Part 2 of a 3 Part Series
WHY or WHY NOT Social Media?
Stop for a minute and think about if you need social media, or if you believe that you do not need social media. When you decide one way or another, ask yourself WHY.
Let’s start with why you believe that you don’t need social media.
I don’t understand it or how it could help my business.
Ask yourself this: Do you have a fear of change? As the world changes, those that change and adapt, grow and continue to be successful. Businesses that fear change, do not follow trends or think into the future, and are stuck in the “now,” will fail and dissolve. Social media is beneficial for all business models for varying reasons. If you do not understand it, there are ways to learn.
Why do I care that someone just had a cup of coffee? It seems like a waste of time.
There is so much more to social media than users posting about drinking coffee or doing a load of laundry and with the evolution of networks, an online presence is more important than ever. Also ask yourself this: when you are face to face with a client or engaging with a potential client, do you express interest in them on a personal level? People discuss personal issues on social media networks. Is that any different than when you engage them in real life? Online engagement of your target audience is no different that speaking to them directly.
I don’t have the time to deal with it.
If handled correctly, social media can be incredibly time consuming. However, it doesn’t make it any less important. There are several ways to make social media work for you. The 1st is to be trained on how to be successful. There are ways to get involved and gain exposure by learning proper techniques, best and worse practices, and time saving tips. The 2nd way to execute a substantial social media campaign is to hire someone to engage your target audience online, build relationships, and communicate your message thereby gaining positive exposure for your brand.
My company is a B2B. I don’t think social media can benefit me.
Statistically, the results are quite the contrary. Social media users are all involved in business one way or another. Whether they are employed by a business or are a business owner, there is an audience for every B2B somewhere online. Take a look at the statistics from Top Rank on B2B social media campaigns.
If you are one of the many business owners (82% of businesses surveyed claim to having a social media presence) who believe they should be involved in social media, ask yourself WHY and what you think that looks like.
You have created accounts on various networks, now what? Why did you create them?
Creating social media accounts is a great first step, however, if you are not prepared to maintain them, it is actually doing you more harm than good. Social media users follow you on Twitter or like you on Facebook because they want to hear what you have to say, and interact with you. If a user asks you a question on a social media network, and you do not respond, isn’t that the same as not answering your phone or ignoring someone in your place of business? If you create them, be prepared to manage them, or get help.
Why do you want to have a social media campaign? What do you want to accomplish?
Understanding your “WHY” is the most important part of starting any marketing campaign. If you want a social media campaign because everyone tells you should have one, but you are not active on your accounts, or do not design attractive pages, it could damage your reputation instead of enhance it. What every business needs is a comprehensive strategy and goals to be achieved.
Consider the following:
- Do you want to offer better customer service?
- Are you looking to grow your business by attracting new customers?
- Would you like to re-engage with former clients?
- Is connecting with other professionals who may refer you business important?
- Can your target audience find you easily online, or do you need to increase your visibility?
- Does your brand have something unique to offer that may attract media attention?
- Are there loyal customers whom you would like to reward for their patronage?
These are all great reasons to be active in a social media campaign. Maybe you have multiple reasons for desiring a social media presence. Regardless of the reason, it is critical that you understand what that reason is in order to be successful. There are many networks, and depending on your WHY, some networks may be more beneficial to you than others. The other factor to consider before choosing your networks is the type of industry of your business. Having a strategy before you begin is critical. You can have a strategy developed for you, have someone train and/or consult on your campaign or have social media strategists handle everything for you. In any case, be prepared to communicate your WHY.