Social media is an interesting and fast moving set of sites, tools and communications methods which can have great potential to allow small companies to be on even footing or even out maneuver much larger competitors. However, it's not for everyone, can be very confusing, can challenge your traditional concepts on how to market and quite frankly not everything will be appropriate for you and your business.
Social media is all about communicating in electronic form with publication that is immediate. If you think about it it's a pretty amazing thing. Instead of having to call clients, mail letters or fax blast you simply log into an account, type up your message and click a virtual button. However, be prepared for a rapid response. Interactivity is a heck of a thing to get used to because all the negatives comments come in a long with all the good. Be prepared mentally and use your best customer skills to turn negative opinions around.
Start Easy and Get Comfortable
If social media is new to you then use this advice, "how do you eat an elephant?". Answer, "one bite at a time". The first thing you should do is "lurk". Pick some blogging sites and topics that interest you. It can be related to your business or it can be of personal interest. The main thing is it should be something you are interested in and better yet something you're passionate about. Learn what people are saying and how they are writing. Join a community and start to post. Start by responding to questions and giving encouragement to comments you like and agree with. Soon you'll be creating your own posts.
Social Media Negatives
- Having no fans and no posts gives a poor impression for your company
- Negative comments, and sometimes they are very angry, are mixed in with the good
- Social pages can be "hijacked" by organized strongly negative groups
- These sites are like gardens they require regular "care and feeding"
- Traditional marketing efforts usually don't work well with this type of media
- Older consumers are the minority users of these tools (but its growing)
- You have limited control
- Social media can be manipulated by your competitors