By far the most frequent frustration my clients and followers voice is the fact that they don’t have time for social media.
As business owners we are pulled in so many directions already, it’s hard to imagine that we now have to find time to make social media work or to supervise someone else doing it.
The problem is that if we don’t make that time we are going to be left behind. Social media has become an industry standard for marketing and communication across the board. It’s no longer an option to ‘sit this one out.’ By now, if you don’t have a presence on at least two of the top social media networks, you can consider yourself officially behind the times.
Social media platforms have passed the ‘fad’ test and are now firmly integrated into most marketing plans. Bricks and mortar companies may appear to be the big winners but business to business companies are building powerful relationships with social media as well, so if you fall in the latter category don’t be discouraged, social media will help your company grow too if you know how to use it.
Social media’s growth is indicative of the many ways that businesses are changing. From a close-to-your-chest model to a more collaborative, open and community based one, businesses across the globe are breaking through their comfort zones to embrace these platforms. They recognize that newer ways of nurturing relationships will get them more business than older ideas like throwing marketing dollars at a disinterested audience.
So, the question remains, “How do we make social media work for our company without spending a ton of time and/or money?” Here are some tips.
First, make sure you are not flying blind. Do some research, find out where in the social media realm your target customer hangs out and create a strategy designed to engage them. There are tons of resources available to help with that process, from online tutorials to hands-on workshops, or you can hire someone to do it for you but there is a caveat attached to that: Authenticity is huge in social media. The best brand advocate for your company is someone who works there, better yet, someone who is passionate about it. The best case scenario is to train in-house, this will ensure the message your audience receives is an authentic reflection of your company culture.
Next, make sure you schedule social media time. Even if you have a full time social media person/department, put time controls and accountability checklists in place to maximize company time spent on the platforms. Even if you have the world’s best employees, who among us has not been sucked into the vortex that is Facebook only to emerge an hour later when you originally intended to post a simple sentence? Uh huh, I can see you nodding your head.
These are just two of the many ways your company, no matter how large or small, can start to experience benefits from your social media presence. Benefits such as an increased customer base, increased product awareness, an increase in repeat customers, an increase in bottom-line sales and an increase in customer satisfaction. That would make your social media efforts well worth it wouldn’t you agree?
Alison Stoodley is the owner of Social Media Management. “If you would like to discuss how social media can benefit your company feel free to contact me via Email Facebook or LinkedIn and we can get the ball rolling.”