Let's get straight to the point: If you think your 17-year-old daughter is taking plastic sandwich bags out of kitchen cabinet to hide a cocaine habit, you're wrong.
She's probably using it to text friends on her iPhone, while taking a shower.
If you're trying to get up to speed in taking advantage of social technologies that allow you to reach 2 billion people, aka would-be customers, worldwide at no distribution cost, here's the quick layout of what you need to worry about, Internet entreprenur Scott Klososky told the closing session Wednesday of the National Investment Company Service Association 2011 Conference & Expo.
1. MAKE YOURSELF SOCIALLY RELEVANT.
You, individually, and your company, jointly, need to become experts in your expertises and lines of business, first. This is the starting point for any widespread use of social technologies. Blog, eletters, dedicated sites, live messaging, in a concerted, long-standing effort.
2. GET ON THE RIGHT SOCIAL MEDIA.
This will differ by industry, to some degree. But good broad starting points -- for any industry -- are creating channels or continuing presences on Youtube, for video; Slideshare, for presentations; Scribd, for documents; and Flickr for photos. "Everyone should have a channel on every one of those things,'' he said.
3. BEGIN SOCIAL NETWORKING.
Here are the names to get started with or on: Ng, Plaxo, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter. Most of the tools are free. Use the power.
4. PULL IN WHAT YOUR CUSTOMERS ARE ALREADY SAYING ABOUT THEMSELVES.
Bond your customer relationship system to the World Wide Web. So that, every time you enter a new name into your Customer Relationship Management System, you automatically harvest everything that is already known about or disclosed by the party, online. You can, should and must scour LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and what comes next, systematically.
Then, you can begin to set up your socially-directed sales strategy and get started.