Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Social Media Marketing: The Dirty Secret

Just going through some old blog posts and amazingly I wrote this in 2011 and it is as if nothing has changed. Too many local businesses have done nothing of any worth to get their business online even now as we head into 2014.

Are you taking your business seriously enough to be using the new media to promote what you do to the people who can be your customers?

Social media marketing is topic of the day it seems wherever I turn. Old media can't get enough of new media and it seems like they have run out of ideas to broadcast and are stuck trying to make their old media 'hip' by chasing the new media wagon.

Like so many things that are reported in the sensationalist media outlets, much of what is reported sounds good ...but when you get right down to it has some fatal flaws. Social media marketing is no exception.

Let me start by making this statement.

Social media for business is nothing about Facebook. 
Nothing about Twitter and nothing about any other platform that you might use. Just as your business is not the accounting package you use. But like your accounting package, you can use it well, or you can 'half use it' and waste the functionality that it could be giving you to better place your business and ensure your success.

Here's the dirty secret that people promoting social media don't want you to face. The owner or manager of your average conventional business doesn't find pleasure in hanging around online and nor do they have spare time to spend that way. If they did have spare time, there are other things they would rather be doing.

Neither do they understand why they should care about social media for business, or the internet or even have noticed that the world has changed and what worked in the past may no longer be the way to get the returns they want.

Conventional business has been sold a lot of bunkum about new media and not much in the way of real information that they can understand and relate to their business situation.

Local businesses are often run by people who don't spend time online in a way that opens them up to new business research and frankly the more information that we are faced with, the more we can turn away from it in self defense. Too much information. No real way to tell the good from the not-so-good and soon we become hit with a wall of overwhelm.

For the business owner or manager considering how they could use the tools of social media for business the first thing to understand is this: You need to understand what this can do for you, and what you will need to learn, and acquire, and actions to take in order for this to give you any benefit that you can measure.

First Step:

Before You Start...
Make sure you have the answers to these questions.

  • What is the situation in my business that I'd like social media to be able to address?
  • What do I need in the form of resources to use social media as a marketing addition?
  • What budget can I dedicate to my social media marketing?
  • Who can help me to physically work on the social media campaign with the skills the business needs?
  • How much effort am I prepared to put into learning to understand this marketplace?
  • Is my website properly set up to take advantage of increased traffic and to allow customers to purchase easily?
  • What else besides sales is beneficial as an outcome for my business by being online and active? 
  • What do you want your business to look like in 1 year... 5 years time?
  •  How will you provide the content that you need to generate interest online?
  • What's the story you want customers to know about your business and values to share?

Now what?

These are just a few questions to get you started. There are many more and yet as you see, none of them are questions about Facebook, or Linkedin, or Twitter or any other social media platform.

Related articles

Your keywords versus what customers search for online 

How your business just became an online publisher and why it is a productivity issue 

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SEO New York said...

A well designed and implemented social media marketing campaign will help bring in a decent amount of back links to your site as a byproduct. It can increase brand exposure and PR for a fraction of traditional advertising costs and effort, as well as provide large scale market research and product refinement ideas at no extra charge. Thanks a lot.

lindyasimus said...

Yes that 'well designed and implemented' element is so important.

Thanks for your comment.

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