The use of social media and social networking tools is widespread and very popular across the universe. Of course, it is one thing to use social media to communicate and interact and it is quite another to strategize with it.
In any business, the first thing that should always be done is an established business plan or strategy. Along with that, it is very important to have a social media policy. If you, as a business owner, don’t have a solid social media strategy, of course, don’t bother with the social media policy because it won’t do you any good. With that said, you should establish both as soon as possible if you want to leverage social media to its fullest potential. Your strategy should also factor in a great deal of solid communication and interaction with others online.
Social media is here to stay
Social media is so widely used at this point that it is safe to say that it is here to stay. With social media (as with all other forms of interaction), the communication and educational and informative efforts must be strong and consistent if you have a notion that it should help to make your business a success. It is all well and good to listen to what the “experts” are saying. Of course, you need to understand not just the “how” but also the “why” when it comes to your social media approach. A lot of smoke and mirrors with nothing behind them won’t get you very far.
On your social media journey, you must learn as much about social media, how it works, and what works most effectively for your business. To a great extent, your social media strategy will not look anything like the social media strategy of another business owner. Your strategy will have been customized to your needs and the the nature of your particular business. It is critical that you view social media as an extremely powerful and effective marketing tool. Additionally, always remember to keep your customers’ needs in mind when designing your strategy. Listening is a critical skill to have when it comes to the success of your business. However, it is also essential that you learn how to listen to what is important and to weed out what is not important.
If you don’t get your business involved in social media, it doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t be successful. Many business owners were successful in the past before social media even existed. However, you are now living in a different age. It is an age in which you have to keep up with what other business people are doing. If you everyone else is effectively leveraging social media and you are not using it, you and your business will be left behind. You really have no choice. Your focus should always be centered around your customers. Always remember that your top priority is WIIFM (What’s In It For Me). Their needs and wants come above everything. Your principal responsibility is to solve their problems.
Social media marketing is a very broad concept. It means different things to different people. Once you have established your marketing strategy (a strategy that is built around social media to a great extent), you need to figure out exactly what you need to do to successfully implement your plan in a way that includes the essential elements to make your business succeed. No matter what, you will be ahead if you use social media appropriately and effectively.
The basics of social media for your business
- Listen to your customers so that their experience is positive.
- Successfully work effectively in a multichannel environment.
- Consider everyone a customer.
- Enjoy more success by providing relevant, appropriate, personalized service and communication. This will result in additional business for you.
Return on Investment (ROI)
As a business owner, It is natural to want a healthy ROI as a result of all of your efforts. As social media gains more and more popularity, many more people are learning how to capture the metrics that occur as a result of social media use. Once you have captured the metrics, you can begin to understand the return on investment and then redirect if and when your plan requires tweaking. The way to gain online connections is all about valuable content that you share with as many people as possible. It has little to do with money and everything to do with consistent and regular effort on your part as the business owner. Of course, “free” is an extremely misleading term at times. Nothing is free. It’s just that not every price demands money.
The concepts discussed here are critical to the success of your business through your online efforts. Before you even begin to lay out a social media strategy, you need to figure out what is important for your particular business and never waiver from that essential path. Through your interactions with other people online, you will be able to understand how your brand is perceived and thus, make revisions as needed. The chances are great that you will have a plan and then as you are working toward your business goals, you may change little things along the way. Life doesn’t go in a stick straight path that never gets wavy. Business doesn’t do that either. You need to always remember the balance between sticking with what you believe in and being flexible when it is necessary for the good of your business.
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Michael Cohn is the founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of CompuKol Communications LLC. He has over 25 years of experience in IT and web technologies.
Mr. Cohn founded CompuKol Communications to help small businesses and entrepreneurs increase their exposure and reputation on the Internet. CompuKol consults, creates, and implements communication strategies for small businesses to monopolize their markets with a unique business voice, vision, and visibility.
Prior to that, Mr. Cohn spent a significant amount of time at a major telecommunications company, where his main focus was on initiating and leading synergy efforts across all business units by dramatically improving efficiency, online collaboration, and the company’s Intranet capabilities, which accelerated gains in business productivity. His expertise includes social media marketing strategies; internet marketing; web presence design; business analysis; project management; management of global cross-matrix teams; systems engineering and analysis, architecture, prototyping and integration; technology evaluation and assessment; systems development; performance evaluation; and management of off-shore development.
Mr. Cohn earned a Master’s degree in project management from George Washington University in Washington, DC; and a Master’s degree in computer science and a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, NJ.