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Social Media is Sucking the Life Out of My Business!

Learn to use social media to help businessThe single biggest resistance I get when talking to clients about engaging in social media is the amount of time social media requires. Most companies that are not using social media find it overwhelming and difficult to understand. And, they lack the time or resources required to make social media successful for them.

I’m not going to try to convince you otherwise.

My company has recently ramped up our own social media efforts and I have to tell you I find it overwhelming and difficult to understand. I lack the time and resources required to really make it successful for us. But as with anything new, you just gotta push through. Pulling the plug would be conceding defeat in an area where a victory is needed.

Never give up. Never surrender.

Let’s take a look at these common complaints of social media and what can be done to make social media successful.

Social media is overwhelming

There are dozens, if not hundreds of places to engage socially online.

Facebook.

Twitter.

Linked In.

Google+.

Blogs.

And that doesn’t include the social tracking services, third party tools, posting tools, organization lists and who knows what else I’m missing. Each social service requires it’s own level of commitment and interaction that must be actively maintained.

Social media is difficult to understand

How, when and where you need to post, engage or communicate isn’t always straightforward. It’s important to provide value in each stream without creating a “me too” stream in another. Each social platform will reach a different audience with different levels of engagement and that must be taken into consideration.

A separate strategy for each social platform is required. In order to do it right, you have to learn the nuances of each.

How often you post, what you say, how you say it and who you connect with are all important in building up your social media presence. Connecting in one stream works differently than connecting in another. Same with engagement. They all have their quirks and you’ve go to learn each in order to manage them appropriately.

Lack of time and resources needed to make social media successful

This is the big one. There is more to social media than writing the occasional blog post and throwing a link to it out on Twitter or Facebook. You have to be actively engaged with your community. Engaged on Twitter, engaged on Facebook, engaged on Linked In, engaged in your blog comments and engaged in other people’s blogs.

Phew! That’s a lot of engagement!

And the most difficult part is very little of this can be done by an outside service. Consultants like us can help you develop a strategy, but it’s always best if an actual person from the company handles the engagement. After all, you know your product or services better than anybody else can, and you are uniquely qualified to handle complaints and customer satisfaction.

Whats the best way to manage your social media campaign?

That will be different for each company. Not everyone can afford to hire a full-time social media person. But even among those who can and do, it’s essential to have someone help organize and build strategy.

If your in-house person has been managing social campaigns for any length of time and is fully dedicated to social media, then you might have just what you need. But for many businesses, hiring a consultant to either manage, implement or just strategize with can be extremely lucrative.

Even if you have someone to carry out the plan in-house, it’s helpful to have a consultant who can work with you to develop a solid strategy for each social stream and then work with your team to implement it.

Don’t let social media suck the life out of your business

For many, social media is fun. And it should be. But it’s easy to get overwhelmed, throw up your hands and walk away. But this isn’t an area where you can concede defeat. While social media can be a pain, and these complaints have legitimacy, you can overcome them. Time, patience and practice make all the difference in the world.

More and more people are getting social. That’s where they get their information, news, pass tips, strategies and recommendations. If you’re not engaged with them, someone else is. Your competitors are building brand, answering questions and becoming an authority. What are you doing?

You may be top in your field, but these things change. It’s all a matter of perception. MySpace used to be the top social site, now Facebook is. AltaVisa was once the top search engine, now Google is. K-Mart used to be the top retail store, and you get the picture.

Things shift. If you don’t get ahead of it you’ll be shifted out while someone else is shifted in. Any new strategy can be a challenge, but you can learn to use social media to enhance your business (as opposed to sucking the life out of it).

Follow at @StoneyD, and @PolePositionMkg.


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Stoney G deGeyter

Stoney deGeyter is the author of The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!. He is the founder and CEO of Pole Position Marketing, a web presence optimization firm who's pit crew has been velocitizing websites since 1998. In his free time Stoney gets involved in community services and ministries with his bride enjoy and his children. Read Stoney's full bio.

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