If you’re at all on the fence about whether or not your small business or business opportunity needs a social media strategy, you need to read this. Did you know that if you’re not on social media, you are potentially losing ground to the 73% of small businesses that are? You can even use social media to help you discover low cost startup businesses. It’s time to catch up!
Social media marketing can do a number of things for your business, including boosting your brand awareness, increasing sales and improving customer relationships. However, these things don’t happen as soon as you set up your Facebook page, which is why 61% of small businesses don’t see any return on investment as a result of their social media activities, and that’s according to Manta’s latest survey as cited on CNBC just last week.
Too many small businesses think that social media takes too much time, doesn’t result in enough ROI or is too difficult to figure out. Truth is social media is not something that just anyone can do effectively. It takes time, research and money to use these free networking platforms to maximum advantage.
Social media marketing can do incredible things for your business. However, you need to be willing to take the time to learn, research what your competitors are doing and how it’s working for them, and spend the money required to do it right, which may include taking a class, hiring a social media manager or whatever else is required to run an effective campaign…
Starting a page and then hoping it will take care of itself does not constitute a social media strategy or plan. Sadly, “Build it and they will come” does not work in this realm of marketing. You need to set aside an hour a day to devote to social media management. Tools like HootSuite will allow you to set up all your posts months in advance so you can spend a few hours and then never have to worry about your networks being up-to-date. But again, it’s not a one-and-done deal. Have your posts set up, but check in every day to read comments from your followers, reach out to new people, share content from relevant pages and see what’s going on in your social media universe.
Signing up for a page doesn’t turn you into a social media powerhouse, and just signing up for Facebook isn’t enough. You need to go where your customers and potential customers are already hanging out. This is where your research comes into play. The youngest users are on Tumblr, Hi5 and MySpace, while the oldest users are on Facebook, Yelp and LinkedIn. In short, do your homework before you sign up. Are you sure you need to be on Tumblr when you’re business is a luxury real estate company?
Yes, you do need money to run a successful social media campaign, and anyone who tells you differently isn’t being honest with you. It’s going to take hours to run your networks, all of which is time out of your day. But, you also have the option of hiring in-house or outside help from a professional to take care of your social media marketing needs. And lastly, running a paid advertising campaign on social media can help bring your page up from a few hundred likes to thousands in as little as a month, and for the right price. Determining a social media budget is an important first step. Take the time to decide what is right for your business.
What social media help do you need for your business? Share what information you’re looking for in our comments, and we’ll address them.