Business are realising the power that social media marketing can have on achieving their overall marketing and business objectives. However, there is still much confusion with many small to Medium sized businesses around social media marketing.
It must be remembered that social or social network marketing is not a unique concept; but the integration of this concept with modern technology has created a phenomenon. However, it is still just one of many marketing mediums available to the business for the promotional, PR and marketing activities of the business. When it is not placed on a pedestal and treated in this mindset, businesses can evaluate the function and role that it has in the working environment.
Often when new products and services hit the market, there is much hype surrounding the releases and a natural urgency is developed by the general population considering that they have to be involved. This is the initial responses and what is still occurring with media marketing for business. However, as with all commercial decisions relating to the viability and profitability of the company, it must be highlighted that using social media as a component of the overall marketing strategy is a business decision, not a technology decision. Before any business attempts to utilize social media for marketing purposes, it must be understood what the benefits are, how the tools will be used in a targeted manner and how the new tools will be used in synergy with current and traditional marketing mediums.
Utilizing social media marketing for business purposes is completely different to that of personal use. Just because you may be confident in utilizing the range of social media tools for personal use doesn’t mean that you have the means of experience to complete this task for business. Just because you drive a car doesn’t mean that you’re a mechanic! Before the business engages in social media marketing, some key questions and considerations require answering, including:
• What are the objectives of the business? Putting the company on social network sites without a clear direction or strategy can be ineffectual at best and damaging to the business at worst. Is it to increase brand awareness, online business visibility, generate leads, make connections with current and potential customers, etc.
• What are you using the various sites for? Identify the key media sites that correlate with high usage of people within the parameters of your target market. What are each of the platforms going to be used for and define their roles? For example, recruitment, PR, competitions, marketing, etc.
• Who is charged with the responsibility of managing the channels? Do you have the staffing and expertise to manage the channels in house or is there need to use an external agency?
When contemplating the next steps for your business in the realm of social media marketing, it is essential that the platform and strategy be defined at the outset. Get in contact with a company that specializes in social media marketing and has a proven track record in delivering business results with the tools.