In my work, I speak with many business owners about using social media to grow their business. They typically fall into three categories:
- Those who are hesitant to involve themselves in social media (“I wouldn’t know what to do with a Facebook page!”)
- Those who don’t believe social media will ‘work’ in their industry (“I sell to other businesses; it won’t work for me.”)
- Those who say they’ve tried social media and had no success (“I have a Facebook page, but I only have 14 likes and no one ever goes there.”)
I understand that it can be a daunting decision, striking out into the unknown and being unsure as to the worth of social media for their brand, but when properly done, social media is a powerful business tool that enables your company to connect and engage with current and prospective clients, build community and brand loyalty, and increase sales.
To those who don’t believe social media is appropriate for B2B sales, I say give me an hour of your time. I can show you many ways that social media can help you grow your business and increase sales. LinkedIn is a fabulous network for B2B businesses. YouTube and blogging are excellent ways for your brand to become known as the expert in your field.
And for the last group, I say that there is much more to social media for business than simply setting up a Facebook page or Twitter account and having your receptionist or a high school student post your latest specials. Unfortunately, many business owners take this first step then are disappointed when they don’t see hordes of new customers coming through their doors. For a funny take on this concept, watch this short video below from Business2Community.com.
When I hear things like, “Our company tried social media, but it just didn’t work” or “We have a Facebook page/Twitter account, but no one ever goes there”, I ask them to describe their strategies. More often than not, the answer is nothing more than a blank stare. I don’t blame them for not having a plan; this is a very new medium and there aren’t a lot of rule books out there. I do wonder why business owners don’t take the next step of asking for help from a professional. Think about it, if you were filling out your tax returns and didn’t know how to do it, you wouldn’t just abandon your taxes. You’d hire a professional to help – or at least consult with one.
Social media for business is a very powerful tool, but only when properly executed. It requires an investment of time and money, development of a strategy, and implementation of said strategy; just like any other marketing plan. The key word there is plan.
To get started, you’ll need to:
- Establish goals and objectives
- Conduct research
- Develop strategies
- Determine tactics
Many traditional marketing teams have little or no experience using social media for business and don’t know the nuances of social media marketing – and there are nuances – so having a marketing team in place won’t necessarily help you be successful in social media marketing. My suggestion is to consult with a social media professional, someone whose job it is to keep up with the ever-changing world of social media and is knowledgeable on best practices for social media marketing.
Social media strategists can work with you or your marketing team to help you develop your plan utilizing best practices. We can also do it for you so that you don’t have to worry about it and can go about the business of running your business – and take care of all those new customers!
Social media for business is no longer an option! You wouldn’t dream of opening a business without putting up a website, so why would you then deprive your business of one of the most powerful marketing tools available? In short, you shouldn’t! Really.
For more information on how Seek Media Group can help you integrate social media into your marketing efforts, please contact us today!
To help you get started, we’ll even give you a FREE social media assessment!