Social networking - why are you doing it?
Most SME's, particularly in this economic climate, are struggling for new business and to hold on to the business they already have. Businesses are looking for cheaper services all of the time, and loyalty can take second place to cost if a service can be provided cheaper elsewhere.
We all know that it is hugely important to market your business, and that the Internet is the best marketing tool available. What businesses must not lose sight of is which forms of marketing work, and which ones are the most appropriate for their situation.
It is too easy to be carried along with the crowd.
Prior to setting up a facebook page or twitter account, you need to ask yourself why are you doing it and what are you expecting to achieve from it?
If you cant answer this question then its probably best that you dont proceed any further on the signup form!
The same of course applies to most forms of marketing. Having goals prior to undertaking any marketing is essential, as without them you can't possibly measure their success.
I can talk for Britain - as my clients know. I think I could easily spend the entire day tweeting my thoughts & activities, re-tweeting other peoples too, and even throw in something relevant to the business for good measure!
I believe that twitter & facebook work best if you have something educational & informative to say, a product or service to sell, and ultimately that you are referring the recipient to your own website.
Be smart and maximise the time you spend updating statuses by using Tweet Deck or a similar application to publish updates from twitter to facebook & LinkedIn too.
Above all, monitor the response to your social networking activity.
If your goal is to generate more business for your SME, ask yourself this question:
Would my time have been better spent utilising a different form of marketing?
Think about this. If you had taken that same hour used for social networking and contacted your existing customers or cold called 10 local businesses or sent out a mail campaign - would you have generated more in sales?
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