The confusing world of social media and the small business

I was recently asked to present to a networking group on the subject of social media.  There is so much talk about social media and so many options that it is easy to get confused and struggle to get started.

However if a few simple steps are taken it can be relatively pain free undertaking.

Firstly spend time thinking about your objectives and what you want achieve.  Is it increasing traffic to your website or to demonstrate expertise and thought leadership?

Then identify the social media platforms that are best suited to help you achieve your objectives.  For example blogging, LinkedIn and twitter may suit thought leadership campaigns, whilst Facebook and twitter might be better suited for getting better access to customers. It is easy to assume that they are all good for your business and a mistake that can cost you significantly in time.

My advice would be do not dive in until you are ready and have a clear strategy.

At the end of the presentation I had one member say that he had a very specific target customer and approached them directly so he really didn’t see why time and effort should be focused on social media.

My response was – It all comes back to having clear objectives and thinking beyond the immediate here and now.  How about those people who are just outside the target? Wouldn’t it be great to be able to grow the business reputation and start building relationships as one day they may be a target customer!

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