Introduction To The Risks
Social Media is a low return investment unless you can maintain a plan from start to finish. Hell, it might not even be worth it for you despite all those that say it’s a “must have in 2013” and other assorted grandiose statements. Hopefully by the end of this you get an idea of the time and monetary investment it takes to actually execute and you can decide whether it really is worth it for your business.
First thing and most important is identifying whether your business is in a social media compliant niche. Are your customers even ON social media? If you run an old folk’s home, they actually are, because your customers are the children of the elderly. If you run a home handyman service and your customers for the last 20 years have all been 70 year old women who need you to change a lightbulb then maybe they aren’t. Do a little bit of research on your customers and leverage some of your common sense and then read on.
It is very important to set goals along the way to ensure that you are achieving a maximum return on your investment. So often social media comes to naught because of errors made in the planning stage. It is important to start with something you know you can maintain. Don’t plan to spend an hour a day on Facebook interacting with your customers if you’re going to be too busy to do it. Instead make it 10 minutes a day or an hour every few days. That way you can set the goals reflective of the initial plan and be comfortable knowing that it’s possible and perhaps likely that you’re going to accomplish what you set out to do with social media. And be warned. Opening up your business to social media can be confronting. We’ve had clients before that when they opened themselves up on a public forum received scathing criticism that was painful to read. The internet can be a harsh place. Here’s a good example.
Coming Up With A Plan
The actual implementation of social media as a business tactic is fundamentally pretty simple:
- Choose the right social media platform for your industry
- Get likers/followers
- Distribute your own content
- Engage in discussion with customers
- Distribute content your customers/fans would be interested in that isn’t yours
- Share your promotions