3 Important Things to Consider Before Using Social Media in Your Small Business

Posted on 16 October 2010 by Vic

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard about social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. With any new marketing tool comes the inevitable person who jumps in thinking it’s going to double sales over night. That guy is going to be disappointed.

However, I’ve seen people build an email list by simply posting to sites a couple times that the list exists so social media marketing does work. I want to share with you some things to think about before using social media in your business.

Competition Is Increasing Fast

According to the 2010 Social Media Marketing Benchmark Report by Marketing Sherpa Report, over 78% of businesses use Facebook and social networking sites and 63% use Twitter and other microblogging sites in their social media strategies. This means that your competitors might already have beat you to the punch in getting the most out of these tactics.

However, only 1/3 of businesses actively seek out relationships with bloggers. The fact is there are still tactics where you can differentiate yourself and you have to focus on these tactics.

Social Media Is A Tool Not the Toolbox

As many marketing trends go, a lot of businesses have a “if we do it, it’ll work” and this simply isn’t the case. I hate to break it to you but social media can’t rescue a failing business. It’s more of a bolt on tactic with whatever other marketing you’re doing. Yes, it can help build your business.

But it isn’t going to double your sales over night. To prevent yourself from being disappointed, realize that social media is a long term marketing tool that takes time to work.

If you’re Bad, Social Media Will Fry You

Social media has made it possible for dissatisfied customers to really destroy your reputation pretty quickly. With a click of a button, someone can share a link on Facebook that “proves” you did something wrong and your local reputation will go into the toilet.

It’s strongly suggested that if you want to use social media, you should fix all the service and product quality issues that are currently facing your business. Social media is like a bus. It can take you wherever you want to go or run you over, depending on what you do with it.

Overall, social media is a powerful marketing tool you should be using in your business. However, make sure you follow these simple tips so you gain business not lose it from your social media marketing efforts.

Author: Vic

Vic is conducting Web Usability tests and is doing Search Engine Optimization for a Toronto SEO company. He is also a seasoned front end web developer building websites for Toronto clients.

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