Ahh, yes social media – What is my business supposed to be doing there again?
Some businesses are comfortable in the social sphere, while others are just starting to venture out into that world. It’s an experimental medium for sure and there’s no right solution that works for everyone.
Ted presented several tips to assist those just starting out as well as ideas to help those already promoting their businesses and brands via social.
Identify Your Social Media Goals
What do you hope to achieve with your efforts? Are you looking to build awareness, or brand loyalty? Are you trying to educate people about your products or business? Do you hope to increase sales or recruit new members? Do you plan to use these channels for support or customer retention? When first starting out, it’s best to focus on one or two main goals, then add more gradually as you become comfortable. Once you’ve begun, take the time to reassess and refine your strategy at regular intervals.
It is not necessary for all businesses to be on all channels simply because they are there. Determine WHERE your customers already are and concentrate your efforts on those channels. Overall, your business needs should dictate your social needs.
While many social media tools are free, creating a social media presence is not. At the very least you will need to take into account your time or the employee time this will entail. In all likelihood, you already have the perfect person for social in your organization. Who is the “go-to” person in your company? The one who knows your business inside and out? These people are already your community leaders.
Another avenue you may choose is to hire a social media agency to create and manage your social channels. In addition, there are several companies (including IZEA) that allow you to create paid sponsorships so that others can direct traffic to you online.
For additional insights into social media sponsorships, see our 2012 State of Social Media Sponsorship Study.
Just Do It!
Jump in and get started. In an increasingly digital age, it is imperative to dedicate marketing dollars specifically for social media. Experiment to see what works best for your company, then increase your budget over time as your ROI justifies. As long as you make sure what you’re doing on social media is inline with your company goals and the needs of your customers, you’re off to a great start.