What Role Should Social Media Play in My New Business?

For the new businessman or businesswoman, they undoubtedly will have to answer the question of what role social media can and should play after opening their doors.

As more and more small businesses embrace social media, it is incumbent upon the business owner to know how to use it, when to use it, and what kind of return on investment (ROI) they are getting with it.

Whether it is a Facebook fan page, a Twitter page, Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn etc., there are many ways for the new business owner to promote their products and/or services without spending a great deal of money. In fact, time will be the most used commodity when it comes to social media efforts.

social media

In order to get your social media plans up and running, keep these ideas in mind:

  • Decide who will be your SM spokesperson or spokespeople – The first task at hand is deciding who will oversee the company’s social media efforts. Keep in mind that a focus approached is better than a haphazard one. Oftentimes the company’s marketing or public relations team will take responsibility for social media efforts. Given that you are a smaller business, however, you may not have all of those resources at your disposal, so make sure the designated SM individual or individuals are up to the task. Some smaller companies even have numerous employees sharing and tweeting, so that is one avenue you may want to take. Other owners, however, want the responsibilities handled by fewer individuals so there is more focus and a chain of command. If you do have numerous people doing company SM, make sure they know the company policies in using it;
  • Select the appropriate sites – You need to do some quick research and determine which sites are best for you in terms of audience. Each social media sites caters to a certain crowd, so don’t end up investing a lot of time and strategy on sites that will give you little if any ROI;
  • Determine your reasoning for SM usage – Along with which sites you utilize, fully understand why you are using social media in the first place. Is it to gain more recognition for your site? Are you looking to reel in more customers? Is the goal to seem like more of an authoritative figure in your respective industry? Know why you are using social media in order to best reap the rewards. Target your goals that can include lead generation, branding, promoting products and SEO among other things;
  • Timing is everything – One of the most important facets of using social media is making sure you have the time set aside for it. You can just come and go every few days or weeks and expect to gain traction. Make sure you can invest the time in social media so that you are getting all you can out of it. The hit-and-run approach not only wastes your time, but it also proves you not to be a knowledgeable social media player;
  • Don’t get distracted – While you want to fully invest your time and efforts in building a good social media presence, do not let it be the end all. You need to incorporate SM into a strategy that also includes engaging content marketing through blogs and other channels, a formidable public relations program, e-mail marketing, online advertising and more. When you incorporate social media as part of a bigger plan, your company can benefit as a whole.

Depending on who you talk to, some say social media is here to stay for the foreseeable future and others claim it is a fad that will go by the wayside sooner rather than later.

Decide how SM can best help your company, implement a social media strategy if you have not already, and get social with both current and potential customers.

Besides, an anti-social business owner is the last person consumers want to deal with.

Dave Thomas, who discusses subjects such as SEO Marketing and start up business plans,writes extensively for SanDiego-based Business.com.

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Good read!