Social media can be an extremely effective marketing channel for your business.
Today, a lot of smaller businesses are feeling more encouraged to enter the social media world to market themselves but many are ill prepared and fail.
Many join social networks not because they realize the value behind it or understand how to use it to their advantage but simply because that’s what is hot right now.
It’s the new marketing tool everybody is buzzing about and the assumption is that social media marketing is a quick and easy way to gain traction in today’s online world.
If you are thinking about marketing your business via social media, ask yourself these questions:
Are You In It For The Long Haul?
It’s all about investment in the future. You will not see the results of your social media engagement right away. Not for days, weeks or months. Unlike reaching your customers through email or offline marketing, social media requires investment of time. It’s all about getting to know your customers, forming relationships, building your reputation, strengthening your brand. Sales will come, only later.
Are you ready to push yourself forward without seeing much ROI for months? Will you stay passionate about your goals?
Do You Have The Resources?
As social media marketing takes time, it requires lots of effort and money. If you are not ready for active participation over a long period of time, if you do not have the budget to keep it going, you should think about other marketing venues. You don’t want to quit half-way, before you reap any benefits.
Can you commit to weekly blog posts? Will you hire someone to handle your Facebook Fan Page? Will you have time to get involved with your followers, blog readers, fans?
Can You Be Consistent?
Consistency with your brand and consistency across the networks both matter greatly. You need to send the same message, whatever the channel. Your customers are expecting that.
Are You Ready For The Transparency?
Social media truly connects real people; it bring human component to the business relationship you would otherwise have with your customers. Privacy is no longer the status quo.
You need to be willing to become more transparent. From customer service to PR and the behind-the-scenes of your company, your customers will have a window into your business like never before.
Understanding of what’s involved and then proper planning should be the first step to any social media campaign.
Consider the 5 Small Business Social Media Marketing Tips article to get you started once you are ready, but make sure to understand what the buzz is all about before jumping in yourself. Otherwise you risk wasting your time and money on social media, and that’s just not good business.