By Jim Hauer, Owner HCS Tech and Marc Jackson, Social Media Expert
I have to admit that as a person who remembers seeing the Beatles live on the Ed Sullivan Show, social media is a bit of a mystery to me. I have been having conversations with Marc Jackson who has demonstrated to me a keen knowledge of social media engagement and with Robert Tyndall, Manager of Web Services at HCS Tech. This blog is a collaboration of our recent discussions and a blog Marc provided to us, regarding what I feel is the most significant advertising and marketing medium since TV.This blog is a continuation of the 10 overheard IT mistakes common to most Small Businesses.
My daughter does our social media stuff, she’s on facebook all the time anyway.
Social media engagement has simply become a fact of life for any business, big or small. Yes, the platforms are free to inexpensive, but doing social media engagement is very labor intensive. While your daughter (or other millennial you’ve hired) may be facebook junkie, do they really understand your business and how to take full advantage of this new media? If you are paying them to be on facebook, twitter, etc. how much time are they spending engaging with friends and not clients?
Social media is an essential tool to helping expand your brand and business, but has your business made it a top priority?
Time Equals Consistency
Business owners simply don’t have the time to focus on the social media side of interacting with their customers. While social media accounts are “free”, the hidden cost is paying someone to consistently update your pages, add interesting content, engage with followers, follow and take advantage of trends, keep updated on your social reputation, and keeping your social media presence in line with your business persona and image.
Hiring friends and family that are “social media savvy” can be a dangerous pursuit. They usually don’t understand the end goal of what the business is trying to achieve on social media or truly understand the business initiatives of social media. Promoting a business on social media is very different than posting what you had for dinner last night, or the sharing a funny video.
The real question is are you willing to sacrifice things not going well by the people you love pertaining to your business. It’s hard to fire your daughter because you are not happy with her facebook posts!
Rules Of Engagement
Engaging on social media can become frustrating if you don’t get the results you’re seeking on a daily basis. While engaging with the community through social media you must understand that professionalism is the most important thing, just because it’s over the internet doesn’t mean it can’t affect your brand. Quite the opposite, it amplifies your brand either good or bad.
This line between good and bad is very thin. Social media consumers can be very fickle and have certain expectations. You must follow certain protocols to keep your posts from being too sales oriented, too stale, or not interesting to the intended audience.
You must think outside the box, such as when things are trending around the world thru social media platforms, finding a purpose of it benefiting your business. It’s more to social media than asking people to share a post or like a page. For example, what has your company accomplished to help people in recent disaster? In North Carolina we are cleaning up after hurricane Matthew. Has your company volunteered to help? Have you helped certain clients with your ongoing services? Are you donating to a recovery cause? While people are following this hot trend, is the time you want to be engaged.
A social media specialist will be able to help execute your goals, discuss ways to be efficient with your product thru social media. They should engage current and potential clients on social media by creating ideas to help increase traffic and/or revenue within your company. Be creative, set your brand over the top through social media to help reach people within your community and/or the world depending on the website or product you provided.
Social media is a powerful tool right now and will continue to grow as the most dynamic way to reach your clients and grow your business. Let’s face it, social media is the biggest thing since Television was introduced. Advertising and traditional marketing approaches have paled in the light of social media reach and affect. The future of accessing your community and the world is literally in the palm of your hand. Technology will continue to advance and the social media is far from maturity.
There is nothing wrong with admitting to not being familiar with social media and what it can bring to your business. Most business owners are not as engaged as the generation that was born with smartphones in their hands. Even if you are an avid social media consumer, the methodology and techniques of engaging the right audience are just know being created. Look at the affect social media is having on our current Presidential race.
Do you have the time as a business owner to focus 10-12 hours a week or more on engaging your audience through social media? Probably not. Is social media engagement critical to your continued growth and success? Absolutely.
Find the right help you need to off load the important task of making sure you can grow and continue engaging on social media, so as a business owner you can continue to focus on your business.