work!

  • http://Rosalindytompkins.com Rosalind Y. Tompkins

    The article,Social Media the New Currency was definitely on the money! The potential and power that online social networking is opening up is mind blowing! I thank God for Black Enterprize Magazine and people like PR expert Pam Perry for helping us navigate through this new frontier so statistically we will not wake up out of our slumber only to find that we have been left behind, yet again!

  • http://www.pamperrypr.com pam perry

    Karen, great article. Thank you! YOU Rock! New media tool I just lover: POSTEROUS. See http://www.pamperry.posterous.com It’s so powerful. You can post up video, audio, photos – any and everything and it goes to all your social media sites automatically. I love it. Great time saver. Try it. It’s FREE. And I love, love blogtalk. http://www.blogtalkradio.com/ministrymarketingsolutions (my favorite more than Facebook) shhh. :) Blog on!!!

  • http://www.CharlotteHowardInfo.com Charlotte Howard

    Great article Karen! Using social media to build your business is very much needed for even business owners who are in the offline world. As Pam Perry always says if you are not online your are getting left behind.

    • http://www.pamperrypr.com pam perry

      Amen! Karen Rocks!

  • Robin Wooten

    Understanding I was one of the women who thought many of these communication avenues were unnecessary, now I see the light. Thank you for the continued efforts to educate and promote empowerment.

  • http://www.godswomanshowcase.com Deborah L Shumake

    Pam, thanks for continuing to encourage us to grow, learn, and make money.

  • http://http//www.godswomanshowcase.com Deborah L Shumake

    I am still learning. Thanks Pam for continuing to encourage, train, and push us to learn, act, and seek to achieve expertise that pays off in branding and money.

  • http://www.blogtalkradio.com/imagequeen Lisa Wilmore

    Great Article! This is THE way to expand your business from local to international in just a few moments. Social Media is here to stay- so entrepreneurs, business owners, internet useres must be prepared. More specifically, the PR industry has made a swift transition to incorporate “new media” as a very relevant and necessary component for success.

  • http://www.hrstrategiesplus.com kimberly benjamin

    This was a great article. I look to implement key strategies and tips mentioned in the article this week.

  • http://designingfortheking.com Deana Murphy

    On point, as usual Pam Perry. Thanks to Black Enterprise for publishing this article. Social media has opened international doors for my business…the new currency indeed. Thank you for sharing.

  • http://www.karentaylorbass.com Karen Taylor Bass

    Thanks so much for the wonderful feedback. I am glad to know we were on point with this subject matter and look forward to incorporating more of your suggestions in the weeks to come. Looking forward to meeting you on the various social media platforms.

  • http://www.twitter.com/raginasmith Ragina

    Well written article. Pam is very in tune with social media  tools and who better to get this information than from her. I definitely making social media my way to wealth this year.

  • http://www.onediaspora.com Chris Cathcart

    Way to go girl….great piece, much needed.

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  • Aliya H

    Great article. I loved the 6 points. Very clear and to the point. Gave me some things to remember when I start another blog in the future! Social Media is a great way to market yourself and your business.

  • http://musingsofastrongblackwoman.wordpress.com Rhonda J. Smith

    Social media can be overwhelming, but Pam Perry’s PR Boot Camp helped me get a handle on it. I am steadily building my brand to help strong black Christian women be strong in the Lord in body, mind and spirit. Karen, thank you for this content rich article that will be a wonderful reference for me to keep me on track. –Rhonda J. Smith, http:musingsofastrongblackwoman.wordpress.com

  • LGH

    Great Tips. I have to get accustomed to thinking of myself as an internet superstar.

  • http://bryanradams.com Bryan R. Adams

    Great job, Karen.  And when people view SM as currency, they will be more aggressive in figuring out how it can work for them. 

  • http://www.ArtisseSandersMarketingSecert.com Artisse Sanders

    I enjoy this article and I got a lot from it. Thank you for the information. So keep up the great work.

  • http://www.sirenaspeaks.com Sirena Moore

    Excellent Entry! Thanks Karen

  • http://www.karentaylorbass.com Karen Taylor Bass

    Remember, with social media you must be active and participate at least twice a week with a post.

  • http://Unibook.com Ademola adejumo

    Short description-New book-Publisher, Unibook.com

    He shall cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler, Psalm 91;4. Shield and buckler means protection, a defense against the arrows of the army of Satan, the word of God is a bullet-prove against the gunshot of the enemies. The word of God is a shield of faith. Above all, taking the shield of faith which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one, Ephesians 6;16. The word of the LORD is a buckler to all those that trust in Him, if you remain in Jesus, His words will remain in you, then you can send back the arrows of the enemies to them. But if you remain in me and my word remain in you, you may ask for anything you want and will be granted! John 15;7.

    ISBN;978-90-71812-10-1

    By,
    Ademola Adejumo

  • http://bevkearneypursuitofdreams.com Bev

    I have to confess I am one of those women who are not up to speed on the cyber media end of thing.  I always get people wanting to add me to their facebook or myspace or twitter or whatever but I honestly I just learned how to cut and paste on my computer.  I never looked at the business side of things because from the way we are using it as a social outlet as opposed to mainly using it as a media and business outlet it has never caught my interest.  To many people use it as a means to say things about people that they would not have the courage to say to other people in person.  In fact the college students are now more hesitant to speak up for fer of what will be posted about them on someone’s facebook and so on.    So thanks for giving me a look at the positive side of cyber communication.

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  • Tonya J

    Great article indeed. I am goig to make sure I take the advise given in this article to become more social media savvy to build and promote the brand for my new business.

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