As a small business owner on a shoe-string marketing budget, the allure of free (or next-to-free) marketing that Facebook, Twitter and Instagram offers is quite appealing! However, I’m running into a problem that I imagine many people are running into as well. Not all the contacts I would like to meet or that I deal with are on social media. And, if they are, perhaps Facebook or other social media platforms are not where they go to find services or referrals for services. Additionally, how much of social media communication is actually believable?

According to an article written by Andrew Ross Sorkin, the term “active user” may not be what you had anticipated. Andrew writes “If you managed to wade through to Page 44 of Facebook’s prospectus, you’d discover that the company provides a definition of an ‘active user’ — and it is unlikely to be what you expected.” While you may see many “likes” on your page, this is only a fraction of the folks you really want to reach. I’m not saying that social media marketing isn’t worth your time, and even some of your marketing budget. What I am saying, is that this shouldn’t be your only brand-building activity. And I totally understand that hiring an advertising agency may be out of your budget. But, there are other ways to manage your brand at an affordable cost.

So, to get really “geeky” on you, according to Zephoria, every 60 seconds on Facebook: 510,000 comments are posted, 293,000 statuses are updated, and 136,000 photos are uploaded, and 50% of 18-24 year-olds go on Facebook when they wake up. Additionally, “according to SEC filing, for the first time, Facebook’s U.S. ad revenue will be larger than the biggest traditional media companies trailing only behind Google.” When thinking about the validity of social media, “there are 83 million fake profiles”. However, what this means is that you will compete more than ever to get your content noticed, and getting someone to believe it may also be a challenge. Not only that, are you really reaching those you need to reach? It has been my experience that only 1 out of 5 people I interact with in my business actually use social media to make purchasing decisions. Therefore, I love my social media presence, but what I’m finding is that it is just not enough.

So, what do I do?

What I’ve come to realize is that I need more. I need a resource that is much like a publicist. And no, I’m not famous and cannot afford such an extravagance. But, what if there were a resource out there that combined the two?

Social media marketing experts are everywhere. I can pay as much or as little as I want for someone to post content for me on a daily basis, even multiple times per day. What I’ve discovered from hiring many different people is this; my friends and followers are pretty darned tired of hearing the same message over and over. I’ve, for the most part, tapped out my circle of social media contacts. So, back to the publicist.

Lucky for me, I met an entrepreneur that is doing exactly what I’m looking for! She calls herself the “Happiness Whisperer” and that’s exactly what she does! Lisa Gordon, founder of this amazing company, does social media marketing… and much more! Lisa met with me and coached me on, get this… reputation strategy and management! So yea, she posts nice stuff about me and keeps my audience informed and engaged. But what she also does is coach me, infiltrate my network and manages my circle of potential clients.

So, how does this all work? According to Lisa, she meets with her clients, analyzes their reputation, then goes about to change it, improve it and teach her clients how to maintain a high level of regard from the public.

Do you realize, that when somebody’s name is muttered in a crowd, it only takes a LOOK from one of the crowd members to change the reputation of that person? Let’s say you are at a coffee shop with a group of five colleagues. One of the people in your group mentions the name of an associate that you all have heard about, and another member of the group makes a face that screams “that person is horrible!” What does that do to that person’s reputation? It was just a look! That expression did more damage than any number of posts can fix. What Lisa does is sit with that group of five people and change reputations with looks, comments, stories and experiences!

We are in an era of digital communication, yes. But, the value of actual human connection still trumps all the social media communication. The problem is, having someone out there as your “reputation agent” can be difficult, if not impossible. What Lisa does is she acts as your agent! This is a new concept, and one that I’m sure will be the wave of the future.

So, when thinking about hiring a social media consultant or manager, keep this in mind… there are folks out there that stand out from the rest. Ask your perspective consultants what they do for you. Do they just post a specified number of times per week? Do they know you? Do they make your network their network? I would suggest that you give Lisa a call… I think it will blow your mind!

This new area of expertise is called Reputation Strategy and Management. There is only one person I know that offers this specialized type of service. She is aptly named “The Happiness Whisperer”, and that’s exactly what she does. I guarantee, you will not be disappointed!

Find out more about Lisa at https://thehappinesswhisperer.wordpress.com

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