Monday, May 24, 2010

Social Media Should Be Part of Your Business Strategy

While social media can bring a great deal of benefit to a business, many small businesses make the mistake of jumping in without a strategy, hoping that at some point the momentum will build of its own accord.   While there is some truth to the 'viral' theory, it takes a concerted and well thought out plan to achieve success, otherwise your effort will consume your time, without significant results.

To achieve returns on your social media investment you need to make sure that you : 
- Define your strategy before you dive in;
- Define your goal. What are you trying to achieve - brand awareness or a special discount leading to immediate sales or improving customer relations? 
- Don't get distracted every time you go online. It is easy to get drawn into conversations, but is it achieving your goal? You need to stay focused on your goals as you engage with people, to ensure the conversation is driving towards your goal. 
 - Be responsive daily. A social media marketing effort means you have to stay in touch daily. This is not something you casually dip into once a week, because that might reflect a company that is not responsive to customers. 
 - If you don't have the time, then delegate internally or, better still outsource this function virtually. But make sure you hire the services of someone with a visible track record that you can check out online such as a Blog, Facebook account etc. 

Social Media accounts for about a quarter of time spent online, which means you have to engage as a business. If done well, it will be worth your while.  For more information, see 
Social Media Marketing For Small Business by Audrey Peters

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