Social media sites and services are popping up everywhere, all boasting phenomenal connectivity to current, potential and emerging markets.
Okay, so where does this leave you, Fair Business Owner? Which of these remarkable sites will grow your brand awareness while providing a high return of investment (ROI)?
In this 2-part series, we'll help you determine which social media site or social media mix meets your burgeoning needs.
Words of Wisdom
Before we delve into the social media mire, let's go over some ground rules.
Don't forgo your other marketing efforts in favor of social media. Incorporate, not eliminate.
Also, don't go social media crazy. You'll be shocked how much time you'll waste and how stretched you'll feel.
If you're a small business owner with limited resources, time and staff, then try a social media platform that doesn't take a lot of effort and is easy to maintain. Essentially, find the platforms that offer you the most bang for your buck.
For those business owners who have the resources to devote to a comprehensive social media marketing plan, ensure there is proper oversight.
For everyone: Plan your social media strategy; integrate it into your existing marketing strategy; monitor your progress; and test.
Considered the reigning champion of social media platforms, Facebook offers high visibility and traffic. Since it has moved entirely out of dorm rooms into the real world, businesses of all sizes find great connectivity to customers and other industry leaders and is a fantastic tool for event promotion, product launches, and customer feedback. The response is immediate and oftentimes unrelenting.
Plus, it's cool to be on Facebook. Everyone who is anyone is on it, right?
For SEO, Facebook truly fails. Essentially, you have to know what you're looking for to find it on Facebook. Also, users are even more leery of spamming and overt sales pushes from businesses. For those business owners who are a bit scared of learning what the general public actually thinks of them, then Facebook isn't the best place.
Truth rules on Facebook, whether you like it or not.
B2B or B2C
The Bottom Line
For any size business, Facebook is an easy way to dip your toe into the social media sea. However, Facebook needs to be closely and carefully monitored.
Unlike Facebook, the basis of Twitter is a dialogue. A fantastic social media tool to have a one-on-one conversation directly with your customers, vendors, and clients. Instead of posting blogs that often tip on the side of pedantic, Twitter forces you to get to the point quickly. Twitter for businesses looking to generate interest and brand awareness without losing a direct connection to customers.
Or, rather, what is challenging about Twitter is that you're not responsible for spreading the message about your company, your followers are. Essentially, you don't have any control over where your message goes or how people respond, and you can only do so much without getting into annoying territory.
Further, some marketing industry insiders are now shying away from Twitter, only because the Tweets are becoming full of "@," "#" and other Twitterspeak. This makes it harder and harder to follow a conversation. For those new to Twitter, it will seem daunting, especially when you have to learn a new lingo-filled language.
B2B or B2C
The Bottom Line
Much like Facebook, every business under the sun has a Twitter page. Ultimately, it is a fabulous platform for connectivity but does require oversight. There are software systems out there that manage your Twitter page for you. Unlike Facebook, with Twitter, you need to cut through the noise to be heard, which can be challenging.
For more tips on using Twitter marketing, please check out our Twitter Marketing blog. We provide helpful and insightful posts for both the new user and the expert user.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of this series very soon.