Hopefully you do. If not, you should give it some thought.
If your business is using social media there should be a reason behind it. There should be something you’re trying to achieve.
Using social media without a defined goal means it’s just a hobby for you.
But it has the potential to be so much more than that.
Social media marketing means being social with a purpose. Start by asking yourself: “What do I want social media to do for my business?”
There are several outcomes you can achieve with social media marketing:
- Enhance branding and awareness.
- Protect your reputation.
- Facilitate public relations.
- Build community.
- Drive research and development.
- Increase sales.
Decide your goals now, as they will guide your decsion-making for the future. You’re running a business so can’t afford to waste time, effort and money on something that isn’t going to move the needle.
There Is No One-Size-Fits-All Solution
I would love to fill this post with answers to the question of what you want to do with social media. But the fact is I couldn’t possibly cover every aspect of every business.
No one knows your business as well as you do. Only you understand the challenges you face and the potential opportunities that might come up. But I can offer some advice.
Steps You Can Take Right Now
Following these steps will help guide your thinking to better answer the question of what you want social media to do for your business.
Write down the top five problems your business is facing right now. Take each one and compare them against the seven outcomes I listed above.
Now look specifically at the top five communications problems you’re facing. Look at internal communications, vendor and partner communications as well as communication with your customers.
Then ask yourself if social channels like blogs, social networks, video sharing, collaboration platforms, or social media monitoring services help to solve these problems.
After doing this you will see solutions emerge that will help you decide what social media marketing can do for your business specifically.
Take A No Bullshit Approach
If you found this advice valuable I think you could really benefit from a book I recently read called No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide to Social Media Marketing
It covers everything I discussed in much greater detail. As the title suggests, it cuts straight through all the BS. Jason Falls, the author of the book, specifically looks how social media can be used to develop strategies that achieve business goals.
This doesn’t mean the book is filled with a bunch of annoying marketing tactics. Througout the book there is a heavy emphasis on being social. Jason firmly believes in building relationships first and selling only after you have gained trust and provided value.
It is a great read with plenty of actionable advice for using social media to improve business. He also provides a number of case studies showing how other people have used his advice to get business results.
How Can I Help?
So tell me, what’s the biggest problem facing your business right now? Let me know in the comments and I’ll do my best to offer some advice for how you can use social media to help solve the problem.