There’s a common misconception about social media and business. While it may be in a company’s best interest to build up a strong social media presence, the fact of the matter is that not every business is operating online. In fact, a lot of brands—big, small, young or old—don’t even consider it.
It’s not necessarily that these brands believe marketing via social media to be too much of a chore. It’s more to do with the actual environment and the fact that social media is a different world than what most business people are used to. Not every company can afford to hire social media-specific employees to handle it, and there’s a fear of handling the branding aspect alone.
Are these fears misplaced? The simple answer is yes, but it’s not always that cut and dry. There are many different issues to consider before you partake in an online marketing campaign, and every businessperson would do well to ask themselves some honest questions before following through.
6 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Going Social
1: What can I gain by using social media?
Understanding what’s actually in it for your business is something in everyone’s interests. Social media presents a great opportunity for you to expand your market and to exponentially increase your customer base. Not only can you target and attract a lot more people from all across the globe, but you can also increase your overall brand exposure and image. You also stand to make more money, even if it’s by virtue of not spending nearly as much on your advertising.
2: Can my business handle the work of branding?
Consistent hands-on care is required for your brand’s image and for your marketing. You won’t have to sit at a computer 24-hours a day tweaking your different profiles, but you do have to be consistent with your posts and the quality of those posts. You do have to strive to create promotions and targeted ads which draw in the right people. It is work, even though it may not be grueling labor. Understanding the process puts you in a much better position.
3: Is the feedback something I can actually handle?
One of the best aspects of social media is an aspect that makes a lot of business owners cringe. Not only will you receive comments and feedback pertaining to your material and your brand, but this is something that usually happens quickly and without a filter. Was Jack Nicholson right? You can’t handle the truth? Figure it out beforehand whether you can accept honest feedback, as painful as it may be.
4: Can I separate my social efforts to judge them correctly?
Not every business is skilled at marketing enough to separate their metrics. You may end up only looking at your bottom line, and this can create a false picture of what your social marketing is accomplishing. You have to separate what you’re doing with each social site to keep things compartmentalized. Only then can you get an accurate picture of what’s working and what isn’t.
5: Am I taking the right approach to creating material?
The types of ads you create in the real world won’t play well in the social world, and this causes a lot of people to create silly social ads which come across more like spam than actual ads. It also causes people to release incoherent, messy material by way of numerous page posts. Learn about the type of material you should be releasing as a brand before you start creating it.
6: Do I understand how SEO still plays a role in social marketing?
Search engine optimization doesn’t lose its importance just because you’re dealing with social media sites. You still have to focus on keywords and on solid linking practices when using Facebook or Twitter. You still have to optimize your content in a way that helps your rank beyond the initial viewing of your latest post or ad.
If content is king on the Internet, information is the supreme force which controls all of life. If you’re not informed on a subject, you fail at it. It’s really as simple as that. And failing on social media doesn’t always mean the failure affects only your social presence; it can affect your entire brand.
Needless to say, it’s important that you ask yourself some crucial questions to ensure you’re ready for the road ahead.
Eric Taylor is a social media enthusiast, freelance writer and business developer for Qwaya a Facebook ad campaign tool, that focuses on building tools for social media marketing. Qwaya provides information, tools and up-to-date news about social media marketing strategies. The site also aims to build a very sophisticated tool with powerful features that are user-friendly and affordable for online advertisers and marketers world wide.Author's Google+