Since Facebook revolutionised the Internet 10 years ago and officially launched the era of social media, it has become standard practice for businesses to have a social media presence. This is because social media is an undeniably powerful tool for creating brand awareness, connecting with existing and potential customers, and so on and so forth. However, creating a profile for your business on every forum, chatroom and social network certainly doesn’t guarantee that you’ll achieve any of your marketing objectives.

In fact, having a poorly managed social media presence can actually harm your brand image and negatively impact your revenue.
So, how do you know if social media is right for your business?

The #1 question to ask yourself
First and foremost, here is the number one question to ask yourself before putting your business on any social networks: why do I want my business to be on social media?

Answering this question means identifying the goals you want to achieve from having corporate social media profiles. You may think it’s a quick and easy process to sign your business up to a few social networks and just crank out a few quick posts or tweets each day – well, you couldn’t be more wrong. A successful social media marketing strategy requires careful planning, extensive research and analysis, and seamless execution; in other words, it requires time, effort and valuable resources.

Set goals and stick to them
By taking the time to determine what you aim to achieve through social media, you can then develop key metrics for gauging whether or not it is worthwhile for you to invest time and money in having a social media presence. For each of your metrics for success, you should set a clear timeline with milestones for the attainment of each of your goals; if you find that you’re failing to achieve these objectives according to your timeline, then you need to rethink your marketing strategy or even reconsider being on social networks to begin with.

Consider your target market
Alongside the development of your metrics, it’s critical to consider your target demographic and whether they use social media or not. You should also ask yourself whether your target market would use social media as a credible route for sourcing your services; for example, if you provide financial services, would Facebook activity really convert to sales?

Tools like Social Searcher and Trackur can help you find out whether your target audience is on social media and can also show what platforms they’re using. This then leads you to your next question: what social media platforms should I be on? Aside from the major social media powerhouses, there are endless platforms available, including forums, chats and blogs – so which is right for you? Do your research, gather as much data as possible, and only then should you decide where to create your business’s social media profiles.

Put in the work
Like any marketing platform, social media can only be effective if done properly. The key message that all business owners should take into account is that research and analysis are paramount – not just for deciding whether to have a social media presence, but also for executing a successful social media strategy.

If you’d like professional support and expertise in using social media for your business, contact us today.