I know, I know. Who needs another article on why your business needs a social media management plan, right? The problem is that there are so many companies out there making major marketing mistakes that are not just bad for business…they’re downright scary when you realize these people have families to feed.
This may come off as drastic, but there is a serious disconnect between businesses and marketing strategies that work in 2012. It’s truly upsetting to see how many business owners and entrepreneurs that believe they should wait to implement social media until their new product or service is ready to launch. That really is working in reverse. You need to have your audience BEFORE you launch.
Recently I’ve been contact by several of authors and coaches wanting to launch their books and products, they wanted to know about our social media management services. They continued to tell me that they weren’t ready yet to start social media, but wanted to be ready when their launched their book and/or product/service. I shared with them that their strategy was in deed backwards and that they needed to build up a community first of people who were hungry for what they offer.
6 Deadly Consequences To Delaying Social Media And How To Avoid Them:
1. Your “launch” will be a failure without an audience.
If you don’t have a platform or audience (or you want a bigger one), your next product/book/service launch is destined for failure. It’s not because what you’re selling holds no value, it’s because nobody is listening. This is the biggest problem I see, people waiting to do their social media until they have they have launched their product or service. Create a social media management plan now so that you have an audience who is interested in what you offer before you launch a new product or service.
2. If they don’t know you, they won’t trust you.
If your social media debut is clearly motivated by the fact you want to promote your new product or service then you WILL fail. People don’t need you to tell them how good your product is. You need to have first built up an interested audience of people who trust you. Using education based marketing techniques in advance, giving them a sample of what’s to come in the form of interesting and informative Facebook posts, tweets, videos, blog posts and articles is the best way to do that.
Too many business owners and entrepreneurs hang on to their old paradigms so tightly without realizing the most important thing of all: your customers don’t respond to old school push marketing tactics anymore. Period.
3. Traditional marketing overpromises, under-delivers and overcharges without giving you long-term benefits.
Social media has become a mainstream form of communication with friends, family and co-workers communicating as much (or more) through social networks than other mediums. Traditional marketing through newspapers and TV is becoming less and less effective, especially because people are still using the tactics of a decade ago that are no longer working.
Do you think that prospects are going to take the initiative to look you up and decide to buy from you…all from a TV or newspaper ad? Sorry, but it’s not going to happen in the 21st century. Traditional marketing requires a different approach today to how it was used in the past. It can be very effective when used right, especially for branding, but when you combine it with social media it can work wonders.
4. If you don’t do it, your competition will…and probably already is!
This is fairly self-explanatory. If you don’t believe me, go look up your competitors online right now and I bet you will find one (or many) of them on the popular social networks. If not, then what are you waiting for? You won’t have this advantage much longer!
5. You’ll miss out on market research you would have had to pay THOUSANDS for before social media.
Most social media sites have some sort of integrated analytics that reveal incredibly detailed (and accurate) information about the people that connect with you. It’s like having your own think-tank at your disposal! Want to know how many people like your product in Vancouver that is female between 35-54? No problem!
6. You’re ignoring your customers. Your customers and potential customers are online, maybe not all of them, but the vast majority of them are. Did you know that seniors are the fastest growing segment of people using social media? Did you also know that 65% of the people using Twitter are over the age of 35 and most are business owners (that’s right, they’re not all kids!)?
To assume that your current and potential customers are not online isn’t just silly…it’s downright ignorant. With nearly 1 billion people on Facebook alone, it makes it pretty tough to argue that a majority of your target market isn’t engaging in some form of online social activity.
To summarize you can’t afford to delay using social media for your business any longer. If you don’t know how to do it, you have two options 1. Get some good social media training or 2. Outsource your social media management.
I truly believe those are the only options available to all businesses today.
About the Author
Melonie Dodaro, of Top Dog Social Media, is passionate about social media and helps business owners, sales teams and professionals to use social media marketing to boost their visibility, attract new customers and increase their revenue. Dubbed by the media as Canada’s #1 LinkedIn expert and social media strategist, she’s also a regular contributor to several social media and business magazines and is a highly sought after social media speaker and trainer. Want a great LinkedIn profile? Grab Melonie’s free checklist at http://LinkedInChecklist.com and learn more about her and how she can help your business at http://TopDogSocialMedia.com.