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Social Media for Business: Why You Don't Need to Be on Every Channel
The same show or sporting event doesn't broadcast on every channel. So why should you? Yet, small businesses scramble and struggle to keep up with every available social media channel.
Let's see why they do it... and why maybe they shouldn't.
Being "On" Social Media Doesn't Necessarily Mean Being "Actively On"
Ever visit a small businesses website and the entire top navigation bar is loaded with every social media icon available? Then when each one is clicked it goes to an account where no one is home.
Merely having an account on the various social networks does not necessarily mean being "actively on" that network.
Being active on a social media network means that the business is regularly posting content or status updates and having interaction with other users on that network. Those accounts where a business is truly active should be the only ones promoted. Nothing says "we don't care" or "we don't know what the heck we're doing" more than a dead blog or social media account.
Reserving accounts on the major social platforms in a company's name is definitely recommended to protect the business' company name and brand names. For social media platforms where the accounts are simply placeholders, redirect visitors to the main website or other truly active social media accounts.
"Like Us on Facebook?"
I almost have to laugh as I drive down the road and whiz by a variety of business vehicles that have big signs on them that say "Like Us on Facebook." I wonder if these folks, as well meaning as they might be, really expect that to happen. I also wonder what results they hope to achieve. I do have to applaud them for making the effort to keep their marketing relevant and current though.
Let's take on-demand type businesses such as for health, emergency home care or transportation services (all of which I have seen promote their Facebook accounts on vehicles). If potential customers are faced with an immediate need, they are not likely to wander over to Facebook to do some searching. These frantic customers are much more likely to go to Internet search than social media. Again, where are potential customers hanging out and why?
As discussed earlier, businesses should definitely protect their branding with reserving social media accounts in the business' name and brand names. They may even wish to populate the account with some helpful posts and resource links. However, other marketing tools may have a bigger impact and be more worthy of major investment such as:
- Mobile Website and Accessibility. With more and more smartphones in the population, access to Internet search anytime anywhere is becoming more and more common. But here are some frightening stats of wasted marketing: SearchEngineLand reports that Google found 70 percent of mobile searches have called a business directly from search results. BUT, a different survey found that only 36 percent of surveyed businesses are using call extensions or click-to-call features in their search campaigns. Wow! Time to think about getting mobile friendly and SEO/search friendly.
- Magnetic Business Cards. While they are losing favor due to fewer metallic surfaces in homes and offices, these low cost promotional giveaways can still find a home where they will be seen when needed. Newer, removable adhesive business cards could be a non-magnetic alternative.
Bottom line is that not every social media network is right for every business.— Heidi Thorne
Bottom line is that not every social media network is right for every business. Choosing the right one will depend on the following factors:
- Business goals for being on any of the social media networks.
- Personality and preferences of both the business and the market served.
- Time and resources available to post and be actively on the network.
Disclaimer: Any examples used are for illustrative purposes only and do not suggest affiliation or endorsement. The author/publisher has used best efforts in preparation of this article. No representations or warranties for its contents, either expressed or implied, are offered or allowed and all parties disclaim any implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for your particular purpose. The advice, strategies and recommendations presented herein may not be suitable for you, your situation or business. Consult with a professional adviser where and when appropriate. The author/publisher shall not be liable for any loss of profit or any other damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages. So by reading and using this information, you accept this risk.
© 2014 Heidi Thorne