Stop Speculating and Start Engaging

One can spend all day arguing whether to implement a social media strategy. The bottom line is, your competition probably has a social presence, and if they don’t, this is your opportunity to move ahead. Remember, whomever speaks loudest is heard.

Social media is not a billboard on the side of the road that convinces someone to become a lifelong brand advocate. It’s not a print ad. It’s not a funny commercial.

The tables have turned and its no longer simply businesses pushing content directly to consumers. Instead, it’s more consumers having the conversation — it’s a dialogue.

Social media is about knowing that real people really use your product or support your company. People want to buy products from companies that people like them use. They want to buy things and do business with companies they “like.”

It’s not realistic to expect every follower to promote a brand to their friends and family; maybe they just like the brand and want to know more about it, which is a great opportunity to foster that relationship.

One of the biggest challenges is overcoming the fact that social media is simply a new, platform for engaging with your customers – not a sales channel.

Maybe we’ll all still be on Facebook in 10 years, or maybe it will bust like MySpace. At some point, you have to stop speculating and live in the now. The fact is, businesses now have a constant channel to communicate to their most outspoken customers on such a personal level it should put dollar signs in any marketer’s eyes.

Social media is an extremely broad term. Sure, everyone knows about Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn but it’s much more extensive than that. It’s not only these social-based networking sites that are included in that umbrella term “social media.”

With more than 200 known social networking sites — and new ones popping up left and right — it can be difficult to nail down an efficient, up-to-date social media strategy without jumping through some hoops.

For a social media strategy to be effective, it shouldn’t spend too much time going through countless committees or approvals. It needs a small team that has a plan and doesn’t twiddle their thumbs.

No company is above having a social media presence, and choosing to ignore it only adds to the problem. Devoting a full-time employee to the task of your company’s social media presence might not quite be the answer — yet.

Regardless of whether you’re participating in them, the discussions about your brand are happening out there. Don’t you want to have a say in them?

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