How to Determine if Social Media is Right for You
“Should I be broadcasting my brand on social media?”
It’s a complicated question, isn’t it? One that every existing, matured, or budding business is asking themselves. In the age of technology, it seems like social media marketing is the “be all and end all” of a campaign, and that things like viral videos and shares are the only drivers to your brand’s level of awareness and success.
The truth is, having a social media presence can be extremely beneficial to your business in many ways. It can convert and generate leads, gain consumer insights, and cultivate consumer relationships. But before you go rushing onto the internet and start making an account for any media platform you can find, it’s important to take note of one other equally valuable truth - social media is not for everyone.
You might be asking yourself, “but how do I know if social media is right for me?” Well, if you’re reading this, you’re in luck because that is the answer we’ll be helping you find with four simple questions.
Question 1: Who is your Audience?
Every business has an audience or target market. In fact, if you’re an existing or matured business you’ve likely established one or two already. If you’re new to the entrepreneurial playground, then building a target market and consumer profiles are probably on your list.
Having an official targeted audience is extremely important when determining whether or not you should use social media as they are the people you’re trying to reach by using it. If your market does not have an interest in Facebook or Twitter or doesn’t even know how to use a computer, then there is no use in establishing your business online.
For example, let’s say a company sells hearing aids that are targeted specifically to elderly people. After conducting the necessary research the company discovers that only 37% of people ages 65 and up use social media, and that they are more likely to learn about products from traditional media such as television, newspapers, radio, and magazines. It’s pretty clear that this company would not benefit from building a social media presence.
However, if they were also selling their hearing aids to youth and millennials with hearing disabilities, then having such a presence might prove to be extremely useful.
The same could be said with a business-to-business audience or a government audience. If they aren’t likely to be online then there is no use in your business being online.
Question 2: Is There Time or Manpower?
Contrary to popular belief, maintaining a social media presence for your business is not as simple as writing up a quick post now and then. For social media to be even slightly useful, marketers have learned that they need to post daily and consistently keep up with their presence as well as new trends in their market.
Running a successful social media profile requires you to have the following:
A social media analysis tool, such as Google Analytics
A thorough analysis of your target audience
A content builder who knows your audience
A monitor/editor to ensure the content is well written, relevant, and inoffensive
Someone on your team that can understand the results of your media metrics
Ample time to research for, create, edit, and analyze the success of your daily posts
64% of marketers spend 6 hours or more per week on social media efforts, while 41% of marketers are spending at least 11 hours a week. However, most impressively, 20% of marketers spend more than 20 hours a week on social media work. You can bet they’re the ones who really see a change!
Now is a good time to think, “Do I have the required time and staff to maintain a successful social media presence?” If you don’t feel you do but you still feel it’s important for your company to put itself on the wireless map, don’t worry. There are many services you can outsource that will maintain a media page for you.
Question 3: Do you have the Budget?
When considering the time and effort that goes into building a social media presence it only makes sense the cost of outsourcing these services isn’t cheap.
When it comes to nothing but the basics -- having someone available to write and post for you -- the cost of service can range from $900 - $1,500 a month for smaller business. There are also risks associated with the different forms of service you can outsource from. Issues with inexperience, low flexibility, and almost no control over posts are all risks that come with allowing others to take responsibility of your page. Make sure to do your research on a firm or freelancer and choose wisely.
Of course, then there is the analytical software you need to measure your key metrics and determine your success. Thankfully, smaller businesses can take advantage of Google Analytics, which is free to use unless your page views per month exceed 5 million. No additional costs necessary!
Question 4: Are you Comfortable? Looking to Expand?
Are you in a place with your business where you are comfortable? If your current way of marketing and doing business is successful without the help of social media, then there is no need to change that. Of course, if you feel that your business has room to grow and prosper, go for it! A little aspiration can go a long way - sometimes taking a risk is part of the game.
It is important, however, to make certain that the decisions you make are based on what you think is good for your venture. Try and avoid being an entrepreneur that puts unnecessary time and effort into new marketing techniques simply because they feel they have to. Run your business in the way you feel keeps it successful and relevant!
Now that you know more about what having a social media presence requires, what do you think would be best for your business? Never forget the importance of considering your audience in all of this. Your marketing efforts are for them, so ask yourself if all the time, effort, money, and risk will actually pay off and you can reap the rewards.
There you have it! Four questions that will help you decide whether or not your business should build a social media presence. Good luck!
Bailey Greenwood-Vidal - Marketing Coordinator
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