Social Media Should Be In Your Business Plans

If you are about ready to open up your first-ever small business, what role if any will social media play in it? If the answer is none or not much of one, you really need to rethink your plans.

As more and more companies are discovering, having social media as a key component of their business makeup just flat out makes sense.
Not only does a social media presence bring your business into today’s world, but it allows you to better brand your company, something that should be at the forefront of your marketing goals.

So, if you’re about to start up a small business and you are wondering how and where social media fits into your plans, keep the following in mind:

    • Social media is a component of and not your entire marketing plan – When you incorporate social media into your promotional plans, remember that it is just one segment and not the entire enchilada. Social media should be used as part of a game plan that includes e-mail marketing, SEO, PPC, public relations and more. The main benefit to social media is that it builds your brand awareness on a number of venues like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and more;
    • Social media presence needs to be updated regularly – One of the constant failures that I see with many small businesses on social media is that they fail to update their presence regularly. Sharing and tweeting every so often is not going to get it done. Not only do you fail to maintain followers by such inactive stretches, but you lose credibility as an authoritative source in your particular line of business. Whether it is your Facebook fan page or company Twitter profile, make sure to update it regularly;
    • Social media presence needs a voice – As you go to unveil a social media program within your small business, who will be the voice? Will you have several members on staff speaking for the company or will there just be one voice? Decide this ahead of time for several reasons. First, you want a consistent voice that followers can identify with. Secondly, you want someone to take charge of social media for your small business so that things do not fall through the cracks. In many companies, the marketing or public relations teams will handle such chores. Some businesses even encourage all of their employees to share and tweet; be sure to have a policy in place of who will do such actions and how often they are to be carried out;
    • Social media avoidance is not an option – You may think that social media is just one of those fads like Beanie Babies and New Coke that will come and go like the seasons do; think again. Many signs indicate that social media is here for the foreseeable future, so why miss out on it? One complaint oftentimes heard from company heads is that they fail to get a true return on investment (ROI) from social media, so therefore it is not worth their time. Contrary to that thought, social media can provide your business with a lot of ROI. Along with the potential for new customers, social media allows your business to be seen as authoritative in your respective industry;
    • Social media lets you stay up to speed on your brand – Another reason to be tuned in to social media is that it allows you to stay in touch with what others are saying about your brand. Given more and more consumers are tuning in to social media, there is a great chance that your brand is being talked about, so why would you not want to know what they are saying? You could even consider setting up a fake account that does not list your company by name. Go then and engage in conversations with others about your brand on Twitter, Facebook, etc. to see what they think about your products and services.

As you can see, there is much that social media can do for your business both now and moving forward.

If your new small business doesn’t have social media on it’s to do list, then you’d better rethink that list.

Plus, what small business wants to be known as being anti-social in today’s business world?

Dave Thomas, who writes on subjects such as online marketing and business plans , writes extensively for San Diego-based

Filed in: Feature Articles, Social Media
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