By sschablow April 20, 2009
So you’ve decided that social media would be good for your business and you’re testing the waters.Good for you. You’ve set up a Facebook page, a LinkedIn Group and a Twitter account. Those are plausible tactics using the most popular social networking tools.
So you’re done right? You are now using social media to market your business. Or are you? Does a mere physical presence and occasional post to a social network constitute an effective social media campaign for your business?
The answer is a resounding NO. When I speak to businesses about social media many of them respond proudly that they’ve got social media covered. “We’re in Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter,” they proclaim! They are mistaken and uninformed. Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter are NOT all there is to social media marketing.
If you have begun using popular social networking tools for your business I congratulate you. You ‘get it’ in terms of the value of conversing and engaging with your customer. What you don’t get is the value that experienced social media marketers can add to the equation.
For instance, did you begin by developing a social media strategy? Does that strategy support your brand message and does it integrate seamlessly with your offline efforts? An effective strategic plan is imperative to your online success.
There are many issues to consider to effectively leverage your presence in social media. I’ve listed some key considerations below, but there are many more that depend specifically on your particular goals, objectives, and most importantly your audience. Have you thought about:
• How can you determine which tools and tactics are the ones that are the best match for your brand?
• How are you going to use social media to build your brand and bolster credibility among customers?
• What can you do to maximize cohesiveness and build synergy between the social networks you are involved in?
• Among the tools and tactics you’ve identified, in what order should you begin your participation?
• How do you ensure that you are reaching your target audience within each social network?
• What are the online protocols for each social network and what unspoken rules must not be broken?
• How should you best budget your time to get the most out of your social presence?
• What kind of tangible results should you expect? Prospects? Loyalty? Sales?
• How will you measure success and ROI?
If you didn’t think of these questions, much less answer them, you may actually end up doing more harm than good. Social media can reap great benefits for your brand and your business if done correctly. It can just as easily tarnish your image in an instant. If you are interested in venturing into social media for your business, seek the assistance of a qualified experienced social media marketer.