NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION #1: Utilize Social Media

December is always an exciting time filled with holidays, family, and fun. Yet somehow we forget how many up and coming young professionals enter into the business world at this time each year. Many of us overlook that December is also a time when hundreds of thousands of students graduate from college, and look to take their first step into a much bigger world.

I had the pleasure of attending a graduation ceremony this year at the University of Central Florida (UCF).  UCF has one of the largest student bodies in the nation, totaling over 50,000 students.  At the ceremony Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer gave a wonderful commencement speech.

He spoke of what an exciting time this is in the life of a college grad and how they are free to do whatever they would like with their lives. You know, typical commencement speech stuff. However, at the end of a very motivating speech Mayor Dyer pulled out his smart phone, and asked if the graduating students could please pose for a picture. He stated ‘I am trying to get more involved with this social media and would appreciate if I could take a picture of you all to post to my Tumblr account.”

Wow! First off I would like to address any readers from “The City Beautiful”.  First, Mayor Buddy Dyer is a very prestigious figure in Orlando. To have him recognize, and utilize, the power of social media is very exciting. Social Media is the biggest thing going on right now! Don’t be left behind! Your Mayor is utilizing it…are you? Next, just think…you have over 50,000 students from UCF alone that are in your marketplace. Have you taken the right steps to reach them? These students are smart consumers. With their knowledge of the Internet and their low budgets they are better than you may think at shopping around. That is why you want to make sure that you have some products, initiatives, or special deals geared towards our college students. They represent a big demographic here and if you are not reaching out to them than you should be, and social media is one of the best and inexpensive ways to do it.

Next, to all other readers, who live in Orlando or not, I would like to emphasize how important utilizing social media can be. If a city mayor recognizes its importance, than that is saying a lot. Do not be left behind in 2012! Do not fail to recognize that social media is the BIGGEST THING since the internet itself. Please recognize that your top competitors are either using social media or are taking steps to implement it into their 2012 marketing plan. Having a “plan” is essential to organization, commitment, implementation, and finally the success of your business.  Do not underestimate the power of an organized and strategic plan for using social media. If you are just “winging it”, or having your 8th grade daughter run your social media you might as well not be using it at all. Please take social media seriously, please take your business seriously.  When you paint your house do you just “wing it?” When you paint your house do you hire your 8th grade daughter and her friends to do the job? No! Why? Because you take pride in your home and the fact that if your house has an unprofessional and lousy paint job its value and appeal is significantly lower! Why would you do the same to your business? 2012 is going to be huge and make sure you have yourself geared up to completely crush it! Best of luck to all of you in 2012! Happy New Year!