Common examples are the popular social networking sites like Friendster, Facebook, MySpace, etc. Social media also includes YouTube, Photobucket, Flickr, and other sites aimed at photo and video sharing. News aggregation and online reference sources, examples of which are Digg and Wikipedia, are also counted in the social media bucket.
Using social media to market your business is a good idea. But most small business users think of social media as an easy tool to build there reach. Using social media is an effective tool if done right. Social Media is not only about tweeting yourself 100 times a day or creating Facebook pages and updating your comments / articles 10 times a day.
Its a lot more than that and needs proper strategy. Most small business users plan on getting there whiz-kid nephew to do social media for free. And this is clearly not the way to go as we will see that in the following bullet points.
Myths and Facts
Mark Evans had described it really well -
- Social media tools are free
While the tools themselves are free, their use inevitably will cost money. It will require human resources to monitor online discussions about your brand; strategy to respond to consumer cynicism; investment in multimedia to post online; and training to get staff up to speed
- It’s easy!
Social media might be easy surfing to the end user, but it’s far from breezy when it comes to engaging those end users. It involves being ever present and ready to respond to both positive and negative comments about your brand, which takes time, money and strategy.
- Social media is about the tools
Not necessarily. Though social media tools are important and abundant, they cannot be used effectively without a clear strategy for how they should be used and what you want to accomplish. And remember, just because there are many tools out there, doesn’t mean they are all relevant to you.
- ROI is immeasurable
ROI is measurable with social media. There are numerous agencies available to monitor and breakdown your use of social media and to correlate it directly to the impact on your bottom line. Organizations such as Radian6 and Sysomos monitor, evaluate and measure online conversations about brands, gauging impact and allowing companies to determine which conversations are worth engaging in and which are not.
- Social media is a standalone strategy
Social media should be incorporated into your strategic outlook and the overall objective you want to achieve. It is one tool of many and should be used as such.
Please leave your comments if you agree or disagree or have anything to add to this article.