It’s difficult to find anyone advocating that social media engagement is not worthwhile to your business. The problem though is whether the time and resources, and believe me it takes a sizable investment in both, make it more worthwhile than other forms of marketing? What most marketing guru’s, especially those of the social media kind, fail to consider, is the size of the dog in the fight.
If you are a large organisation with a defined marketing budget, your own marketing team made up of dedicated professionals working fulltime to put your brand in the faces of a market analysed to the point of knowing their every waking move, then it’s a no brainer – allocate a sizable portion of your marketing spend to driving social media engagement and it won’t be hard to find someone to tell you that you’ve done the right thing.
But what about the rest of us?
For the average small business, already stretched to the limits trying to match finite human resources with an increasingly competitive market place, it can be difficult to allocate even a few hours a week to a new task that may have results difficult to quantify. Does that mean we can afford to ignore social media? Not at all, it just means we need to be smart as to how we address the need to be involved so that the best return is obtained for those precious hours spent tweeting, pinning, posting, blogging, watching and chatting.
If you don’t think you can effectively manage keeping a solid strategy working for half a dozen social media forms then don’t even try. You will have far more success if you dedicate your efforts to one or two platforms and actually achieve creating a relationship with your market than you will if you use a scatter gun approach and target every social media channel but fail to engage your users.
To help with your choice of social media channels use the following points as a guide:
- Facebook – need a fan club? Facebook is the place to be. Because it has such an enormous following you have the ability to create strong relationships with a wide demographic. The flexibility to add links, photos and put a more personal face on your business makes Facebook a leader in the social media scrum.
- Twitter – for instant involvement or anything that is happening ‘now’. Events, news and messages that can be sent and responded to quickly is ideal for use with Twitter.
- Pinterest – because it is a very visual platform is well suited to businesses that rely heavily on creating visually appealing messages e.g. products that need to be seen, such as holiday destinations and accommodation. Pinterest is especially useful to markets with a female audience due to the proportion of female users.
- LinkedIn – provides easy ways to become connected with other businesses. So if you are in the B2B market or networking is important then LinkedIn should be high on your list.
- YouTube – is another highly visual media and by producing content in-house can allow you to display video of products without the need for enormous production costs. YouTube is also a great way to support products with instructional and demonstration videos.
Still not convinced?
If you still aren’t sure that you can dedicate the effort required then there is always the outsourcing alternative. Have a program developed that includes regular posts, articles or whatever level of engagement is necessary to ensure a targeted approach to becoming involved in the social media phenomenon and you are unlikely to be disappointed.