Should I use Social Media in my Business..?

Social MediaThis question is one that I’m increasingly asked by clients. The answer tends to be “yes but…”

Social media has the potential to bring a number of benefits to a business. Some of these include;

  • Extended online footprint
  • Increased business profile
  • New revenue streams
  • Zero cost business promotion – well, not quite…

I usually advise clients that they should use social media however that they should view it as they would any other marketing activity. By this I mean that the same rules that apply to more conventional marketing activities should apply here. This being the case, the social media activities need to come under the umbrella of a comprehensive marketing strategy that aligns with the overall business objectives. Importantly, performance metrics need to be wrapped around this activity so that the effectiveness (or lack thereof) can be determined.

“But it’s free so why bother with measuring it..?”

Sure – it’s true that many forms of social media are provided at no cost. That having been said, they are not exactly free and do come at a cost. That cost is time! Whilst setting up a profile is a relatively straightforward process the time taken to develop and regularly post new content and to communicate with prospective customers can be significant. My rule here is that if you cannot commit to regularly updating your content than you would be better not to embark on a social media strategy at all because an inactive profile won’t do your business any favours. Regardless of whether you or a member of your team is responsible for providing content, it will come at an internal cost to your business.

Ultimately the cost in terms of time will need to be tracked and calculated in order to determine the true value of the activity because whilst social media can provide some real, tangible business benefits, there’s no such thing as a free lunch!

The web addresses of some common useful social media websites appear below;

I’d welcome any comments and / or questions,

Andy Salmon.


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