Should my business jump into Social Media? Not necessarily.

Every prospective client lately seems to ask me the same question “should we do social media?” When businesses speak of social media, they typically mean Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.  Social media for business is fairly new, so I can only speak of our personal and client experience gained over the last few years of building business and social media websites. Early indications reveal that more business-to-consumer (B2C) clients than business-to-business (B2B) clients see positive results from social media.

Although whether to engage in social media is different for each business, don’t think just because it’s the latest buzz that it’s the right fit for your business. So how do you know? Ask yourself these 2 questions:

1.     “Do your current and prospective customers actively participate on social media and if yes, which one(s)?”

2.     “Does the projected return your business will receive exceed the investment of your time engaging in social media?”

For our B2B clients, their optimized website, coordinated with newsletters, direct marketing and/or Google ad words campaigns, is still the most effective. Some are having success with LinkedIn.

The nature of B2C businesses lends itself far better to social media. Those experiencing success have incorporated social media into a well-coordinated campaign including web, print, eNewsletters along with some traditional marketing vehicles.  One client whose industry declined 25-30% on average experienced a manageable decline of only 5% through their proactive marketing campaign.

In this current landscape of what seems like unlimited marketing vehicles, we recommend pausing. Regroup. Return to the basics. Spend just a bit of time asking yourself where your customers are engaging. Next, devise a realistic plan that you actually have the time and money to execute. Pick the marketing vehicles that fit and get going.  Put in measuring tools to judge effectiveness. Reallocate resources based on results. It’s that simple. But you have to act and continue acting. The Internet is here to stay and it won’t wait for you.