I have been having many conversations regarding help with social marketing. They want to know all about how to use Twitter, Facebook, You Tube, etc. to grow their customer base and their business. And I always respond with the same questions:
- Why do you want to use social marketing tools?
- Does your audience use social marketing tools? If so, which ones?
- By using social marketing tools, how do you plan on helping/educating/informing your audience?
- Do you have a compelling, unique and motivating brand position?
If you can answer the first three questions, great. The last question, however, is the most important, as a company needs to define its brand position before venturing into social media.
I understand the excitement regarding social media as an inexpensive way to reach an audience. I understand the business benefit that social media can provide when approached correctly.
But I also understand the time that can be wasted on social media without a proper message, understanding of the audience or strategy. Improper planning and understanding of your brand can actually tarnish your reputation.
If you can answer the four questions mentioned above and can commit the time to keep your content fresh, interesting and relevant, then social media may be right for you.
Tip: Once you start using social media, be patient. Growing a community takes time.