Is Your Business Ready For Social Media?
Are you tempted to take your business into the Social Media frenzy? Can't hear yourself think through the deafening hype about Facebook and Twitter? Most small businesses need to consider the fundamentals of online marketing first before straying too far into Social Media.
The buzz around social media is almost deafening. Everywhere one looks, there is a new post on a hot blog talking about leveraging Facebook to build your business or how Twitter will change the face of marketing. Perhaps they are right. But is your small business ready to jump into social media?
Your first instinct might be "of course...don't we HAVE to be there?" Not necessarily. The temptation is to refocus marketing efforts to where the hot trends are. But you have to ask yourself some basic questions before you embark on a social media marketing effort.
First, are you fully leveraging the fundamentals of online marketing? I find that many small businesses are not implementing best practices within the basics of organic site traffic building, converting that traffic and email marketing. This troika of tactics are the core of a sound online marketing program and venturing into social media at the expense of these key areas would be irresponsible.
It's not surprising that in these tough economic times that most small businesses have to be shrewd in their marketing efforts. Does it really make sense to refocus resources to Facebook or Twitter at the expense of building sound email engagement pathways that can convert existing customers into repeat buyers?
That leads us to the next question. If you do feel like you've got the fundamentals in place and you're ready to venture into social media, what is your strategy? Are you trying to reach a new audience or trying to build loyalty with your existing customers? What tactics do you plan on using? Facebook ads or a viral campaign? Are you building segmented landing pages for Web visitors from Facebook?
I certainly agree that social media has a growing place within a sound integrated marketing strategy. However, don't get caught chasing the latest, greatest, hottest trend. Build your online marketing plan, evaluate your results, add new tactics like social media in an integrated fashion, and test, test, test.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Trent is an experienced Internet marketing consultant that has helped small businesses and non-profit organizations realize explosive sales and results. A speaker at many top conferences, Trent has been helping his clients for over 14 years. He is a frequent contributor to Breakthrough Marketing Methods. Get your free 7-day educational eCourse: "The Secrets to Internet Marketing for Small Business" at http://www.BreakthroughMarketingMethods.com.