Your Business Is Using Social Media Incorrectly

Social Media is often cited as a valuable marketing tool, but is still misused by many multi-tasking business owners who lack a specialized marketing department. Make it a point to learn the ins-and-outs of social media, the ways to integrate it into your business strategy, and how to use it properly; before, during, and after you make the decision to climb on the social media wagon.

Despite the ubiquity of Facebook and Twitter in the everyday lives of most consumers, marketing to them with those social media platforms is still a relatively new proposition. As such, the world of social media marketing is constantly changing, with new tools, apps, and processes being unveiled at regular intervals. As an aspiring social media marketer, it is the responsibility of small business owners to learn how to use the medium correctly.

Have a Plan

Too often small business owners cite time as the resource they never have enough of. In the lives of these entrepreneurs, with innumerable commitments, parts of the business see the metaphorical ax, taking a spot on the back burner.

One advantage small and medium sized businesses have is that social media is rarely separated into its own group or location. This creates an environment primed for seamless integration.  With a hand or two in the social media aspect of marketing, business owners mitigate the potential for any disconnect in approach or philosophy.

Get (Or Become) an Expert

Large organizations are hiring positions designed specifically for social media management. Your business might not be able to allocate funding for such a position. You should be asking yourself what the person you hire to run your social media marketing campaign would be responsible for. If you can’t hire that person, learn how to do what they’d do.

There are numerous online social media marketing seminars available. Learn the basics of utilizing social media and the principals of marketing it successfully. Using social media is ineffective if you aren’t optimizing it. After finding out what you should be doing, see which of those responsibilities you can reasonably take on, and which can be automated or delegated.

Find the Right Platforms for Your Targets

Target audiences will always vary. Which social media platforms you ultimately employ will depend on whom your business is trying to reach. It is important to be selective in this department. You can and should use a number of platforms, but only as many as you can effectively manage. Do your homework and learn which platforms work best for your target audience.

Facebook and Twitter are current go-tos. Research the user demographics and the associated costs. The importance of this step cannot be underestimated. If you are targeting younger audience, Facebook may be forgone, in favor of Snapchat and Tumblr. Whatever direction you choose, make sure that it is a choice that focuses on your desired clientele and one that you can consistently be on top of.

Be ready for the next platform. In addition to the big name platforms, marketing can reach to Instagram and Pinterest. But new platforms are always cropping up and then blowing up. It took less than four years for Snapchat to be omnipresent in the worlds of American Youth. As Facebook sees an age separation in users, filtered feed problems and a subsequent decline in advertising reach, the next big thing could be around the corner. Look into Sulia and Bubblews. Keep an especially close eye on Ello; though it’s still in beta, the upcoming social media platform stands to compete with Facebook and Twitter. It could always become the next Google+ though. That’s the way this world works. But by being an up-to-date expert you’ll be positioned to utilize everything social media has to offer.

Check the Statistics

Social media allows for merchants to directly connect with consumers. Whether your company is utilizing email campaigns, employing a Twitter marketing approach, or testing the waters with Instagram, you’ll want to be aware of the success or failure of each aspect of your social media marketing efforts.

When integrating social media with your overall marketing strategy, it is important to measure its success with, and against, other aspects of the business strategy. You should quantify what effect your efforts are having on the overall business model.

As a part of your research into which platforms to employ, check how user data is compiled and what access you have to statistics. The ability to check Google Analytics for empirical data can substantially alter your approach. When you can see the reach of your marketing campaign and determine which parts of the process are reaching your desired demographic best, you can choose to anchor your marketing approach in the platforms that demonstrate the greatest value.

Always be learning from the process, finding the right platforms, exploring the data, and retooling your approach to see your business consistently reach desired customers at optimum times with the right products. When that happens, social media can work for you.

About author

Michael Barry
Michael Barry 31 posts

Michael Barry is the Editor-In-Chief at AgeOfTheSmallBusiness.com. Currently living in Boston, Massachusetts, he received his B.A. in Financial Economics from St. Anselm College and his MFA in Creative Writing from the Stonecoast Program at the University of Southern Maine.

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