I recently found out that, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, the World’s Most Fearless Creature is the Honey Badger. Honey Badgers have thick, loose skin that makes them impervious to stings, bites, arrows, and machetes. They have sharp teeth and incredibly powerful jaws that allow them to catch, kill, and eat every part of its prey, including the bones. They are even powerful enough to eat a turtle, including the shell, without difficulty! To top off all these physical attributes, they are extremely intelligent. They have been known to use tools to catch their prey and are actually smart enough to follow Honeyguide birds to find beehives where they’ll eat the larvae and honey.
However, these defensive and offensive capabilities are not what impress me most about this animal. Any onlooker that views their activity is immediately cognizant of how tenacious they are: no matter what comes after them, they keep going. It could be a hive of bees, a King Cobra, Puff Adders, leopards or lions. It doesn’t matter; their resolve and aggressiveness are insatiable.
When I think of entrepreneurs, I think of Honey Badger-like individuals. Their life is a picture of tenacity. Each day they model the resolve and commitment it takes to build a company. In the face of economic downturns and shifting markets, of technology advances and consolidations, entrepreneurs must day-in and day-out make tough decisions to keep the business afloat and growing. Yet, there are those not-so-frequent times when even an entrepreneur can get caught in a rut.
Over the last few years I have had the privilege of working with many of these tenacious animals called entrepreneurs (or owners) and one thing many of them have in common is their undecided opinion and guarded use of Social media. Does it work? Will it work for my company? Isn’t it only for the youth? These are but a few of the questions that plague this otherwise confident individual. In the next few paragraphs I will give a strong and honest opinion about the matter and hope, as one business owner to another, that I can help you feel more comfortable with the use of applications like Facebook, LinkedIn and other forms of Social Media. Like many of you, I am a late adopter to social media but have recently embraced the motto, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained”. Let’s take the most popular applications one at a time.
Linkedin – This is a wonderful application that does what it says it does…it connects you with the business community. It does for free what a lot of PR companies will charge you for…it builds your database and leverages other people’s databases. It is non-invasive and acts as a business card to validate you or your company. Presently, over 150 million professionals are using Linkedin and it is the 36th most visited Website in the world. I give it a thumbs-up and believe every individual should build a Linkedin Profile.
Facebook – I know many of you are going to wince when you hear my opinion about this “force.” I believe it is a strategic tool in developing a sense of community among your customers. Through resource sharing, life stories, pictures, and value-added info, a company can make a Facebook page a powerful marketing weapon in their arsenal. Though you must have someone update it and “manage” the community of feedback, it is not too time-consuming. There are over 850 million active users on Facebook and over 20% of all page views on the Web are on Facebook (ergo…”force”). This generation communicates fluidly through Facebook and I believe every company needs to create and manage their Company Page. I give this also a thumbs-up.
YouTube – I don’t know if you realize this or not, but this generation would rather see a video than read a document or marketing piece. Wait a minute – all generations would rather do that! You Tube is a powerful viral media because it is always available and searchable. Also, there are so many cost-effective and free applications available that allow you to create video for your business. Once you have created the video, launch it via You Tube. Also, Google Search loves videos and this will help your Website move up in the Search Engine list. You Tube is the 3rd most visited Website and has over 2 billion views a day. Video is a must for Website and marketing. Believe that You Tube is a necessary for any business.
Twitter – While I have seen Facebook, Linkedin and Youtube gain significant use for the businesses I have worked with, I cannot say the same for Twitter. There are over 465 million accounts and over 175 million tweets a day. Most of the chatter out there that I have seen is on a highly personal level. Many companies use it to retweet interesting content and build a sense of community (like Facebook). High profile individuals (like athletes and actors) have used it successfully to build a following. However, I am yet to be convinced of its business application and, as a result, give it a thumbs down.
I may have embraced the motto, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained” but most people are unaware of the rest of the quote from Peter Wastholm when he said, “…but if everything is ventured, and still nothing gained, give up and venture elsewhere”! While I respect the Badger-like tenacity of the entrepreneur I also believe that if, after much trial, something doesn’t work then it is time to go tenaciously after different “prey”. Visit our Website, visit us on Facebook, Google+, Linkedin, or see other blog posts from Alpine Technology Corporation.