Not The Same Old, Same Old
You might be very familiar with Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. But what about Foursquare, Quora and MySpace (Yes, they are still around)? Today there are more than a hundred different social media platforms, some of them familiar, some not so familiar, and each one can help your business build its brand and expand its reach.
So Many Choices
Knowing which social media outlets will best serve your purposes is the role of a social media professional. (I happen to know a few excellent social media professionals who can help–click here.) A social media professional can help analyze the ever changing social media landscape and help you focus just on those sites which can best help your company market itself and achieve your goals.
Know Your Goals
Of course all this help assumes you already know what your goals are. You do, right? Every business manager should have a plan for where they want their company to be in 6 months, 12 months and 5 years. Knowing what milestones you hope to achieve in that time, your social media professional can hone in on the specific steps you need to take to help your company achieve its goals.
Don’t be afraid to use social media, but be certain your expectations are within reach.
BENEFITS OF USING SOCIAL MEDIA FOR BUSINESS
Firstly, it’s important to note that Social Media is a tool, and forms part of an overall marketing strategy. It will only be effective if you have first established your target market, and you provide content that is relevant to your overall goal.
Social Media opens up many possibilities – there is not a one-size-fits-all solution to making it work, but some real advantages of using Social media are:
Social media is an effective and cost-efficient tool
Can help to promote and develop your business
Can increase product or brand awareness
Helps you communicate more effectively with your customers
Most services are free to use
Potential to reach millions of prospective customers
Integrates with other types of media and can lead to increased web traffic.
WHAT’S THE RIGHT CHOICE FOR YOUR BUSINESS?
There isn’t a right or wrong answer to this question – Social Media is as much about experimentation as it is about the conversation, engagement and sharing aspect of its success. It’s important to understand that Social Media is not simply a platform to broadcast a message – certainly, this can be done, but the success of this kind of campaign will be limited.
Think of Social Media as similar to conversing with a customer face-to-face – they will not easily tolerate a hard sell, nor will they appreciate being talked at, and not being talked with. Look at your competitors and other similar businesses, see what they are doing on social media and see how you can do it better.
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