A while back I asked the question: Are you wasting your time on Facebook and Twitter? It was still the new frontier of social media marketing when businesses were wondering whether or not they should create a Facebook page. Now, by varying estimates, about 3/4ths of all businesses have some sort of social marketing involvement. But the question remains: Are you wasting your time on social media marketing? Let’s see if we can find the answer.
The Questions to Ask
Sure, social media marketing saves your business money. It’s free, or practically free, right? Why wouldn’t you want to do social media marketing at that price. But that’s not the question you should be asking. After all, standing on a street corner and yelling at people is free too. Instead, there are two other questions you should asking:
1. Does social media marketing make me money?
If you shut down your Facebook page today, would you have fewer sales next month? Can you attribute a portion of sales to your social media marketing? Social media marketing has a nice price tag, but it also needs to be a source of more business.
2. Is it the best investment of your marketing time?
Could you be getting a greater return somewhere else? It’s the opportunity cost question. You have a limited amount of time, and social media takes time, maybe more so than other forms of marketing. What if you spent your marketing time on other less time-consuming activities, even if they cost a little more?
What Are You From Getting Social Media?
To separate social media from other marketing is a trap. Marketers and businesses often treat social media as if it has its own set of standards that are different from other forms of marketing. As you assess your social media marketing apply the same criteria you would to any other marketing. Here are some things you can, and should be, accomplishing:
Building your Brand – Strengthening that emotional and psychological bond with customers. Causing them to have thoughts, feelings and opinions about your business.
Getting Leads – Your marketing should be a source of potential new customers.
Converting Fans to Paying Customers – People may like your Facebook page, follow you on Twitter, connect with you on LinkedIn, but will they spend money with you?
Creating word of mouth – One of the primary benefits of marketing and advertising is that it creates word-of-mouth conversation about a business. Are people talking about you?
I don’t mean to steer you away from social media marketing, unless you should be steered away. You should try to objectively analyze your marketing and not participate just because it’s free or because everyone else is doing it. Are you wasting time on social media marketing?