The time is right for small businesses to embrace social media, but many are trying to do it without the creation of a social media strategy. Here are the main points to consider.
People Don’t Talk About My Business
A large percentage of business owners believe that if people are not already talking specifically about their company or brand online, they do not need to get involved with social media. That's crazy!
If people are not discussing you, then get online and start the conversation! Directly communicating with people, on as many platforms as possible, is the best way to stay ahead of the curve in this day and age. Also, it is worth remembering, that just because you are not aware of people discussing you online, that doesn't mean that people are not discussing you.
In a similar way, ‘no news sells like bad news’ people are always more inclined to discuss companies due to negative experiences than good ones. Getting online and addressing them is the best way to rescue these experiences.
Minimal Effort Does Not Work
Distressingly, a large number of social media business users subscribe to the idea that registering on social media sites, but not returning, is enough to succeed online.
This outlook will consign your social media venture to utter failure.
Promotion is key. Put links to your social media outlets in prominent places on your website. When you register on other networks, make sure to put your social media network details in your profile, if given the option.
Most importantly, engage with people that find you. Actively encourage conversation, do not sit back and wait for it to come to you!
Social Media Is a One Way Street
A popular misconception is that social media is just for making announcements before sitting back and waiting for the acclaim and kudos. It is in fact about conversation. Don’t just tell people about a new product launch; ask them their thoughts on it. Better than that, get them involved in the development of the product and they will provide free PR for you by telling everyone they know about it.
I Have To Get On Social Media Right This Second!
Yes and no. You do need to get involved with social media, but do not rush into it. Too many businesses are getting a Twitter account and a blog without really thinking about how they intend to use it.
It is important to realise that social media, when used hastily and incorrectly, can have a damaging effect on your business. You need to do some serious research on what other people are doing, thinking about what you like, what you don’t and which outlets suit you best.
If you do not have the time, I highly recommend employing a social media specialist to do this part of the work for you. When this is done, you should have an easily executable social media strategy to employ, which will place you in great stead for success in your social media endeavours.