Defining social media as hot today is so yesterday…but it still hasn't lost its relevancy. And won't. Sure, there's a lot of clutter and hype (Twitter loses 6 out of ever 10 users every month – giving it's 1400% quarterly growth a bit of a petina) but knowing how to use and harnass Social Media (and other Web 2.0 technologies) is a must do if you really want to get the word out about your business.
Though most of the Social Media outlets are FREE, they are still very time consuming. And there in lies the rub of the issue. Most businesses mistakenly believe they can simply set up accounts and send out there deals, and wahlah, instant sales. Not so. You have to find your audience, grow your friends and follows, become an authority and a trusted source on your business, market, services, products, and/or industry. You have to be where web users are looking – which is EVERY WHERE.
The headache is that interactive marketing has become so segmented. Fragmented across multiple touchpoints. Don't just rely on the Google search index. People go to user review sites to find out which hotels are the best, web users ask their friends for advice, enter forums for product info and troubleshooting, or look for how to articles when they want to do it themselves.
The great thing about Social Media is that provides you with access to the EVERY WHERE – but you have to make the decision as a business that you want to walk through the door.
Managing Social Media is a juggling act at best – but it can be done when you put things in order. Your website and/or blog should be the foundation of your social media campaign; the place where you drive all the traffic – from your postings, articles, press releases, reviews, what ever.
Start with one or just a few of the top outlets – Facebook and Twitter – and get a good handle on them before you bite off more than you can chew. Once you feel comfortable with these tools, then move on to a new outlet. And schedule everything accordingly. With every new social outlet you need anywhere from one hour a day to at least 5 hours a month. Again, social media is all about engagement. If you don't stay infront of your market and customers (past, present and future) there's no point of doing it.
If you're balking at the idea of spending that much time – then scale back your networking reach.
Or – for a not so shameless plug – hire the services of a professional Internet marketing company to handle a lot of the heavy lifting. The setup and implementation, the monitoring, and campaign building.
Read this great article on Who Should Manage Your Social Media Marketing campaign.
Be on the look out for more "How to Organize your Social Media Marketing" advise. Or just email me directly.