The temptation can be overwhelming. Create a Facebook fan page, Twitter account and a blog for your small business and at little or no cost you have the chance to market your products and services to hundreds, thousands, or even millions of potential customers.
But for many small business owners, implementing a social media strategy can be confusing, overwhelming, and very difficult to manage.
Before you do a massive cannonball into the proverbial social media and blogging pool, be sure you’re able to answer the following questions:
1. What do you hope to accomplish? Clearly define your goals and expectations up front as this will guide your overall social media and blogging strategy.
2. Which social media platform(s) does your target audience use most frequently? Ask potential or current customers about their social media usage. Benchmark against key competitors to determine which platforms seem to work best based on your unique industry or niche.
3. What will make you unique and memorable? With so many businesses already using social media, it can be difficult to stand out to your customers (think rows of indistinguishable tubes of toothpaste at your local grocery store). Before one Facebook status update or tweet, you must be able to articulate what you want to be known for and how you will position yourself to showcase the unique voice and personality of your business. This will be the thread that ties everything back to your core message.
4. How much time do you really have to dedicate to content generation and routine maintenance? Growing your social media following will require weekly (if not daily) maintenance. Do you have the resources to dedicate to social media and blogging in the short and long term? Unfortunately, as we’ve learned from news headlines, this isn’t something you can easily farm out to someone else.
Creating an effective social media and blogging presence for your small business will involve a long-term commitment of both time and resources. When done right, it can pay huge dividends. When done wrong, it will be a huge pain in your gut.
If you’re a small business owner and you’re considering developing a social media strategy and/or blog, let’s connect--I would be happy to help you explore all of your options.
By: Shawn Graham
[Image: Flickr user Lachlan Hardy]