Social Media – Is it worth it? How much time should I invest?

How can it help? Does it suit my business? What pages should I invest time in?

Nearly all companies without social pages (and even those with them) have seasonal discussions and arguments about the viability of this ever popular tool. Usually the end outcome is something along the lines of “Fine, make a page but don’t spend too much time on it!” or “Don’t make a page, when we see the dollar value we’ll do something then”. Unfortunately, neither of these answers really helps reach a sustainable outcome. With small and allied health related businesses in mind, we’ve put the below ideas together to help your next Social Pages discussion, whether you have none or need to improve what you’re currently doing!

How can a Facebook or Twitter page help a small business?

With a low budget, you would be stimulating and aligning current interests and social activity to your business with relevant content. This means liking pages where your audience aggregates, joining trends that link to your offering and sending out both original and interesting external material to set yourself up as an expert and reliable ongoing source of information.
Once you’re established, you have firm grounds to share updates about your website and anything else that your returning fans will be able to find value in (including using your products / services).

Is my business the right business for Social Media?

We would like to tell you all businesses need Social Media in some way but it’s important to be realistic. A cement mixing plant will find it nearly impossible to start and increase trending activity on Twitter when tweeting about the current climate of cement mixing materials. Why? It just isn’t as important as celebrity gossip or funny videos to the masses. We believe that all businesses (yes, including cement mixing plants) have a place somewhere in social media and can contribute as well as receive interest from the outside world with their content, but it’s all about relevance and commitment.
Relevance – If you’re strictly B2B, start with a LinkedIn company page and see how you go. If your advice and instructions get some traction, extending with YouTube, blogs and other newsletter materials will empower what you’re already doing, without ever needing to delve into the Twitterverse.
If you cater to consumers, no matter how niche, there is a place for you on sites such as Twitter and Facebook. Getting attention from short and catchy content will be easier for you, as long as you have something to offer that stands out and the benefits of subscribing to your pages are clear.

Commitment – putting in minimum time to get maximum output

This is a goal that we all have. Ideally, we should all be spending a little more time on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn (and even others) to really get the best idea of what our audience responds to and finds interesting and then build a well-backed framework that drives activity and sales through your website. Until this becomes more possible for a lot of us, we need to spend more time on our core responsibilities, but below is a basic framework you can use to get more from less!

“I have an hour a week to do Social Media activities”
Week 1 – Create Facebook and Twitter pages (B2C) or a LinkedIn page (B2B). Fill out all necessary details and make sure the links between the pages and your website are clear.
Week 2 – Now that you’re happy with how your page looks for now, start following and liking aggregated pages where your audience “meets”. Also be sure to add the link to your social pages to your website and online outgoing materials. Make a post that introduces your business and what people can expect on the page.
Week 3 – So that your posts aren’t purely about you, share recent industry news updates that’s of interest to your audience. Make note of your news aggregators, Google alerts is a good starting point. Be sure that you’re not directing users to mounds of irrelevant advertising.
Ongoing – Mix up your news posts with interesting updates or promotions from your business. If your business aligns to the advice side of content, be sure to circulate this regularly! Just make sure you don’t ever outweigh social posts with ‘product push’ updates or users will feel alienated. Keep an eye on what is getting more views, clicks and comments, and share around your updates with other staff so that they are sure to make good sense to fresh eyes!
-          Still not sure? Don’t worry, we’ll give tips on how to post well and manage different communities soon!

To Do

o   Decide which pages you will utilise or add to early on
o   Decide who will check and update these pages
o   Organise a preferred timeframe that can be dedicated to social media activities

Coming Up: We will take you through different social media options with advice on how to make the most out of each of them for your business. We will also give you that golden knowledge on how to manage your online communities as they grow to align your brand effectively!


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