If you own any sort of business, online or offline, then social media could be a great asset for you.
If you’re reading this, then you’ve probably given it a serious thought and decided to make use of social channels to get more awareness for your small business.
However, before you jump aboard, you need to make an informed decision first. You need to make sure that social media will contribute to your business’s bottom-line and not just drain your business resources. To do so, here are 5 things to consider thinking about.
1- The Why
I probably embedded this video several times in my previous blog posts and I’m going to embed it again because it’s one of the best presentation I have even seen.
Simon Sinek, in his famous talk, made it clear that great leaders always start with the “WHY”!
The same thing applies to you and your business.
whenever you’re about to make a decision, you should always ask yourself “WHY”?
In our case, why do you want to make use of social media?
If the answer is: everyone is using it OR everyone is recommending it, then I advise you to take a step back and not spend your company’s resources on something just because you see everyone is using it.
On the other hand, if your answer was: most of my prospects/customers use social media, then you’re on the right track.
After you determine the “WHY” behind using social media, then the “WHAT” and “HOW” will come easily.
Unlike many people think, social media isn’t FREE!
Yes, the platforms might be free to create an account on, but the marketing will cost your company resources (time, budget, team…etc).
It’s true that social media is considered an affordable marketing medium, but that doesn’t make it cheap, especially with social channels requiring people to pay for advertising to exploit the full potential of a platform like Facebook. The “Pay to Play” trend is emerging, and soon enough all social platforms will move into that model.
Before getting started with social media, you need to allocate the resources for it first. This will make the execution process very smooth and easy.
3- Proper Training/Consulting
Social media marketing is one of the fastest changing industries the world has ever witnessed. The technology and platforms change everyday and so are the strategies and tactics.
Before you get started with social media, I would advise that you invest in the right training for you or your team in addition to ongoing consulting to make sure you’re making the best use of these social channels.
The right trainer/consultant will help you get on the right foot with social media marketing instead of you wasting lots of your business resources on expired and non effective strategies.
4- How to Integrate Social With Other Programs
You’re going to see the real power of social ONLY if you integrate it with your other marketing programs. Like any other effective medium, social media can’t function on its own unless it’s tied to other efforts such as: blogging, email marketing, PPC…etc.
For more info on this, check out my post “Social Media Marketing is an Integrated Strategy, not the Holy Grail“.
I believe the reason why many small businesses fail to capitalize on social media is because they think of it in a vacuum. They think that social media will solve all of their business pains, when in fact it needs other mediums to succeed.
5- Success Factors
Success factors are very important to define before you start executing your social media marketing strategy. They are the metrics that will tell whether your social programs is contributing to your business’s bottom-line or not.
These success factors depend on the investment you made + your business objectives. Measuring social media effectiveness isn’t that complicated for a small business and it’s definitely not impossible like what other marketers claim. The selection of those success factors depend heavily on your business objective from social media whether it’s brand awareness, increasing leads and sales, customer service…etc.
These were 5 things you need to consider before getting started with social media. You should give equal importance to planning as well as to executing. If you want to see the process that I use to design social media marketing strategies for my clients, check out this free ebook!
Leave a comment and let me know your thoughts on this!
Image Credit: Emil Bacik