It appears that social media is the wave of the future. It come a long way, it started with connecting personally with just family and friends, and then it evolves into something so much bigger, nowadays its essential for businesses and companies to have a social media front inorder for them to connect with their customers. Why not? When thats where majority of their customers are, and they can connect with their customers directly, in a personal level.
Social media gained popularity (in the United States) when MySpace and Friendster came along. In an unpredictable and volatile world of internet, new key players emerged, and Friendster is now focusing more on gaming rather than social media. As of this year 2012, the key players in the world of social media are Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. Although, there are a lot more different social media platforms available out there, the five (5) mentioned are the top rankers when it comes to registered users, user engagements, and day to day traffic in their website.
If you have a business, you are probably wondering if you need to be in all social networking sites to effectively market yourself online. Each platform have its strengths and weaknesses. Your customers may or may not be in all five platforms mentioned, you just have to do some research where most of your customers hangout and that depends largely on the type of business you are in. Sometimes, you just have to test the waters to be able to find out which one works the best for your business. There is nothing wrong with being on all five (5) or more social media sites, but you just have to make sure that whenever you are several different platforms that you will actually be able to take the time to engage with your audience, answer comments and questions, remove outdated postings, and add new posts in all of those web sites.
You need to make your social media profile look and feel that you are truly there engaging with your customers and interacting with them because that is what social media is all about, socializing. Many people (including your customers and clients) turn to social networking venues to get hold directly of companies because majority of people nowadays expect that when you run a business, you also have an online presence, its almost like its the new business card minus the paper and the ink. In a business point of view, you need to treat your social media profile as a gateway to your customers, and a means of customer service and interaction. Not answering comments and questions, not monitoring spam posts by others might give your audience the impression that you are not really there and that is not good for your business.
If you feel that you are too busy with your business to truly devote so much time in all social media platforms regularly, pick the ones that are most effective for your business and concentrate on those instead of being on so many at once and you cannot keep up with engagement process which could hurt your business in the process. If you feel that your social media is important but you dont really have time to devote for it, you dont have to do it yourself at all because you can hire a social media marketer or manager to manage your online presence to make sure that your online reputation will remain intact at all times, and your customers and clients will not feel that you just take them for granted when you dont have time to engage or reply to their querries and concerns. But if you have no budget to hire an online manager for all your social networking presence, you can probably set maybe 15 minutes to 30 minutes in a day to attend to your social media profiles like posting new updates, replying to comments, answering questions, if any. And the majority of your hours will be devoted entirely to your busy business schedule. You only need to login to your social media once a day, you dont have to check every single hour for new messages, you dont need to answer the questions posted in a matter of hours or even minutes of them being posted because that strategy can be very time-consuming and before you know it the day is already over and if the pattern continues, you spend less and less time actually doing your business and more on social media which could possibly hurt your bottom line in the long run especially that many believe that several businesses dont really make direct sales using social media, its more like interacting with your existing customers and keep them, and gain new customers.
This article is written by Jazevox
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