As a Marketer or Business Owner You Can’t Ignore Social Media Any More

iPad Lisa Sullivan

It’s 2014 and I’m STILL hearing the biggest complaint coming from anyone in business, wanting to know more about social media (or how to do it better) and that is – “but I don’t have the time.”

You are missing the point. You’ve got to MAKE time.

If you want your customers to purchase your product or service, or if you’re a nonprofit and you want more donors, volunteers, etc., you must know that the first place your target market goes to is the web. Not only that, but they look for what you know about your industry, your area of expertise, who you are online, any reviews or testimonials about your company/nonprofit, product or service generally BEFORE they pick up the phone to call you.

Lisa Sullivan Top 15 Websites in the US *On the heels are Tumblr, WordPress, and Instagram all within the Top 25!

With six social networks and five search engines in the Top 15, that makes up the majority. Translation –

Search and Social are so intertwined you NEED to have a social media marketing strategy to get found online.

That’s a telling statement. If you’re marketing strategy doesn’t incorporate social media, you are missing a huge chunk of those potential clients, customers, volunteers, donors, etc. So, make the time and there are all kinds of ways you can do that.

2 GREAT Tips for Time Management

#1 – Use a Smartphone

Given that smartphone sales accounted for over 55% of all mobile phone sales in 2013, there is no excuse. The advances made in mobile technology has made it easier to connect with your audience. Every social network has a corresponding mobile app. Whether you’re in line at the coffee shop (or carpool) or sitting on your couch watching TV at night, chances are you’re doing both with a smartphone or tablet in hand or close by. Use that time wisely. Share valuable content that let’s your potential clients, customers, vendors, donors, volunteers not only know who you are, but also share what they want to learn about from you too because chances are they’re also online at the same time you are.

#2 – Use a Social Dashboard

There is a plethora of social media dashboards to choose from. From Hootsuite to Sprout Social to Argyle Social to everything in between. I’m not here today to tell you which one is best, though for the record I use Hootsuite (for Twitter only) for personal and business and Argyle Social (for Twitter and Facebook) for business. You need to do your own research and crowd-sourcing to figure out which one works best for you.

Dashboards provide you with the ability to manage your time more easily and some provide insight data into what’s working and what’s not for you and your goals. And I’m not going to lie – you might want to invest (i.e. free is not always best) in one to get the most out of it.

Make a Plan

But before all of this you need to have a plan of action, one that’s specific to your overall marketing goals and one that is manageable. Include in that plan:

  • what content you think will be valuable to your audience
  • how you’ll get that content (i.e. what links you’ll share, what pictures you’d take, who will assist you, etc.)
  • how you are most comfortable sharing that content (i.e. short posts like Twitter or longer posts like blog posts or 2-minute videos, etc.)
  • how you plan to monitor it all.

It can be done. It just takes time to formulate the strategy, implement it and, yes, it will take time to build your audience. But, if you don’t do it, again, you’re missing out.

And, if you don’t know how to do it yourself, need time to devote to actually selling your product or service or building your network of donors, then invest in having someone assist you. Whether that be a Consultant or a full-time hire, it doesn’t matter. Even as a small business or a just starting nonprofit, you’ve got to consider this as an option and build it into your budget or again, you’ll miss out.

Stay Educated

Whether you stay up-to-date with the latest by following the experts on Twitter or the subscribe to the feeds of sites like Social Media Examiner, Social Media Today, Search Engine Journal, or Mashable, or you attend a seminar or conference (off line and online), the point is keep abreast of what’s happening in the space. It changes almost daily. You need to know what changes have been made (or are planning to be made – technically or otherwise), where your audience is now (not where they were 2 years ago), and the best practices others are using to get results.

The bottom line is you can no longer ignore social media. It’s 2014. If you own a business or nonprofit, market for one, or both, it’s time to get on the train. It’s time to be found online….FASTER.

 

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