Social Media is becoming a more widely accepted form of marketing each and every day. Businesses, from small to large, have warmed to the concept and have become more educated about what Social Media is and how it can be used to efficiently and effectively market a product or service and build a brand online.
It was not so long ago that many businesses, mostly out of fear and a lack of understanding, stayed far away from Social Media. Today, many business owners and executives have finally started to understand what Social Media is and how it can be used for marketing purposes. Increasingly, small businesses are attempting to leverage its power, with varying results.
I often come across small business owners that have been turned on to Social Media for their business in some way, shape or form. This is understandable. Not a day goes by that there isn’t a story in the mainstream media about Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, or some other social media-related topic. With the exponential growth on Facebook of the older demographic, it is easy to see why more and more business owners are hopping on the Social Media bandwagon.
While Social Media can be an inexpensive way to market your business and build your brand online, in real-time, it needs to be done right to be effective, and can even be counter-productive if done wrong.
I have come across many business owners who tell me they don’t need anyone to help with their Social Media presence because they have someone ‘in-house’ who does it for them. From my experience, the employee tasked with this responsibility is almost never a the right person for the job. I often speak to business owners who have a bookkeeper, office assistant, waitress or some other employee managing their Social Media, and in most cases, doing a poor job.
Many business owners have told me they have a friend or relative maintaining their Social presence; a niece or sister-in-law or cousin. I have heard of business owners who have their children managing their company’s Social Media channels. They are under the false assumption that because this waitress or bookkeeper or child has 1000 friends on their own personal Facebook Profile, that person can effectively build a following and manage and maintain the businesses Social Media in such a way as to drive more traffic, and ultimately, more revenue.
These business owners know they need Social Media. They don’t want to miss the boat, and that is commendable. But, if you are going to do something, do it right.
To effectively and efficiently use Social Media to market your business, build brand awareness and undertake reputation management, you need an experienced and educated professional, or a team of them.
The consequences of incorrectly using Social Media can be irreversible. I frequently see Facebook Profiles incorrectly used for businesses. Remember, Facebook Profiles are for individuals, not businesses. Pages are for businesses. If you do not follow this rule and you are a business, using a profile, (not a page) then you are technically in violation of the terms and conditions, which may not seem important, until you realize that Facebook could, if they chose to, close your profile down, and, if they do, you could lose all those ‘friends’ you’ve acquired who could have become fans of your business page instead. This can do irreparable harm to your business’s online presence.
Additionally, many small businesses do not have existing employees with significant, if any, marketing experience. And certainly, most small businesses don’t have existing employees with Social Media Marketing experience.
Additionally, small to mid-size businesses need to consider the costs associated with handling their own Social Media Marketing ‘in-house’. If a business uses an existing employee to set-up, manage and maintain their Social Media presence, many incorrectly assume there is no cost associated with this. But they are wrong. The average salary for a full-time employee in the US is approximately $39,000 per year. This translates to approximately $20 per hour. Even the existing employee is only spending one hour per day, five hours per week, this totals nearly $500 per month, or $6000 per year,. And, this is before factoring in unemployment insurance, payroll taxes, medical benefits and other costs.
Even in this scenario, you are only getting one person with little to no experience in marketing or Social Media. They may not even be doing anything effective and can even be doing things that are counter-productive in marketing your business online. Most likely, this employee also has little to no experience with graphic design or copywriting and probably doesn’t even know what SEO or keywords are.
Fortunately, there are some new solutions for small to mid-size business looking to break out in the world of Social Media Marketing, and do it right. Today, there are some innovative new marketing agencies emerging that specialize in Social Media Marketing for smaller business. Some, like Davanti Digital Media, have the experienced and educated staff to be able to provide legitimate and effective Social Media Marketing solutions for businesses with virtually any size marketing budget.
Agencies like Davanti provide you with an entire team of marketing strategists, copywriters, graphic designers and account manager to fully design, implement, manage and maintain a business’s Social Media Marketing strategy. Plus, they provide all this on a budget that virtually any business can afford.
Today, all businesses need Social Media, no matter the size. Business have many options when it comes to carrying out an online marketing strategy. There are some things that should be left to the professionals, and in the world of marketing for small businesses, Social Media is number one on the list.