Social Media Questions for Businesses to Consider

Which Goals are Your Social Media Marketing Efforts Helping You Achieve?

Should you or shouldn’t you use social media for business? It’s a topic that to some may feel a little run into the ground. Trust me, I understand. As I’ve said repeatedly, it depends on what your goals are and other variables.

Social media guru Chris Brogan has an interesting post called the "Social Media Decision Tree" with yes and no answers to questions like:

- Should your company blog?
– Should your company be on Twitter?
– Should you company make YouTube videos?

The gist of Brogan’s post is that, "It’s not all about the conversation. It’s not a matter of whether you get it or don’t. Like all things, it’s finding what works, building from a foundation, measuring progress, and adapting to new situations."

The attitude reflects another recent post I referenced about Twitter jumping the shark. The service is often viewed as a bunch of noise, and there’s no question that there is certainly plenty of that, but there is also plenty of potential usefulness that comes with it.

It’s not about whether or not you should use Twitter or Facebook or any other service. It’s about how you use it should you decide to in the first place. Are you using it to your benefit? I wrote a lengthy piece looking at examples of how local businesses use social networks to market their businesses. You might find some ideas within that.

You might have different ideas entirely though, and that’s ok too. The kinds of questions you should really be asking yourself are things like:

- Is this network helping me communicate with my customers?
– Is it helping my customers communicate with me?
– Is it opening the door for sales?
– Is it strengthening my brand?
– Is it helping me promote products/offers?
– Is it helping my company’s reputation?
– Is it helping me broaden my list of useful contacts?

These are just possible goals. You may have different ones. But if you can answer yes to these types of questions, you can probably identify the value to what you are doing (social ettiquette is something to keep in mind too). You can then ask yourself if there are other ways to use the network that could help you answer yes to these questions and re-align your strategy accordingly. Social networks are communities and they are tools, but they are not necessarily the same thing to everyone.

There are 5 Comments. Add Yours.
  1. Do businesses expect to evaluate social media success with traditional measures like revenue, margins and leads, or are “softer” measures like engagement and brand awareness adequate return on social media investment

  2. Social media has been around for a long time in the form of blogs and forums. And yes I’ve had some good business. Better still my clients have also. However, I’m not so sure that the latest generation of social media works for mainstream – as opposed to Web 2.0 – companies.

    I use – but don’t pay for – LinkedIn. And a few old contacts have linked to me. But as for Twitter, I’m more in the Eric Schmidt camp.

  3. Social media helps small businesses kick butt against large corporations. I own a 17 room boutique inn in Palm Springs, CA.

    We have a blog, yahoo group, use flickr, webshots, and now twitter.

    When we get last minute cancellations, I can fill rooms. I inform guests of airfare sales, what’s happening in town, etc.

    Any small business that is not using social media will be struggling.

    We have been open 14 years and last year we were the ONLY hotel in Palm Springs that was UP in sales due to social media.

  4. Believe it or not, one huge barrier to enter the Social media scene for my clients atleast is the fear of negative feedback. Most companies are just plain scared of putting their brand on a platform where they don’t have complete control.

    It will take abit of education to get companies out of that mentality first before we can ask the above questions.

  5. The only direct benefit I see for a business using social media is creating awareness.

    From awareness you can then go on to build trust. There are many ways one can build trust in the social networks of course.

    But one must have patience for thi strategy to work very well

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