Is social media absolutely necessary for every business? The short answer, no… but here’s a quick test to evaluate whether you should invest time in social media or not… As a business, is would word of mouth advertising or referrals something that you find useless to your business strategy? If the answer is no, then social media is definitely something that you should look into for your marketing strategy plans.
The misconception with social media is that because the channel exists (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, etc.), you should be on it. This is entirely untrue. With every social media channel, there are certain strategies that work best and industries that can benefit more from the use of certain social media channels than others. The worst thing you can do as a business is create a social media channel and never update it. If there is one thing you take away from this blog post, let it be that
“social media is all about community”. And without a conversation or connection, there is no community. Therefore, creating a social media channel ‘just because’ without regular updates (or regular communication) will probably lead you down the path of social media failure.
Creating a community on your social media channels is extremely important. It keeps you in contact with your customers (and potential customers) and gives them the 24/7 access they may be looking for even though your 9-5 brick and mortar store is closed. Social media provides a real-time opportunity to connect with your customers. For example, how many times have you said the phrase “I wish I knew someone who did ….blank….”. With a properly executed Facebook Business page presence and an active community following – your business just may be on the receiving end of filling in the blank on a product or service that someone with your community, or your friends’ community, or your friend’s friend’s friend’s community is looking for. With real-time social notifications and alerts, you can investigate the potential lead and make the sale before your competition even knows about it. The power of social media is really quite amazing.
The truth of the matter is that social media is time consuming – ‘a social time vacuum’ if you will. This is why coming up with a strategy can really help you to prioritize and designate specific time to social media without it overtaking your day. However, as business owner, maybe you don’t have the time or man power to take on utilizing social media channels in an effective way and that’s okay. After all, you are the business and who better to sell your business and be the face of your business than you and your associates. Successful social media marketing is absolutely achievable through an agency. Weekly/bi-weekly/monthly meetings can help to educate your social marketing agency with your products and services and this is the minimal time that you will need to dedicate to your agency to get your plan up and running.