Imagine you’ve been talking with a couple of business friends who mentioned they are successfully using social media for marketing and you ‘sort of’ understand because you have a personal Facebook page, but the language they are using (social strategy, blogging, engagement, fan building, likes, etc.) are new to you. Later in the day you visit a competitor’s website and you noticed social media buttons on the home page which you then click. Then maybe your heart sinks a little because you realize your awareness of how to use social media for business marketing is severely lacking and you don’t have the time to research, setup social media accounts, much less the time it takes to create ongoing content for social media posts and updates.
So Many to Choose From
The array of social media platforms is broad, beginning with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google+, Foursquare, Pinterest…and many more. And every social platform has its forte. For small and medium business owners, selecting the right social media network to begin with and to what extent to use it is challenging and it can feel overwhelming. So how do you know what to select?When considering your social media strategy, it’s important to decide who will actively implement it. Maybe an existing staff member is already using several social sites? It could be that nobody on staff is well-equipped, so you need to provide training for the an employee who will.
Resist Being ‘Over-Commercial’…and ‘Under-Authentic’
When many businesses begin their social media program they are at risk of making a blunder due to inexperience and they consequently don’t present themselves authentically, usually by being overly commercial. It takes concentration and confidence to overcome this. If you are a small business owner you are probably plagued with constant need to determine how to best spend your time. Your social media presence is important, but not to the detriment of work activities that drive income. Most business people don’t have the time for the responsibilities of maintaining a solid presence on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. while also taking care of the core elements of their business. It may be necessary to to hire someone – an in-house or outsourced staff member or social media management agency – to deal with your social media marketing…presuming you believe there is worthwhile returns but don’t have the time, resources, or skill to take it.
Time, Expertise…and Patience Needed
So, how many social media platforms do you need? To find out meet with key company staff and decide where your social marketing efforts should be spent. Realize that building a social media marketing presence will take time, especially if you’re a small business, so don’t expect immediate results. Assess where your customers likely are on social networks and set out to meet them there…and remember it’s preferable to be outstanding on one to three social sites than mediocre on many. Diligent effort will eventually produce the desired results through heightened brand awareness and repeat business…if you select your social media strategy well and stick with it.