“Social media doesn’t work.”
“Social media isn’t for me.”
“Social media takes too much time.”
Have you heard this before? Maybe you’re someone who has the opinion that you don’t need social media. Were you also the person that didn’t have a website for your business until 2001? Of course not, YOU are smarter than that.
If you are someone that doesn’t believe in social media then I just want to let you know that I get it. You were making money when you didn’t even have a website—why do you need social media? The challenge is that people with this type of thinking and mindset are those that don’t do any marketing. Over the long term, this is an extreme blindspot in any good strategic business plan.
When you’re marketing, you go where the market is going. So, where is your market? Where they are is online and engaged in social media. Facebook alone has over 500 MILLION members. Couple that with 100+ million user accounts for Twitter and about 75 million for LinkedIn and your mission is clear…get a presence in social media and get it fast! When you have this type of utility at your hands to communicate with so many potential customers you are doing yourself—and your business–a disservice by ignoring it.
The opportunity here is that you can use social media to develop more appeal for your personal brand, your business, and your products and services. You can use social media to assist your overall strategic goals for positioning yourself as an expert in your market. Develop a plan to target people who are part of your market and deliver the exact type of content you know they are looking for. In addition, you must create a presence on various sites and not just rely on one or the other. I know what you are thinking, this takes time and you don’t have any to spare. Let me remind you that anything worth doing takes time and money.
A Few Tips
First of all, if you don’t already have someone, I would recommend you hire someone to manage your marketing. If you have someone, or if you are a DIY’er (do it yourself), then here are some tips that can get you started and get your current with your social media plan.
1. Define your target market first. Who are they, where do they live, what are their interests. The more you know about them, the easier it will be to find them on social media sites and begin to attract them to your profiles.
2. Do your research. Study the social media accounts of successful companies in your industry. What are they doing right? Can you adopt their approach as well?
3. Optimize your time. Take advantage of free social media software like Social Oomph and Hootsuite to manage your accounts. The key to leverage is automation, so the more you can automate, the less time it will take.
4. At minimum–use Facebook. Facebook is huge and you should be there—with everyone else. When building a presence on Facebook, create a PAGE (click here), and do not use your individual profile. Facebook Pages are for business use and get indexed by Google. You can be very interactive with people using this feature and it can be a great tool in your marketing toolkit.
5. Provide value. Once you have built a presence (Twitter, Facebook, etc) then make sure to engage those who are following and/or connected to you. Give away valuable info and free stuff whenever you can. Keep them engaged and have their attention on you.
If this all seems overwhelming to you then, by all means, hire someone to help you! (I’m crossing my fingers right now and hoping you didn’t develop your own website). There is a learning curve with this just as there is with any new skill and if you are not able to execute, seek out an expert to jumpstart your progress and manage your plan.
Your goal is to get your unique and informative content and messaging in front of as many interested people as possible. Never before has the opportunity to do this been as ripe as it is right now with the help of social media. The time for excuses is gone. Get on board and create your space in social media now.