Small Business Marketing Blog

December 22, 2009

Small Business Marketer: Avoid Social Media Marketing Scorch and Burn

Filed under: Social Media — Robin Witt @ 5:12 am
Tags: ,

For small businesses wanting more customers and sales, social media appears to be a profit launching pad, especially if we can figure out how to go viral. This is every business owner’s dream because who doesn’t want instant success and of course, that’s all we hear about.  The reality is social media is not a magical elixir that will fix the ills of a poor marketing plan, nor is it a way to get rich quick. Although social media marketing is different in many ways from other forms of marketing, it still requires consistency, focus, and a well thought out plan to be effective.  Here are three tips to help you get started.

Begin with the end in mind. What is the purpose of your social media marketing plan? Are you trying to find new customers?  Drive traffic to your website?  Both? Write down your goals and track your progress. It may seem obvious but you would be surprised how many smart business owners skip this important step in their rush to get started.

Decide who your target audience is. Who are your ideal customers and what are they interested in? This should always be foremost in your mind. It is easy to get off track and have a diluted message if you don’t remember who this person is. Once you’ve identified your ideal customer, their profile becomes the guide for the content you post and what activities you use to engage them. 

Take your time. A big part of social media marketing is developing relationships and interesting content, both of which require time and attention. It is much more involved than just setting up networking sites. Many small business owners are eager to get started with social media, but often get frustrated when they don’t see immediate results.  Relationships take time to develop.  You can’t rush the process.  That is why it is so crucial to know where you are going and to make sure that your efforts going in the right direction.  

Social media is a powerful marketing tool for small business, but it will not fix a wimpy or non-existent marketing plan. With all marketing efforts it is important to know what the desired outcome is and how success will be measured; otherwise you can waste a lot of time and not get the results you are looking for.

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