Can you really make Facebook, Twitter, and Groupon, among others, work for your small business.
If you are like most small businesses, you and your team are stretched thin. If you even have a team. All day long you are servicing customers, delivering products, managing finances and doing whatever it takes to keep your business up and running. The last thing you need is to waste time. But for many small businesses, that’s exactly what they are doing when it comes to marketing with social media.
The typical small business Facebook page is a ghost town. It might have some pictures of the business, a few posts about an event six months ago, and a handful of followers who joined when the page launched. On Twitter, there might be a couple posts a month and none of them are related to any customer question. The same is true for Foursquare. Groupon is like going to the casino: there’s a good chance you’ll come home with empty pockets.
It’s hard to resist the promise of marketing in social media. It’s personal, efficient, and it is growing at a remarkable rate. Your customers spend most of their media time on these sites and they are discussing product experiences and researching purchase decisions. But that doesn’t mean that every business should drop everything and start a Facebook page or a Twitter account. This isn’t like buying an ad in the newspaper or the Yellow Pages; You don’t just set it up and walk away.
To make the most of your social media marketing, you need to have a plan. Social media is about having an ongoing conversation with your customers, not droning on about your business while they ignore you. You have to put in the time to cultivate your existing customers and attract new ones. Yes, this will take a little more time and thought, but that’s why it works. If you “set it and forget it,” you are wasting your time. Guaranteed.
Here are six steps to make sure you don’t waste time in social media:
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