Social media is here to stay and if you are serious about building a business then you need to be involved. PERIOD. Even if you're not intending to sell on line (maybe there are a few of you left out there) you still need to jump in the pool . It is the way to show up on the radar and if you do it right, you will be welcomed in. The days of running a splash add in a print magazine is gone. Not that it was great to begin with. I don't know if you have ever had the occasion where you ran a print add. I have, more than one time and it was costly and the effects were often short lived.
Social media allows you to do so much more than a static add ever did. With the right finessing you can even do a great deal without paying for it.
The good news is the bad news.
So now you know why but one or which ones. There are so many media channels to choose from and new ones opening up all the time. Just like any other tool, they each have their purpose and they have things they are strong at as opposed to others. Some are geared towards short blasts of information or images and others allow for a bit more depth.
I am a strong proponent of claiming your virtual real estate in every possible place, but let's face it you will never have enough time to fully exploit all of them. So you need to choose one, maybe two. But start with one to master.
How to choose?
First off, don't do what everyone else is doing just because they say you should. You own the business you write the checks, you decide. Even if others think you're crazy, if you think it's the one for you, then follow it. The key is to pick one and stick with it for a time.
Here is my top selection criteria:
- What is my product or service? Let's say your business is a service, chances are an image intensive social channel won't work as well as one that allows for more text content or one that has the ability to show longer videos. Now what if you're a products company and you can show your product being used by people, this is image intensive with minimal text content so image intensive social platforms work well. What if you're in consumer perishable goods and you business runs fast and furious. Then you will need a social platform that can match. Possibly one with geo location alerts being delivered to mobile devices (especially if you are in a mobile business).
- Who is my ideal customer? If you are targeting a customer base, is this the platform they hang out in? You need to put your business in the line of site for your target audience. So the old saying is true “Right place right time”.
- Is this where my paying customers hang out? If you have been around for any length of time and you have customers already, is this their social platform of choice? If your current paying customers are not your ideal target, then you may want to weight the final selection accordingly.
- Of all the social channels, is this the top referral to your website or blog site (the key hub to your business)? If you have a good analytics tool installed then you will have information as to who the top referring social media site is. It's kind of easy to figure out where you would spend your efforts.
- Do you understand this social site? If you “get it” it makes it much easier to spend time getting to know it better and to use it. Not that you can't learn new tools, absolutely you can, but it's a bonus if you get it already.
- Do you like it? You are human, and just like the rest of us, if you enjoy doing something then chances are you will spend more time doing it. If you enjoy a particular social media channel then you will spend more time in it. This could also be a bad thing. As a business owner, you need to consider the business aspect and try not to let emotion color your judgment.
What if you don't get results?
If you aren't getting anywhere and you have adjusted or changed tactics and you are working the tool like a pro, then maybe you should move on to another one. But before you abandon all hope get some feedback from a mentor. If you are in a group of professionals ask for candid insight. If you know of master trainers, take a course or two from them or pay for some critique and coaching.
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